The Seoul Metropolitan Government recently announced the Mom and Dad Happiness Project. As part of the project, many people may be eligible for the Grandparent Care Allowance. This allows family caretakers up to the fourth degree of relation to a child under 36 months to receive a caretakers’ allowance.
Criteria to Recieve a Grandparent Care Allowance
-Caretaker of a child under 36 months old
-Must be related within the fourth degree to the child (grandparent, uncle, aunt, cousin, etc)
-Must take care of child 40 hours per week or more
-To qualify, assets and monthly earnings must be less than 150% of the national median income
-Family cannot also use a government-supported childcare service.
Grandparent Care Allowance Benefits
-300,000 Won for the care of a single infant
-450,000 Won for the care of 2 infants
-600,000 Won for the care of 3 infants
Personal Opinions on the Benefit
Need for a Grandparent Care Allowance
The grandparent care allowance is very helpful for working parents. The fact is that government daycares are often overcrowded, and not every couple will feel comfortable leaving their infant at one of these facilities.
There are so many dual-income families who receive help from their parents or other family members who don’t work. It costs a lot to take care of a child, and if parents cannot be home, many of those costs are often transferred to whoever is watching them.
Issues with the Benefit
However, this benefit is quite controversial. Much of the controversy comes from proving the need for the benefit. I was not able to find information on the documents needed to apply for the grandparent care allowance. It seems like it is mainly up to district offices how to prove a need for the benefit.
Because the criteria for the benefit is within the fourth degree of relation, it is very difficult to prove. There aren’t government documents available to prove you are someone’s aunt or cousin. Additionally, it is difficult to certify if someone is really supervising a child 40 hours per week.
Despite the lack of oversight and many criticisms of the benefit, there is a need for this type of assistance.
Personally, I feel sorry for the reality of having no choice but to pass on childcare to parents. And so, I hope the government can expand childcare facilities that can provide professional daycare. Personally, I have found that daycares often don’t have enough staff or spaces available to provide childcare every time it is needed.
Now, I really feel sorry for my in-laws. Due to an illness I have, I cannot care for my son all time and my mother-in-law has to sleep with my baby and even take him to daycare fairly often. I am glad that she can get some extra money for all this help and kindness with her grandchildren.
Also my sister-in-law has cared for my son many times. With the extra money I can pay her a bit, and at least make sure she doesn’t have an extra financial burden while watching. She is just 1 year older than me and as young adults in our early 20s, it’s really hard taking care of a child. Overall, the money our family gets from the Grandparent Care Allowance helps a lot.
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