I had an accident while working. What kinds of compensation does the Workers’ Accident Compensation Insurance cover?
A) The Workers’ Accident Compensation Insurance covers all workers, regardless of nationality, to provide benefits to workers suffering from on-the-job illness or injury. Employers have a legal responsibility to join the program as long as they employ at least one worker. Even though your employer failed to pay the premium, you are still eligible to receive benefits because under this system, premium payment by an employer and benefits payout to an injured worker are considered to be separate issues. Employers must pay all the outstanding premiums for the insurance.
Benefits from Worker’s Accident Compensation Insurance include:
Medical Compensation Benefit provides cost for medical treatment including examination, medication and operation; medical care at home; hospitalization and transportationl.
Lost Wage Benefit compensates about 80% of the employee’s wages from the fourth day onward during the period they are unable to work due to injury. The compensation for wage loss is provided to an employee on leave without pay.
Illness or Injury Compensation Pension is for a worker who has not recovered within one and a half years of treatment after the injury or illness sustained during the course of employment. The pension is paid out in place of Lost Wage Benefit and only when the level of the disability falls within the classification determined by the law.
Disability Pension Benefit is provided when disability remains after treatment in accordance with the degree of handicap an injured worker sustains. About 140 kinds of disabilities are classified into 14 levels with level one being the severest. Benefits are provided as a lump-sum or a pension depending on the level of disability to compensate for livelihood.
Bereaved Family Compensation Benefit is provided to surviving family members who were financially supported by the deceased worker.
Nursing Care Compensation Benefit is provided monthly to recipients of Disability Pension Benefit and Illness or Injury Compensation Benefit, who need nursing care and meet certain requirements.
Funeral Expenses Benefit partially covers the cost to hold a funeral for the deceased worker.
Secondary Screening Examination Compensation Benefit covers the cost paid for detailed medical examination if the latest regular checkups found risk of developing diseases designated by law.
As for the amount of compensation and lost wages to be paid to foreign workers for their disabilities, Japanese court rulings are divided into two principles – one supporting the rationale that losses should be estimated based on the Japanese income standards and the other supporting the idea that they should be calculated based on the expected income in their own country.
Aside from the recourse of seeking benefits from Workers’ Accident Compensation Insurance, you can also file a civil law suit demanding compensation from your employer who is obliged by law to ensure the provision of a safe working environment to their workers.