How to apply for coronavirus financial aid programs How to apply for coronavirus financial aid programs
Backstories

How to apply for coronavirus financial aid programs

    Are you struggling to make ends meet due to the coronavirus outbreak? The government is offering a range of financial benefits to people who have suffered a loss of income. Here’s a summary of some of the programs and how to apply.

    100,000-yen handout

    All residents of Japan, regardless of financial situation, are eligible for this benefit. It is part of the government’s coronavirus economic response package.

    • Foreign residents must have carried a visa for over three months and have been listed on the country’s Basic Resident Register as of April 27th.
    • For more: NHK World-Japan: How to receive 100,000-yen handout

    Subsidy program for small- and medium-sized companies and freelancers

    The Subsidy Program for Sustaining Businesses offers up to 2 million yen for small- and medium-sized companies and up to 1 million yen for sole proprietors, including freelancers, who have seen their earnings drop due to the outbreak. This is a benefit. You do not need to pay it back.

    • You are eligible if your operating revenue any month this year falls more than 50% compared to the same month last year.
    • The funds are usually transferred to your account within two weeks of applying.
    • The application window is from May 1st, 2020 to Jan. 15th, 2021. Apply at: https://www.jizokuka-kyufu.jp (Japanese only)
    • "Application support centers" are available starting on May 12th for those who are having difficulties applying online. For more information and to make a reservation, please visit: https://www.meti.go.jp/covid-19/shinsei-support.html (Japanese only)

    For more information in English, please visit:
    https://www.meti.go.jp/english/press/2020/0501_001.html

    Call center (Japanese only)
    0120-115-570
    03-6831-0613
    (Exclusively for IP phones)

    • May-June: Every day, 8:30 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.
    • July: Every day except Saturday and national holidays, 8:30 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.
    • August and beyond: Every day except Saturday and national holidays, 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

    *Information accurate as of May 20th.

    Welfare fund loan 

    Every prefecture’s Social Welfare Council has set up a welfare fund loan system for households struggling with living expenses due to work stoppages. This is a loan and must be paid back.

    Emergency small amount fund
    Mainly for households facing a decrease in income due to temporary work stoppages. Up to 200,000 yen.

    General support fund
    Mainly for households with members who are now unemployed or whose incomes have been reduced.

    • Household of two or more persons --> Up to 200,000 yen a month
    • One person --> 150,000 yen a month.
    • Loan period: 3 months in principle.

    Call center (Japanese only)
    0120-46-1999

    • Every day: 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.

    For more information:

    *Information accurate as of May 20th.

    Housing Security Benefit

    Starting April 20th, people who have lost their job or experienced a reduction in income due to the pandemic can apply for funds to help pay rent. This does not have to be paid back.

    • Eligibility determined based on assessment of household income and savings.
    • Funds are available only for rent assistance. Housing loans are not covered.
    • Funds cover 3 months of rent, up to a maximum of 9 months if conditions are met. The municipal government pays the rent directly to the landlord.
    • Phone consultation with a municipal self-support center is required before applying. Consultation is only available in Japanese and at these locations: https://www.mhlw.go.jp/content/000614516.pdf

    Call center (Japanese only)
    0120-23-5572

    • Every day starting from May 21st: 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.

    For more information, please visit:

    *Information accurate as of May 20th.

    Additional information that may be useful for foreign residents is available on NHK’s website in plain Japanese at:
    https://www.nhk.or.jp/heart-net/article/339/

    alt