Child Benefits and Allowances in South Korea

Information on child benefit, educational allowances and parental leave for parents of young children living in South Korea...

The child benefit system in Korea is based on a family's income and assets. There are two child benefit systems: one is organised by central government, while the other is at local government level.

To find out more information on child benefits at local government level, parents should contact their local authorities (district office - Gu).

Family benefits

Family benefits depend on a family's income and assets. There is no monthly family allowance in South Korea, unless the family is receiving government benefits. This is unlikely for foreigners working in South Korea. However, there are some schemes available that may apply to foreign families in South Korea:

  • The Da Doong Yee Haeng Bok Card: available to families with more than two children. It is only available for foreigners married to a Korean and whose child has a Korean passport. It is issued by government-appointed banks and recipients are entitled to discounts at local supermarkets, banks, and art or leisure centres
  • Families with more than three children receive a 20 percent discount on electricity bills.

To apply for family benefits, foreigners should contact their local authorities for the required documents and procedures.

Education allowance

An education allowance is only available for foreigners who are married to Korean nationals and who live in South Korea with their children. They must also have a foreigner registration card.

The education allowance is allocated according to a family's income and assets, and the number of children. A monthly sum of KRW 100,000 is paid to families who have children younger than 36 months, if they do not go to child care.

A sum of KRW 20,000 to 27,000 in vouchers for electronic goods is available for children between two and six years old to improve their reading. A home school teacher visits the family once a week and parents can use the vouchers to pay for this service.

To apply for these benefits, parents must contact their local authority (Gu) and fill out the relevant form. They must bring the following documents with them:

  • ID
  • Foreigner registration card
  • Marriage certificate
  • Family relationship certificate (government document listing members of a family)

Parental leave

Parental leave applies to parents with children who are under six years old. Parents are only eligible for parental leave if they have worked for an employer for more than one year. Each parent can take up to one year parental leave, but they cannot take leave at the same time. This leave need not continue directly at the end of maternity leave. A parent receives 40 percent of their monthly income from Employment Insurance.