Number of cases of people fraudulently receiving welfare sets record

Kyodo

The number of Japanese households illicitly receiving welfare rose to a record 41,909 in fiscal 2012, up 6,341 from the previous year, the welfare ministry said Monday.

The amount of welfare paid to such households in the year to March 2013 totaled a record ¥19.05 billion, up ¥1.74 billion, the Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry said.

The record figures reflect expanded investigations into recipients’ income. But the ministry noted there were cases in which income such as wages from part-time work of high school students were not declared properly and malicious intent was hard to prove.

By factors, 46.9 percent of the households did not declare income from their work, 20.8 percent did not report pension income and 10.6 percent underreported their pay, the survey showed.

The number of welfare recipients nationwide stood at 2,164,857 as of the end of November.

Fines for illegal receipt of welfare will be raised from this July.