Long lines were seen yesterday outside the nation’s district and township offices as uninsured workers applied for a one-time payment of NT$10,000 as the government seeks to relieve their financial burden amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Executive Yuan on Monday announced that it would provide the money to workers not covered by social insurance programs, as well as farmers and fishers who do not qualify for other forms of financial aid.
The program is expected to assist 340,000 people who work, but are not enrolled in labor insurance, farmers’ insurance or any other social insurance program, and have a household income of 1.5 to two times the average minimum living cost in their city or county.
Photo: Chou Hsiang-yun, Taipei Times
A total of 1.4 million farmers and fishers who make less than NT$500,000 per year and do not qualify for a separate NT$30,000 grant would also be entitled to the payment, the central government said.
The Pingtung County Government reported that more than 1,000 people yesterday applied for the payment at the county’s 33 township offices.
A similar number of applicants reported to township offices in eastern Taitung County, the county government said.
The Tainan and Kaohsiung city governments reported that demand jammed their telephone lines.
A Keelung resident said that the city government rejected his application because he had received a lump-sum pension from his labor insurance when he retired at age 55.
“They said that now, because of that, I can no longer apply for the grant,” he said.
In Taipei, a 40-year-old masseur, surnamed Lo (羅), said that revenue at the massage parlor where he works has been dropping since January as fewer people come because of the COVID-19 pandemic, adding that he only earned NT$9,000 last month.
Lo, who early yesterday applied for the grant at the city’s Xinyi District Office, was grateful to the government for the policy, but said that the payment should be higher than NT$10,000, as the pandemic is expected to continue for a while.
A 38-year-old snack bar owner, surnamed Chuang (莊), said that although the grant is relatively small, it is still better than nothing.
However, Chuang said that the application procedure was quite complicated.
Asked about the complaints, Executive Yuan spokeswoman Kolas Yotaka said that the government would streamline the procedure to make it easier for applicants.
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