Criteria for state welfare smartcards getting rejig

Criteria for state welfare smartcards getting rejig

Additional allowances for smartcard holders are in the offing. (Photo by Somchai Poomlard)
Additional allowances for smartcard holders are in the offing. (Photo by Somchai Poomlard)

Qualification criteria for a new round of registration for state welfare recipients will be tweaked after additional allowances for smartcard holders under the economic stimulus package are revealed.

Finance Minister Uttama Savanayana wants criteria on the checklist for state welfare smartcard holders to be rejigged after the extra allowances for recipients are paid, said a source at the Finance Ministry familiar with the matter who requested anonymity.

As part of the 316-billion-baht stimulus package, 5 million elderly who are welfare smartcard holders get an extra 500-baht monthly allowance; all 14.6 million smartcard holders receive an additional 500-baht allowance per month; and parents who are welfare recipients receive 300 baht for each child.

Welfare recipients who have their first child or children aged up to six years are entitled to an additional 300-baht allowance for taking care of children.

The additional allowances are given for two months through September.

The source said the ministry was considering using 100,000 baht per family member as the benchmark for a family-based income approach.

The ministry plans to replace individual-based income with family-based income conditions, aiming at better filtering out those who are not needy.

Other conditions will include that recipients must be neither credit card holders nor car owners, the source said, because either makes it likely that the recipient has a yearly income above the 100,000-baht threshold.

According to the most recent criteria, those who are eligible for the welfare and subsidy scheme must be Thai nationals aged 18 or older, be unemployed, have annual income of not more than 100,000 baht and have financial assets of not more than 100,000 baht.

Eligible recipients can own a house measuring up to 25 square wah, or a condo unit spanning up to 35 square metres.

State welfare smartcard holders are now entitled to 200-300 baht a month to buy consumer products at Thong Fah shops; a 500-baht monthly fare subsidy for public buses, intra-provincial buses and electric trains; and a 45-baht discount for cooking gas purchases every three months.

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