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HOME  > Past issues  > 2018 March 14 - 20  > Court recognizes Okayama city decision ending disability welfare services for man as illegal
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2018 March 14 - 20 [SOCIAL ISSUES]

Court recognizes Okayama city decision ending disability welfare services for man as illegal

March 15, 2018
The Okayama District Court on March 14 ruled that the Okayama City government’s decision to stop providing disability welfare services for an elderly disabled man just because he turned 65 is illegal and that the city should resume the provision of support.

The man, Asada Tatsuo, 70, lives in Okayama City and has cerebral palsy. He had received support from the city without charge under the public assistance program for the disabled. In 2013, he was told by the city that after his 65th birthday he will become eligible for the nursing care insurance program just like other residents aged 65 and over and that Asada will have to use the nursing-care program instead of the disability assistance program.

In response, Asada requested that he wants to continue to use the disability welfare program because he will have difficulties in paying fees for services under the nursing-care program. He also said that the nursing-care insurance program has a smaller variety of services compared to the disability welfare program. However, the city rejected his request stating that the law on public assistance for the disabled stipulates that elderly disabled persons who are covered by the nursing-care insurance program should choose the nursing-care insurance program rather than the disability welfare program. As a result, the city discontinued disability welfare services to Asada after he turned 65.

Asada in September 2013 filed a lawsuit against the city with the Okayama District Court, claiming that the city’s discontinuation decision is illegal and should be retracted.

The court ruling acknowledges that the city’s decision to end the disability program for Asada is illegal because it is based on a wrong interpretation and application of the law regarding disability support. The ruling also states that the city should provide Asada with the disability welfare services as it had done before.

At a rally held after the ruling, Asada said with a smile, “The ruling recognizes a need for better protection of disabled persons’ equality rights and right to live.”

Asada’s lawyer welcomed the ruling by saying that the court went so far as to order the city to provide Asada with the same services that he had previously received. He said that this ruling will set the precedent for similar ongoing court battles.

Past related articles:
> Elderly disabled man in court demands equal public support regardless of age [November 28, 2013]
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