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HOME  > Past issues  > 2012 July 18 - 24  > Many disabled workers denied access to pension plan
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2012 July 18 - 24 [WELFARE]

Many disabled workers denied access to pension plan

July 21, 2012
Because they work, many handicapped persons are denied disability assistance.

Ishii Manabu, 24, living in Saitama’s Hidaka City, is a person with a slight mental disability. He works at a workshop which produces materials to turn garbage into compost. He goes to the factory by bike every day.

“I earn only 25,000 yen a month. I would like to receive disability benefits because I cannot live on my salary alone,” said Ishii. He presently lives with his parents, which enables him to survive.

Ishii applied to the Japan Pension Service for disability benefits in February last year. Two months later, he received a notice which rejected his application without any reason.

Isobe Masahiro, a supporter of the handicapped, said, “There is an increasing number of disabled whose applications for disability assistance are refused because they work, though their disability levels are equivalent to that of unemployed handicapped persons.”

The main source of income of the handicapped is the disability benefit assistance. According to a survey released by the national workshop association, around 87% of a total of 8,660 disabled workers receive the disability assistance benefits. Over 99% of the disabled get by on less than 2 million yen a year. Almost all the handicapped are suffering from poverty.

Shirasawa Hitoshi, secretary general of the National Conference to Support the Life and Right of Disabled Persons criticized the administrative authorities, saying, “They appear to deliberately reject the applications for a disability pension for fear that the aging of the handicapped population and the increasing number of workers suffering from mental disorders will burden the disability assistance scheme.”
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