Chugoku-Shikoku Regional AIDS Center

What are welfare benefits?

This is a system of government assistance for families whose livelihoods have become difficult due to any number of reasons including illness, injury and unemployment. The amount of assistance is determined according to household needs, to protect a minimum level of a healthy and cultural lifestyle to encourage families to improve their own living standards. When household living expenses fall below the minimum cost of living as stipulated by the government, the deficiency is made up with welfare benefits. More specifically, this system is used when all monetary sources such as savings have dried up, living is difficult even with pensions and allowances, and family members are unable to help.

What is the minimum cost of living?

The minimum cost of living is the total of monthly livelihood assistance cost(¥153,763) plus housing assistance cost (maximum actual payment towards housing: ¥49,000) (in the case of the City of Hiroshima in fiscal year 2018). This figure is based on standard protection of an average household (husband, wife and one child residing in average housing).

What type of assistance is available?

After the minimum cost of living is calculated based on individual conditions, then compared with household income. Assistance in paid in the form of deficiency indemnity. For this reason, the amount varies in accordance to individual household. There are 8 categories of assistance.

1. Livelihood assistance Assistance to satisfy the demands of daily living (food, clothing, energy costs, etc.). Additional payment will differ for individuals and households.
2. Education assistance Assistance to receive compulsory education (textbooks, school supplies, school lunches, etc.)
3. Housing assistance Assistance to secure housing and for housing maintenance (rent, repairs, etc.)
4. Medical assistance Assistance for medical needs for injuries and illnesses (consultation fees, pharmaceutical costs, etc.)
5. Care assistance Assistance for nursing care necessities (home care fees, cost of assistive products, home renovations, etc.)
6. Childbirth assistance Assistance for childbirth expenditures (delivery charges, gauze, sanitary necessities, etc.)
7. Vocational assistance Assistance for vocation or employment (cost of high school education, capital, cost of purchasing equipment and other resources, cost of acquiring skills, etc.)
8. Funeral assistance Assistance for funerals (cremation costs, postmortem costs, costs for transporting the deceased, etc.)

Necessary provisions will be selected based on respective circumstances. Depending on the type of care, these provisions may not only be payment in the form of cash, but also in kind. In addition, care may be provided at home or at an institution, in accordance with the situation.

What procedures are necessary?

First there will be a welfare consultation at the local government or welfare office, followed by an interview by a caseworker, to confirm present income and assets as well as eligibility of other benefits. The system will be explained and there will be a discussion regarding the future. If it is determined that welfare is the only choice left, application for assistance will be accepted.

After application is completed, the appointed caseworker will visit the home to confirm living standards to determine if there is a need for assistance. If injury or illness is a factor, a survey of symptoms and opinion regarding necessity for payment must be obtained from the primary doctor and submitted. If assistance is awarded, a notification of acceptance will be mailed. If assistance is declined, a notification of denial will be mailed. Notification will be mailed to the applicant within 14 days (30 days for special cases only).

What is a motion for complaint?

If, after the decision is made regarding application for assistance, there is a reason for objection to the content of that decision, the welfare office is ready to listen. After discussion with the welfare office if there is still reason for objection, a request can be made to the prefectural governor within 60 days of receipt of notification (motion for complaint).