All of us, at one point in our lives, experience injury at work. But not all of us know that many of these work related injuries can be compensated. Workers’ Accident Compensation Insurance（労働者災害補償保険法）Article 2 states the purpose of the law as “compensating employees incurring personal injury, disease, disability, or death by accident arising out of and in the course of employment as well in the course of commuting to work.”（「業務上の事由または通勤による労働者の負傷・疾病・障害・死亡等にたいして…保険給付を行」う）
Under this law, you’re eligible for compensation if you sprain your ankle while moving boxes at work or fall off a ladder and need stitching. You’re also eligible if you slip and fall off the stairs at a train station while commuting to work. Now don’t think “cash” just because you see the word “compensation” because the compensation is generally in the form of free medical treatments（現物給付）at designated hospitals（指定病院）. But if you’re not paying money out of your pocket for services you’d normally be required to pay for, it’s compensation for sure (and the value of the service is tax-free). So if you’re injured at work, take advantage of the system. It’s there for you.
In order to receive free medical treatment at a designated hospital, you need to submit a claims form（療養補償給付（療養給付）たる療養の給付請求書）to the hospital. This form is generally filled out by your company’s HR or by a Certified Social Insurance and Labor Consultant your company hired to perform periodic services. You may also want to know that at times, the compensation you receive through this system may not be enough to cover all your medical costs. This can occur if the initial injury you sustained at work triggers complications that the designated hospitals consider not to have direct connection with the initial injury and because there are limits as to what type of treatments qualify under the system. If have reasonable expectations that you’re more likely than not to be in this unfortunate category, you may want to protect yourself through additional private insurance
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.