When you don’t have enough money to pay rent…

If you cannot pay your rent because of situations caused by COVID-19 (ex. unemployment / decrease in income), you can apply for a benefit called “住居確保給付金” (Jyukyo kakuho kyu hu kin ; housing benefit).

This benefit was initially created to support the unemployed so that people would not have to worry about how to make ends meet while searching for a job. However, since many people have been financially affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, the eligibility has been extended to help more people in need. Currently, in addition to unemployed workers, those whose have experienced a significant decrease in income can also apply for this benefit.

Eligibility

Eligible persons are those ①who have been out of work for 2 or less years, or those who suffer from a decrease in income due to reasons not attributable to him/her (such as temporary business closures) and are thus in a situation similar to unemployment and ②who currently do not receive any benefits from the Japanese government, such as “職業訓練受講給付金” (Syokugyou kun’ren kyuhu kin; job training benefit).

*Those currently working but had left their jobs/stopped working within 2 years’ time are also eligible.

*Those currently not working due to unavoidable reasons (e.g. taking care of children at home due to temporary closure of nursery schools) are also eligible.

Amount of financial aid

The full amount of rent will be directly sent to your landlord/real estate broker. There is a limit to the amount of money that can be covered.

Period of benefit

The benefit is for a period of 3 months. It is possible to extend the period up to 2 times and receive the benefit for up to 9 months, given you meet certain requirements.

Conditions to be met

① Those who have been out of work for 2 or less years, or those who suffer from a decrease in income due to reasons not attributable to him/her (such as temporary business closures) and are thus in a situation similar to unemployment 

② The total amount of income for the whole household is less than the set income criteria

You can calculate the set income criteria by adding the “set criterion” and “monthly rent.” The “set criterion” amounts for 1/12 (i.e. a month’s worth) of the amount of money that is exempt from the municipal tax.

*The set criteria vary, depending on where you live. At the end of this article, we have noted the conditions to be met in the 23 wards of Tokyo and Yokohama-city as references. For more details, please check with the self-reliance support organization in your municipality. 

③ The current amount of savings for the whole household is less than the amount determined by the municipality you live in

④ Actively searching for a job

You must be actively searching for a job so that you can cover your living expenses, such as checking places you could possibly work for. This criterion applies to various forms of employment, such as those who are self-employed and freelance workers. *Going to career counselings at Hellowork (public employment security office) is no longer a mandatory condition.

How to apply

Please contact the self-reliance support organization in your municipality. Check the link below (Japanese only) to find out where you should contact.

https://www.mhlw.go.jp/content/000614516.pdf

You may also need to prepare the documents below (note that necessary documents vary depending on where you live):

  • ID such as a valid passport
  • Documents proving that you have left your workplace / the closure of your business / that there has been a decrease in working hours
  • Documents proving the amount of the applicant’s/family income and savings

Places you can consult

For any questions about this housing benefit, you can consult the call center below. 

Housing benefit call center

  • Phone number: 0120-23-5572 *Calls are free of charge
  • Times of operation: 9AM-9PM (including weekends and holidays)

You can also ask questions via FAX or visit the Q&A page. Check the official website of the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare (link below). Pages are also available in English, Spanish, Portuguese, Korean, Simplified Chinese and Vietnamese.

生活福祉資金の特例貸付・住居確保給付金特設ホームページ
新型コロナウイルス感染の影響により収入が減少し生活に困窮する方に必要な生活費用等の貸付や、住居を失うおそれが生じている方々に一定期間家賃相当額を支給します。

References 

Financial conditions to be met in the 23 wards of Tokyo

*Household income includes unemployment benefits, child support allowances, pensions and other types of financial aid

Single-person Household2-person 3-person4-person5-person6-person
Maximum amount of benefit53,700 yen64,000 yen69,800 yen69,800 yen69,800 yen75,000 yen
Total monthly household income 137,700 yen or less194,000 yenor less 241,800 yen or less283,800 yen or less324,800 yen or less372,000 yen or less
Total household savings 504,000 yenor less 780,000 yen or less1000,000 yen or less1000,000 yen or less1000,000 yen or less1000,000 yen or less
Yokohama-city (https://www.city.yokohama.lg.jp/kurashi/fukushi-kaigo/seikatsu/jiritsu/jukyokakuho.html)

*Household income includes unemployment benefits, child support allowances, pensions and other types of financial aid

Single-person Household 2-person 3-person4-person5-person6-person
Maximum amount of benefit52,000 yen62,000 yen68,000 yen68,000 yen68,000 yen73,000 yen
Total monthly household income 136,000 yen or less192,000 yen or less240,000 yen or less282,000 yen or less323,000 yen or less370,000 yen or less
Total household savings 504,000 yen or less780,000 yen or less1000,000 yen or less1000,000 yen or less1000,000 yenor less 1000,000 yen or less
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