Online applications for Covid-19 relief funds beginAn online application for the government's emergency coronavirus relief funds to all households began Monday morning.
The Ministry of the Interior and Safety said nine local credit card companies started receiving online applications through their websites or mobile phone applications.
The application is available, first, for those who wish to receive the financial aid in the form of credit or debit card points, which is scheduled to arrive two days after the application.
For the first week, each applicant can use the online application system only on designated days, depending on the last digit of one's birth year, to prevent the overloading of the web servers.
Starting next Monday, people can apply online at any time, and offline visits will be also available. Also applying for two other forms of the aid — regional gift certificates and prepaid cards — will be available.
Late last month, the National Assembly approved an extra budget bill focused on the payments of the unprecedented relief money to all the nation's 21.71 million households to lessen the financial strain brought on by the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.
Under the scheme, the government provides 1 million won ($820) each to household with four or more members, 800,000 won to three-person households, 600,000 won to two-person households and 400,000 won to single-person households.
In order to ease extreme economic pain facing the country's poorest households, which account for some 13 percent of the total, the first batch of the state aid began in cash last week.
People can donate all or part of the relief money. Households failing to apply for the emergency relief funds within three months will be regarded as donors to the state.
Also, the money should be spent by Aug. 31 or it will also be deemed a donation. It can't be used for online shopping and at large-scale supermarkets and entertainment establishments, among others, the ministry said, adding that it can't be used to pay taxes.
Earlier in the day, leadership of the ruling Democratic Party said they won't apply for the state financial aid, which practically means donating it to the state coffers.
The party's senior officials said in a meeting they will try to create a social mood for donation among the country's rich, so that the budget can help people much more in need.
"As President Moon Jae-in expressed his willingness to donate the entire sum last Thursday, the Democratic Party's leadership is also participating in this donation campaign so that the money can be used to help stabilize the people's livelihood and recover the economy," said Kim Kyung-hyup, one of the senior party officials who attended the meeting.
Whether the donation pledge has been endorsed by all the party's rank-and-file lawmakers, however, remained unclear.
Last Thursday, Moon said he would not seek to receive his share of the national relief fund, or 600,000 won.
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