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Of people with disabilities in transition to independent living, just 4% receive public support

Only 4 out of 100 people with disabilities who moved out of care centers received support funds to help them build new lives, data showed Wednesday, suggesting the need for a strategic support system for people with disabilities not requiring institutional care.

According to Ministry of Health and Welfare data obtained by the office of Rep. Kim Sung-joo of the Democratic Party of Korea, out of 7,869 people with disabilities only 323, or 4.1 percent, received self-reliance support funds from the government after moving out of supportive residential facilities in the past three years.

For the entire year of 2019, of 2,697 people who moved out of such facilities only 146, or 5.4 percent, received one-off support funds. The amounts they received varied greatly depending on which province or city they lived in.

While Seoul gave 13 million won ($11,200) to each person who moved out of a care center, Daejeon, Ulsan, Sejong and South Chungcheong Province provided no support at all, leaving people with disabilities in those areas with few means to start a new life.

Daegu, Jeju Island and Gyeonggi, North Jeolla, South Jeolla, North Gyeongsang and South Gyeongsang provinces gave out 10 million won to each person with a disability who moved out of a facility there.

Incheon and Gwangju gave out 8 million won, Busan 7 million won, Gangwon Province 6.5 million won and North Chungcheong Province 5 million won.

Meanwhile, only 22 percent of 7,869 self-reliant people with disabilities received residential support from their regional governments. Provinces and municipalities have provided temporary homes for people with disabilities in their regions as a means of helping them gain independence.

“Support policies for disabled people moving out of facilities vary greatly by region, and it was found that only a very few of the population actually receive benefits,” Kim said.

“The central government should work with cities and provinces to ratify a unified support system (for people with disabilities).”

By Ko Jun-tae (
catch table
Korea Herald daum