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.

*Japan's financial aid programs have been updated. Please visit the
following link: Coronavirus financial aid programs in 2022

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 27, 2020.
  • 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: (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:

For more information in English, please visit:

Call center (Japanese only)
(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 20, 2020.

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)

  • Every day: 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.

For more information:

*Information accurate as of May 20, 2020.

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:

Call center (Japanese only)

  • 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 20, 2020.

Additional information that may be useful for foreign residents is available on NHK’s website in plain Japanese at: