• WelfareGuide to Public Assistance

Please be certain to read this guide, which explains important information related to Public Assistance in easy to understand language. We also recommend that you store it in a safe place so that you can refer to it any time.

What is Public Assistance?

The Japanese government provides necessary assistance to those who are struggling in their daily lives. The goal of this support is to ensure that recipients are able to support themselves again as soon as possible. All citizens have the right to receive assistance, and as such, all are eligible to receive support when necessary.
There are 8 kinds of Public Assistance, including 1)daily life support, 2)housing support, 3)education support, 4)occupational support, 5)childbirth support, 6)funeral support, 7)medical care support, 8)nursing care support. Necessary support is paid depending on the individual’s lifestyle situation and household income.

Required Procedures

To apply for Public Assistance, please take the necessary procedures including discussing your difficulties with staff and submitting the necessary related documents. After a case worker has performed the necessary examinations, you will be notified of the Welfare Office’s decision of whether you are eligible to receive assistance via an official letter.
In the event that 30 days have passed since your application and you have yet to receive contact or a notice from the Welfare Office, please contact the office to confirm the current state of your application.

Consult the Welfare Office

A case worker is employed at the Welfare Office to listen and help you solve problems, including those related to your household’s situation. Your case worker will periodically visit your house to observe your situation and answer any questions you may have. If you have any troubles, please do not hesitate to speak with your case worker. As a general rule, case workers are unable to respond to events after the fact, so make a point of consulting with and reporting to your case worker ahead of time.

Considerations when you are receiving support

You have the following rights while you are receiving assistance

  • Your assistance will not be discontinued, nor will your allowance be reduced without a valid reason.
  • Money and goods that you receive as assistance allowance will not be subject to seizure, nor will your right to receive assistance.
  • Tax will not be charged for money and goods that you receive as assistance allowance.

About the Public Assistance Allowance

Under the Public Assistance System, monthly allowances are paid in order to cover costs of clothing and furnishings, the purchase of household items, transportation expenses, and other costs considered to be necessary for daily life.
However, in circumstances like when entering school, searching for a job, moving, or other situations where extra expenses are required, as well as when you become ill or are required to regularly visit a hospital due to a bodily condition and additional travel expenses become necessary, it may be possible to receive an additional allowance to cover the minimum amount of those expenses. However, certain conditions must be met, and there are limits to the amount that can be paid.
If you are experiencing any of the above issues, please be sure to consult your Welfare Office.

※As a general rule, Public Assistance can only be received when applied for beforehand. For this reason, be sure to consult your Welfare Office beforehand. Receipts and other documents will be required in order to receive payments.

When You Become Ill

  • You can receive treatment at a designated hospital or doctor’s office. Please take a “medical treatment coupon” from the Welfare Office first (bring your “inkan” personal seal).
  • When you are suddenly ill at night or on holidays, you can show your “Allowance Payment Notice (Evening/Holiday Emergency Medical Treatment Certificate)” to the hospital or doctor’s office to receive treatment. After receiving treatment, notify your welfare office as soon as possible.
  • Notify the Welfare Office when you recover, or when you stop receiving treatment.
  • Notify the Welfare Office when you become eligible/ineligible for health insurance (excluding National Health Insurance). You cannot use your National Health Insurance Card while you are receiving assistance.
  • If your Public Assistance is suspended or revoked, you must immediately return your “Allowance Payment Notice (Evening/Holiday Emergency Medical Treatment Certificate)” to the Welfare Office. Unauthorized usage will result in penalties.
  • When confirmation is necessary for the illness condition of a person receiving assistance, the Welfare Office will consult the opinion of the doctor or other staff of the medical facility where the recipient is being treated.

When you have an issue with a decision that has been made

Please ask the Welfare Office for explanation when there is something that you do not understand or have doubts about concerning decisions related to assistance. In the event that you are unsatisfied, you may request an examination from the Governor of Hyogo Prefecture within 60 days of the day when you learned of the decision. You may also request a similar examination if 30 days have passed since your application with no notification of a decision. However, foreign nationals are not eligible to receive an examination about the contents of decisions.

Other support

While you are receiving Public Assistance, you may be eligible for the following support. Please consult with your case worker.

  • National pension plan payments: Exempt (Except for voluntary policyholders)
  • NHK broadcast reception fee Exempt
  • Citizen/prefectural taxes Exempt
  • Fixed asset taxes Households receiving aid are exempt
  • Mutual aid for the support of a disabled individual: Installments exempted for first individual

Things that you have to do

Please do the following things before you receive Public Assistance and afterward as well:

  • Those who are able to work must search for employment and work according to their ability.
  • If you have any assets (land, houses, automobiles, life insurance, etc.) which are not specifically required for your everyday life, you must get rid of them.
  • If you are able to receive economic support from your parents, children, or siblings, you must receive it.
  • If you are eligible to receive pension, allowance, or insurance payments, you must take procedures to receive all of them.
  • Those who are ill must follow the guidance and instructions of their case worker or doctor, making every effort to receive treatment in order to become healthy again as soon as possible.
  • Make plans to reduce your cost of living so that you can maintain/improve your lifestyle.

Notifications you must provide

Under the Public Assistance Act, you are required to give notice immediately when there is a change in your household’s income or living circumstances. If you fail to give proper notification, submit false applications or notifications, or unjustly receive assistance, you can be required to return the assistance allowance and may receive penalties. For this reason, it is essential to give notification immediately if any of the following situations occur:

  • There is a change in the number of family members (birth, death, move in, move out)
  • There is a change in where you live or in the amount of rent you pay
  • When you become able to work, or when you change jobs or quit
  • When you gain or lose income including salary, pension, benefits, or allowances; or when you have provisional income like insurance payments or compensation (also includes high school students’ part time income and borrowed money, etc.)
  • When the amount of money you receive from salary, pension, benefits, or allowances increases or decreases
  • When you are hospitalized or released for illness, injury, childbirth, etc.
  • When you have an estimate of when you will be able to be self-supporting
  • When traveling abroad
  • When you are (or become) a member of an organized crime group.

    ※Members of organized crime groups are not eligible to receive assistance

Examinations by the Welfare Office

The following examinations will be undertaken by the Welfare Office with the relevant organizations in order to make decisions or implement assistance.

  • Confirm assets owned (financial institutions, life insurance companies, municipal fixed asset divisions, Legal Affairs Bureau, land transport offices, etc.)
  • Confirm income (municipal tax department, employer, etc.)
  • Confirm job-seeking activities (public employment service, interviewing office, etc.)
  • Organized crime membership check (Police Department)

    ※Members of organized crime groups cannot receive assistance.

Follow all guidance and instructions

Your Welfare Office provides necessary guidance and instructions in order to help you maintain and improve your lifestyle and achieve other assistance goals. Please be aware that you may become unable to receive Public Assistance if you do not follow these instructions.

Available Public Health and Public Assistance Departments/Divisions(Welfare Office)

Welfare Office Address TEL
Higashi-Nada Ward Public Health and Welfare Department 5-2-1, Sumiyoshi Higashimachi,Higashinada-ku 078-841-4131
Nada Ward Public Health and Welfare Department 4-2-1, Sakuraguchi-cho, Nada-ku 078-843-7001
Chuo Ward Public Health and Welfare Department 5-1-1, Kumoi-Doori, Chuo-ku 078-232-4411
Hyogo Ward Public Health and Welfare Department 1-21-1, Arata-cho, Hyogo-ku 078-511-2111
Kita Ward Public and Welfare Department 1-25-1, Suzurandai, Nishi-machi, Kita-ku 078-593-1111
Kita Ward Health and Welfare Department

Hokushin Chuo Ward Building 2nd Floor 1-2-1, Fujiwara-dai, Naka-machi, Kita-ku

Nagata Ward Public Health and Welfare Department 3-4-3, Kita-machi, Nagata-ku 078-579-2311
Suma Ward Public Health and Welfare Department 4-1-1, Daikoku-cho, Suma-ku 078-731-4341
Suma Kita Suma Branch Office Public Health and Welfare Division 2-2-5, Naka-Ochiai, Suma-ku 078-793-1313
Tarumi Ward Public Health and Welfare Department 1-5-1, Hyuga, Tarumi-ku 078-708-5151
Nishi Ward Public Health and Welfare Department 180-3, Tamatsu-cho, Koyama Asakawabata, Nishi-ku 078-929-0001

The translation is based on the data available as of July, 2013. Please note that new systems, system changes etc. may have been introduced after this date. Responsibility for the linked websites lies with their creators. Kobe City accepts no responsibility for their content etc.