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Citizen wins her battle with Naha City Office

Date Posted: 2010-02-18

A 70-year-old Naha City woman who was stripped of her livelihood protection money by Naha City has won a court battle to get the money back.

The woman, who worked at a cleaning company before being injured in a 1996 accident, began receiving the livelihood payments that same year. In 2008, Naha City decided to cut the payments because the woman had taken out a loan. The woman took the loan with using her pension money as the guarantee. The Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare said the city could reject the livelihood protection money if the woman took a loan while getting pension money and livelihood protection money. At the same time, though, it said if the person involved had an emergency situation, she could apply for the livelihood money.

The Naha City Office contended “this lady has children, and they are helping her, plus her friends are supporting her too. She should pay her rent by livelihood or pension money, but she didn’t. She had to take a loan to pay for rent, and we don’t think it was an emergency.” The woman challenged the ruling, saying “I am sick and I needed to pay the hospital but there was not enough money to pay using only the pension money, so I had to take out a loan.”

The Naha District Court agreed with the woman, telling the Naha City Office to “start paying livelihood money to her again, because she can’t work anymore and she is sick, and the Naha City Office has to protect her life.” The decision is temporary, but the Naha City Office has already begun paying the woman ¥70,000 per month, plus her hospital fees and other expenses. It is, however, continuing to argue with the court in the case.

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