You are eligible to receive financial support from the Japanese government when you are furloughed

If you have not received financial aid during temporary business closure, you are eligible for financial support from the Japanese government.

Is there anyone who has not received financial aid even though a workplace temporarily closed down due to the COVID-19 pandemic?
If you cannot receive any financial support from your employer because he/she is not able to (e.g. due to downturn caused by COVID-19), you are eligible for “the support fund and allowance for the leave forced to be taken under the COVID-19 outbreak (休業支援金; kyugyo shienkin)”, a financial aid from the Japanese government. This is a benefit. You don’t have to pay it back.
*You may click on this link  to see how the support fund works; please check the website alongside this article
*In this article, we generally call the support fund the “benefit”/”the support fund and allowance” for convenience. 

From July 10th, application for the benefit has started. As of July 10th, application by postal mail is the only option. Online application system will be available soon. However, it hasn’t been in operation yet. If it starts, we will upload this article.

Each application for the benefit has to be made in the same way as the one you chose for the first application. For example, if you made the first application for the benefit by postal mail, you must apply by postal mail from the next time as well.

Who is eligible?

You need to meet both of the conditions below:

  1. You work for *a small or medium-sized company.
  2. You haven’t received any financial aid from your companies.

Though there are other detailed conditions to be met, those who meet the two conditions mentioned above are basically eligible.
Also, it’s different from existing systems regarding financial support during temporary business closure, since this benefit will cover part-timers (including students ) who don’t have employment insurance. 

What are “small or medium-sized companies”?

  • Wholesale business industry: companies with capital funds of 100 million or less yen/with 100 employees or less
  • Service industry: companies with capital fund of 50 million yen or less/with 100 employees or less
  • Retail industry (including food service industry): companies with capital fund of 50 million yen or less/with 50 employees or less
  • Other industries: companies with capital fund of 300 million yen or less/with 300 people or less

Period of benefit

You can receive the benefit if: 

  • You are furloughed due to the COVID-19 pandemic during a certain period ; it must be somewhere between April 1st and September 30th, 2020.
  • You haven’t received any financial aid from your employer during that period. 

A period of benefit is supposed to be calculated by deducting the amount of days below from the period of furlough:

  • Amount of days you worked as scheduled
  • Amount of days you took a day off for personal reasons (e.g. parental leave)

How much you claim

You can receive 80% of what you got paid before temporary business closure. The maximum benefit amount is 330,000 yen/month. 

If you don’t have employment insurance, you can receive 80% of your wage according to that.

If you are hired by several employers and they furlough you, you can receive this benefit. In this case, you must complete application forms which is different from those we explain in the next section .

How to apply

In this article, we introduce how you yourself apply for the benefit by postal mail.

  1. Download “benefit claim form” and “confirmation on requirements for payment of the benefit” from the website and fill in the blanks.
  2. Prepare “a copy of your ID”, “a copy of a document to confirm your bank account” and “a copy of a document stating the amount of your wage before/during temporary business closure”.
  3. Put all the aforementioned documents into an envelope and post it.
  4. Each labour office in prefectures assesses your application and decide whether you can receive the benefit
  5. You can get a result of the assessment. If you pass a screening, the benefit will be wired to your bank account.

Filling out application forms

In order to apply, you need to fill in  “benefit claim form” and “confirmation on requirements for payment of the benefit”. You can download these files from the website operating by Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare*. 
*You need to print these forms in A4 size paper. If there is no internet connection near you, you may go to an Employment Service Center (Hello Work) to get the documents.

In “benefit claim form”, You need to fill in your personal information, information of your employer, duration of leave and so on.

“Confirmation on requirements for payment of the benefit” is a document to confirm whether applicants meet requirements for payment and whether you properly completed a benefit claim form. Some parts of this document needs to be filled in by your employer.

From the next section, we specify what information you actually need to fill in.