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National Basic Living Security

The government provides low-income citizens with basic livelihood grants, housing subsidies(Ministryof Land, Infrastructure and Transport), education subsidies(Ministry of Education) and medical aid toguarantee basic livelihood. The system offers systematic self-support through the service to those whocan work. Even foreign residents can receive benefits based on the related ordinances.

01 Qualifications

Any foreigner who meets the following conditions as well as all the requirements in terms of the① reported income and the ② dependent obligor is eligible to receive the basic livelihood subsidy.

  • Foreigners who have been registered and have lived in Korea, been married to Korean citizens andare expecting or raising a Korean child who is a minor (including cases of divorce and the death ofa spouse)
  • Foreigners who live with the parents or grandparents of spouses who are Korean citizensForeigners who do not meet the above qualifications may not apply for basic livelihood securityaid. If there is a Korean citizen in the family of foreigners, the Korean citizen may be thebeneficiary of basic livelihood security aid, provided that he or she meets the standards for theamount of income acknowledged.
  1. 1The reported household income (the amount calculated by adding the amount of householdincome to the amount of income translated property) is below the standard (certain percentage ofthe standard median income*) for beneficiaries
    • (2020) livelihood pay 30%, medical pay 40%, housing pay 45%, education pay 50%
  2. 2Those who do not have an obligator of support (direct family member, and spouse), those whohave an obligator of support who is not able to support, or those who cannot receive support
    • According to the revision of customized wage (July, 2015), education wage is not applicable based onthe standard of the obligator of support / According to the first comprehensive plan for basic livelihoodsecurity (Aug. 2017), living housing aid is not applicable based on the standard of the obligator ofsupport (Oct. 2018~)
2021 median income
Amount (KRW/ Month)
2021 median income
(KRW/ Month)
  • Median income for a family of 8 or more: increase of KRW 869,000 per increase of one person
2021 Selection Standard for Assistance (% of the standard median income)
(unit: KRW/month)
2021 Selection Standard for Assistance (% of the standard median income)
No. of family members123456
Education support
(50% of the median)
Housing support
(45% of the median)
Medical support
(40% of the median)
Livelihood support
(30% of the median)

02 Types of Benefits

(1) Livelihood Benefits

  • Description : A form of monetary payment for daily commodities such as food, clothing, and fuel
  • Amount : Amount of the reported household income deducted from the minimum level of livelihoodwage (30% of the median income)
  • Livelihood wage amount = the minimum level of livelihood wage (standard of selecting a target) –income acknowledged amount

(2) Housing Aid

  • Description : Considering residence, resident type, size of family, etc., provide rent and repair &maintenance costs to support stable housing
  • Amount of cash benefits : Remunerated payments will be made for renting households based on thelocal average rent, number of household members, and recognized income. For households withtheir own homes, remunerated support for repair and maintenance cost will be given by classifyingthe repair need into minimal, moderate, or large-scale based on the recipient’s income.
Minimum level standards of renting households (as of 2021)
(Unit: KRW 10,000)
Minimum level standards of renting households (as of 2021)
Item1st grade area
2nd grade area
(Gyeonggi, Incheon)
3rd grade area
(metropolitan cities, Sejong)
4th grade area
(other regions)
1-person household31.023.919.016.3
2-person household34.826.821.218.3
3-person household41.432.025.421.7
4-person household48.037.129.425.3
5-person household49.738.330.326.1
6-person household58.845.335.930.9
  • When there are seven or more members of the household, standard rental cost increases by10% for every two additional family members
The minimum level standard of households owning their own home (as of 2021)
The minimum level standard of households owning their own home (as of 2021)
ItemMinor repairMedian repairMajor repair
Repair costs (cycle)KRW 4.57 million (3 years)KRW 8.49 million (5 years)KRW 12.41 million (7 years)
  • If the reported income is below the standard for livelihood wage, 100% of the repair cost is supported. If the reported income is below 35% of the standard median income, 90% of the repair cost is supported. If the reported income is over 35% but less than 45% of the standard median income, 60% of the repair cost is supported.

(3) Educational Aid

Description :
Admission fees, tuition, textbook costs, materials costs, and stationery costs
Educational Aid
Aid itemsAid amount & Usage
Educational activity aidElementary school studentsKRW 286,000Autonomous spending according to educational demand by student
Middle school studentsKRW 376,000
High school studentsKRW 448,000
Textbook costsHigh school studentsAll textbook costs organized by regular educational course of a school year
Admission fees & TuitionHigh school studentsTotal amount notified by principals by year and region

(4) Childbirth Aid

  • Upon birth of a recipient (including expected childbirth) KRW 700,000 (1,400,000 for twins) is paid in cash

(5) Funeral Aid

  • Assistance of 800,000 KRW per each deceased beneficiary.

03 How to Apply

  • To apply for national basic living security benefits, visit your local eup, myeon or dong resident centerand submit the application for (change of) social welfare services and benefits.
  • A government official will perform an evaluation to determine your eligibility.
  • You will be informed of your eligibility within 30 days; some cases may take as long as 60 days to process.
  • Submit application
    form to eup/myeon/
    dong office
  • Government official
    examines applicant’s
    income and property records
  • Application denied or rejected
Useful Information
Health & Welfare Counseling Center 129 (
  • If you need counseling or information regarding health or welfare services for you and your family,please call 129 (area code + 129 when calling from a mobile phone)
  • Counseling for income security, financial support for living expenses, and social welfare, healthand wellbeing: 09:00-18:00 weekdays
  • Counseling for emergency support: Open 24 hours a day, all year round
본 저작물은 '한국건강가정진흥원'에서 '2020년' 작성하여 공공누리 제4유형으로 개방한 '한국생활가이드북'을 이용하였으며, 해당 저작물은 '한국건강가정진흥원,' 에서 무료로 다운받으실 수 있습니다.