From the 6th, the application and payment of the COVID-19 win-win support fund, the so-called 'disaster support fund', started.

This time, it is not paid to all the people, but there are many words and many masks.

However, controversy arose when news came out that disaster aid would be provided to foreigners who meet the standards.

Even Koreans don't get 12%, so why are they paying this to foreigners who don't even pay taxes?

On social media, the word "distributing disaster aid to foreigners with blood tax" is circulating quickly.

Recently, a post accusing the Korean government of not providing disaster aid was spread online, saying it was posted by a person believed to be a Chinese compatriot. 

The SBS Fact-Eun team fact-checked how exactly the disaster relief funds for foreigners are paid out.

[Critique of the Korean government presumably written by a Chinese compatriot]

The size of the disaster aid for foreigners is 66.5 billion won

We started by looking at the amount of foreign disaster relief funds.

Originally, the Ministry of Public Administration and Security was responsible for the disaster subsidy, but this time, the disaster subsidy is paid based on health insurance premiums.

I made a request for data from the Ministry of Health and Welfare, and as of September 14, it was confirmed that 265,984 foreign nationals were eligible for disaster aid, with a total budget of 66.5 billion won.

As of last year, there were about 2.03 million foreigners residing in Korea (excluding illegal immigrants), which is about 13% of the total number of foreigners staying in Korea.

However, it was difficult to know by nationality.

The Ministry of Health and Welfare's dictionary list was not compiled by nationality because it was classified based on alien registration number, not nationality.

It's like saying you can't tell where you live just by looking at your resident registration number.

Family recognition, proof of tax payment, or…

We asked the Ministry of Health and Welfare on the clear criteria for payment for foreigners. First, he said, "It is a principle that foreigners do not pay, but if certain criteria are met, it will be paid."

A specific criterion is the first, when one or more Korean nationals are registered on the resident registration card. According to the Civil Code, it is applicable if a family relationship with a Korean is proven. It is said that cohabitation is not recognized because it must be recognized by law.

The second is if you are a member of the same health insurance as a Korean citizen, a dependent, or a recipient of medical benefits. Permanent residents (F5 visa holders) and marriage immigrants (F6 visa holders) are also eligible for the same health insurance policy as Korean nationals. It is not the type of visa that matters, but the key is whether you are paying health insurance premiums.

In summary, foreigners who are recognized as 'Korean family members' by Korean law or who are paying the same tax as Koreans are the main recipients of payment. The Ministry of Health and Welfare said, "Even foreigners pay health insurance premiums based on their monthly salary if they are employed, and pay health insurance premiums on their property if they are insured overseas. In other words, tax on their salary and property It means paying,” he explained.

People who pay health insurance premiums are registered as Korean residents, and naturally, they are paying taxes on income and property in addition to health insurance premiums.

Although it is not possible to specify the type of tax to be paid by each foreigner, it is read that it is possible to administratively 'prove' the tax payment by paying the health insurance premium.

According to the 2020 National Tax Statistical Yearbook, as of 2019, foreign workers reported 510 billion won in global income tax and 904.3 billion won in year-end tax settlement by foreign workers.

As I said before, the budget for this disaster relief fund for foreigners is 66.5 billion won.

Even if I paid for health insurance, I couldn't get the subsidy...

However, not all foreigners who pay health insurance premiums are eligible for disaster assistance. First of all, even if you are paying health insurance premiums, according to the government policy, if you are in the top 12% of high-income earners, it is natural that you cannot receive it.

There is another. Foreigners who have 'prepaid' health insurance premiums are not eligible for disaster relief funds. We follow the 'post-payment' method in which the National Health Insurance Corporation deducts the health insurance premium from the monthly salary. However, foreigners who return to work for a short period of a few months pay in advance medical insurance for the duration of their stay and stay. Foreigners who have paid health insurance premiums in advance are foreigners with a short stay period.

The refusal to subsidize disaster aid in the 'prepayment' method is read as meaning that only foreigners who have stayed for a long time and have faithfully paid their taxes will receive benefits. The Ministry of Health and Welfare said, "I know that there are dissatisfaction with this policy among short-term foreigners who did not receive disaster assistance even after paying health insurance premiums."

The SBS Fact-Eun team looked for foreign cases, and although it is difficult to make a simple comparison due to uneven standards for each country, it was analyzed that the scope of payment of corona aid to foreigners is wider than that of us. 

In the United States, if you are a taxpayer, you can apply for the subsidy, and in Japan, if you are registered in the resident register, the subsidy is provided in the same way as a Korean. Germany provided subsidies to self-employed workers who were hit by the coronavirus, and the UK provided subsidies to workers who were unable to work due to the coronavirus, but there was no nationality criterion. Anyone residing in Canada can apply for the grant.  You do not have to be a citizen or a permanent resident.

Even our Korean compatriots who are suffering in a distant country, there are quite a few people who survive the crisis by receiving the disaster aid from that country.

(Interns: Song Hae-yeon, Kwon Min-sun)


Ministry of Health and Welfare, <SBS News Fact Check, Answers to Questions Related to National Grants for Foreigners>

National Tax Service, <2020 National Tax Statistical Yearbook>

U.S. Department of Treasury, Corona 19 Economic Relief Page ( /coronavirus/)

Canada Revenue Agency (