Well it’s not a Million Dollar Baby but your baby’s worth 350,000 yen, or more, in Japan. No, you don’t have to put your baby on Yahoo! Auction or on eBay. All you need to do is fill out an “Application Form for Midwifery Expenses / Dependents’ Midwifery Expenses Maternity Allowance (出産育児一時金／家族出産育児一時金請求書)” (provided by your local Social Insurance Office or you can download it from the Social Insurance Agency’s website at http://www.sia.go.jp/topics/2006/n0925_2.pdf) and submit it to your local Social Insurance Office (社会保険事務所). You also need to attach a copy of your baby’s birth certificate.
You’re eligible to claim your benefit until 2 years past your baby’s birthday so don’t freak out if you didn’t know about the system or if you’ve simply forgotten. The amount used to be 300,000 yen, but to combat the aging society and encourage more young couples to have babies the government has increased the amount by 50,000 yen to 350,000 effective October 2006.
The form, if you look at it, can be intimidating. If you need assistance filling it out you can ask you HR department (for free but slow) or a Certified Social Insurance and Labor Consultant for assistance (社会保険労務士) (for fee but fast, and a continuing relationship will be very beneficial). It may take up to 2 months for the cash to be deposited into your bank account.
Thinking about working in Japan? Preparing to move overseas almost becomes a full-time job in the final weeks of your departure. Many people quit their jobs weeks before so they can devote their time to preparation. But what about your health insurance? Short-term health insurance plans are a great solution. ↓
Below are links to Certified Social Insurance and Labor Consultants providing services in English. Also below are useful links related to working in Japan and links to women balancing career and personal happiness. WJA realizes and promotes women's increasing value in the labor market.