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HOME  > Past issues  > 2018 July 25 - 31  > Gov’t urged to properly inform caseworkers that the cost to buy A/C can be covered by livelihood protection program
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2018 July 25 - 31 [SOCIAL ISSUES]

Gov’t urged to properly inform caseworkers that the cost to buy A/C can be covered by livelihood protection program

July 27, 2018

A group of people on welfare and their supporters on July 26 urged the Welfare Ministry to properly inform caseworkers through local governments of the fact that costs to purchase air conditioners can be covered by the livelihood protection program under certain conditions.

With this summer’s extreme heat, the Welfare Ministry recently issued a notification that the ministry decided to review the rules on the social welfare program so that welfare benefit recipients can receive additional benefits for buying and installing air conditioners.

At a press conference held after the petitioning, Lawyer Kokubo Tetsuro, secretary general of the national conference working to improve the public assistance program, said that the ministry has yet to sufficiently notify local governments and that as a result, even municipal workers doing casework do not know the change in the rules.

One of the petitioners, who is on welfare, said that he has lived in a house without an air conditioner for a decade and that during this time of the year, his child suffers from convulsions due to heat. He said that he was told by a caseworker that he will need to purchase an air conditioner on his own if he needs one. Another petitioner said that his caseworker did not know of the ministry’s notification.

Lawyer Bito Hiroki, representative director of the conference, said that air conditioners consume a large amount of electricity and that higher electricity fees can be a heavy financial burden for welfare recipients. He stressed that the Welfare Ministry should introduce a system to provide additional benefits in the livelihood protection program in order to help recipients pay the high electricity bills during summer.

Past related articles:
> Anti-poverty groups take to streets to oppose Abe’s plan to slash livelihood protection benefits [January 29, 2018]
> Gov’t plan to cut welfare payments will threaten recipients’ right to live [January 10, 2018]

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