In order to create a ‘Gyeonggi of Opportunities’ in which individuals with disabilities are comfortable and happy, Gyeonggi Province will push ahead with initiatives such as the introduction of an opportunity income pilot project for the disabled this year, the expansion of the number of people eligible to join the Nurim bank account program for the disabled, and surveys of the 24-hour care for the most severely disabled.
On January 24, according to this year’s major disability welfare policies announced by Gyeonggi, the province will first implement opportunity income for individuals with disabilities as a pilot project. Social value creation activities such as health improvement and social activities for the disabled will be initiated by providing opportunity income to induce active social participation by the disabled. The budget for 2023 has been set at KRW 1 billion, with 2,000 disabled residents of Gyeonggi Province receiving an opportunity income payment of KRW 50,000 every month. Through consultations on the establishment of social security and management systems, this project is being prepared for implementation in the second half of this year.
Support for individuals with disabilities who are engaged in economic activities includes an ‘opportunity allowance’ of KRW 160,000 per month for those enrolled in training at rehabilitation facilities for the disabled.’ In addition, Gyeonggi Province will gradually expand the number and types of public jobs as well as customized jobs for the disabled on an annual basis.
The age range of those eligible to join the Nurim bank account program for the individuals with disabilities, which is geared to strengthen their economic independence, will be expanded from 19 years of age to 19 to 21 years of age. Through this program, Gyeonggi Province and its cities and counties will make additional savings contributions of up to KRW 100,000 per month for 24 months to those who qualify as severely disabled under the Act on the Welfare of Persons with Disabilities. By doing so, upon maturity of the account in two years, each participant can receive a total of approximately KRW 5 million through the principal and interest.
In the case of the care project for the individuals with disabilities, 24-hour care surveys of those with severe developmental disabilities will be conducted in the 31 cities and counties of Gyeonggi Province to establish related standards and determine the scope of care. Based on the survey results, Gyeonggi will strengthen care support while also expanding support for self-help groups for individuals with developmental disabilities from 20 teams to 40 teams so as to enable the formation and systematic backing of such groups.
In response to the increase in the number of elderly with disabilities, support for related facilities will also be expanded from 8 to 20 shelters. Programs such as those for health, social participation, and safety are being supported to prevent social problems caused by the rapid aging of the disabled and ensure vibrant lives for the elderly.
In the first half of this year, the Northern Gyeonggi Province Welfare Support Center for the Disabled in is scheduled to open in Yangju City to improve related welfare services in the region. This center will support welfare policies for the disabled in northern Gyeonggi, training for disabled welfare workers, and self-reliance of the disabled so that limitations stemming from the southern location of the Gyeonggi Province Welfare Center for Disabled Persons (situated in Suwon City) can be resolved.
The subsidy criteria for newly installed welfare facilities for the individuals with disabilities will also be relaxed. Such subsidies are provided one year after completion of the installation report, and the placement standard for social rehabilitation teachers at daytime care facilities for the disabled will also be adjusted from 1 per 4 students to 1 per 3 students. The labor costs of workers in residential facilities for the disabled (e.g. community homes, short-term residences) under consigned operation are also expected to be raised through application of labor cost guidelines for social welfare facility workers as set by the Ministry of Health and Welfare starting this year.
Kim Neung-sik, Director General of Gyeonggi Province’s Welfare Bureau, said, “We will strive to make a happier place for disabled and non-disabled people without discrimination by implementing various welfare policies and creating more, fairer and better opportunities for all residents of the province.”
Source: GYEONGGI PROVINCE
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