Tokyo Electric Power Co. said Thursday it has created a simplified application form for people seeking compensation related to the Fukushima nuclear accident, after victims criticized the original 60-page forms as too long and complicated.
So far, Tepco has sent compensation forms to around 60,000 households, but has only received about 20,000 applications. The utility has to date agreed to pay ¥2 billion worth of compensation to settle some 1,000 cases.
“One of the reasons behind the slow pace of the application process was the long and complicated nature of the documents. So I hope the revised form will help speed up the process,” Tepco Managing Director Naomi Hirose told a news conference.
Under the simplified application form, which is still 34 pages long, the total number of sections an applicant could have to fill out has been reduced to 1,005 from the original 2,115, Hirose said.
Tepco also officially announced it will revise its compensation regulations to take into account victims’ emotional distress, and will provide each resident who had to evacuate their home near the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant with ¥100,000 per month after Sept. 1.
The ¥100,000 payment is expected to last through Feb. 29, and people who were evacuated to temporary housing, hotels and other places are entitled to receive it.
Under the original plan, the monthly compensation would have been halved to ¥50,000 starting Sept. 1, based on the assumption that the living conditions of many evacuees would have improved six months after the nuclear crisis started in March.
“We have decided to implement revisions, thinking that the burden of living as an evacuee is especially heavy during the first year of the nuclear accident,” Tepco said in a statement.
Evacuees who have experienced harsher living conditions, for example by staying at evacuation centers, have been paid ¥120,000 per month, and the payments will also be maintained through Feb. 29, Tepco said.