I’m physically disabled and want to live in Japan someday

  • I’m physically disabled and want to live in Japan someday

    Posted by lov_99 on August 17, 2022 at 1:30 pm

    Hi I have a question regarding living in Japan in the future. I’m physically disabled and use a power wheelchair to get around also I’m 32 years old. I have a physical condition called Artrogryposis or AMC Artrogryposis Multiplex Congentia. Is it possible for me to work in Japan to able to live alone in my own apartment/home with caregivers coming over to take care of me without having family members living with me? and I know I have to have a work visa. I would love to live either Fukuoka or hiroshima. How is the care system in Japan right now?.

    Thank you!

    Josh Grisdale replied 1 year, 9 months ago 4 Members · 8 Replies
  • 8 Replies
  • Josh Grisdale

    August 17, 2022 at 3:37 pm

    You certainly can! I did it 15 years ago, but @zeng has much more recent experience.

    I’d say that getting a work visa may be the hardest part. I often suggest people try coming and meeting companies in person if possible (rather difficult now). Also, changing visa types is much easier than getting your initial visa, so coming to study at a Japanese language school on a student visa and looking for a job while here, companies are much more willing to sponsor you since you have proved you can live here and it is less paperwork.

    Once you have a visa to live here (student, work, spouse etc), you have the same rights as any other resident to get carers. This is done at the local level (city where you live). However, the whole process takes quite a bit of time, so you will likely need someone to come and stay with you until you are in the system.

    Hope this helps. Again, Jiahui has a much more recent experience.

  • lov_99

    August 17, 2022 at 11:46 pm

    Hi thank you so much for information you’re providing!. Do you know how long it takes to be part of a system so I can able to have disability benefits in Japan?. And is there a age limit to enter a Japanese language school?.

    Thanks again!

    • Josh Grisdale

      August 18, 2022 at 12:01 pm

      15 years ago it took me about 4-5 months I think. It will also depend on where you live. The bottle-necks are:

      • Finding a place to live – you register through the city you live in, so you need to be an official resident of the city with an address first
      • Registration process – the paperwork likely doesn’t take too long and can be done almost right after you register with the city. The biggest bottle-neck is that you must be seen by a doctor on their list of doctors to be evaluated for your disability level, which then get sent back to the city so they can finish registration
      • Actually getting carers – once you are registered you can start to use companies that provide carers, but many (most, all?) are short staffed so you will need to find a few companies to help and filling the gaps in your schedule and training staff (all in Japanese) takes time

      As for school age limits, you would need to ask directly. I would assume they don’t have age limits as they offer education to people who have been transferred here for work as well.

  • lov_99

    August 18, 2022 at 8:13 pm

    Great information! Thank you so much 🙂

  • Jiahui

    August 19, 2022 at 6:13 pm

    Hi, I am Zeng mentioned by Josh. Nice to see you!

    I was admitted by the University in March of last year. Right after that, I contacted the staff in my graduate school about life in Tokyo. I would say that the preparation process would take a lot of time.

    For me, the university helped me find a manager, and she knows how to connect with caregiver companies and the care system of government. So she really helped me a lot, I would say that without her help, it would be much more difficult for me to finish all the procedures.

    I arrived in Tokyo this May, and it took me 2 months to apply for care service support from the government. I think it is the fastest pace. Because we have prepared all the documents and have talked with the government staff before I arrived here. Also, because the manager helped me contact caregiver companies, I don’t need to find them after arriving here. So, as Josh have said, generally speaking, it takes 4 or 5 months for you to really settle down.

    So I would say, it would be nice if you come here first as a student, so you can get help from your school. And also, if you can find a manager who helps you to finish these processes, and prepare as much as possible before you really arrive here, it will be much easier.

    Anyway, good luck and plz feel free to ask more : )

  • lov_99

    August 20, 2022 at 2:10 am

    Hello Zeng! thank you so much for sharing me your experiences and providing information!. 🙂

  • Mr.Marsh

    September 12, 2022 at 3:19 pm

    I’m physically disabled and moved to Japan last year. All the information I found on getting disability status in Japan states one must have been disabled while living in Japan & have paid into the social welfare program for YEARS. I was hoping for a form of disability acknowledgement for the purpose of taxes and discounted transportation but there doesn’t appear to be anything for foreign residents. Suggestions?

    • Josh Grisdale

      September 12, 2022 at 3:36 pm


      If you have a disability you can apply for a “shogaisha techo” (障害者手帳). You get it from the welfare department of your city hall. With that you should get transportation discounts.

      Getting tax breaks is likely based on your previous years income, so if you have only been here a year they may not have the data yet to to verify… but this isn’t really a tax forum… if you go to the tax office (different than the city office!) they can explain what you would need for exemptions.

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