“Fast Track” for Submitting a General Disability Pension Claim

Those submitting any type of health-related claim in Israel whether it be to the National Insurance Institute (Bituach Leumi), the kupot cholim, or the Ministry of Health, unfortunately often have to wait a long time for the claim to be processed and approved.

Fortunately, at least with regard to General Disability Pension claims, there is some relief available in the form of a “Fast Track” process for those suffering from serious conditions.

As part of our on-going collaboration with Kol-Zchut, we are proud to have translated and published this easy-to-read, critical and unique resource that was not previously available in English. You can either view the information below or click here to follow an external link. 

 

Related information:

 

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Special Services Benefit (Attendance Allowance)

Information about the Special Services Benefit (Attendance Allowance) in English! 

A Special Services Benefit (Attendance Allowance) is paid to certain adults with medical disability who require significant assistance from another person in performing daily activities, or who need constant supervision to prevent them from posing a risk to their own lives or the lives of others.

Please note: The National Insurance Institute refers to the Special Services Benefit (a direct translation of the Hebrew קצבת שירותים מיוחדים) as an “Attendance Allowance”. 

As part of our on-going collaboration with Kol-Zchut, we are proud to have translated and published this easy-to-read, critical and unique resource of information that was not previously available in English. You can either view the guide below or click here to follow an external link. 

Related information:

 

Not familiar with The Shira Pransky Project?

The Shira Pransky Project was founded to help English speakers in Israel better navigate the Israeli healthcare system and make use of the rights and services that are out there.

 

If this information was helpful to you, please enable us to help others by supporting the project:
Donate Now!

 

 

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Mobility Benefit

Mobility Benefit information in English!

The “Mobility Benefit” is a collective term used for various benefits to which individuals with limited mobility may be entitled, which are aimed at helping them integrate into the community and live more independently. Each benefit has its own eligibility requirements.

Did you know that individuals with limited mobility may be entitled to…


As part of our on-going
collaboration with Kol-Zchut, we are proud to have translated and published a comprehensive portal in English about the Mobility Benefit. For more information including details about the relevant entitlements, related benefits and more, check out:

The Mobility Benefit Portal

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We offer these resources, along with hundreds of pages of other Israeli healthcare-related content for free to Israel’s English-speaking population.

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Not familiar with AACI’s Shira Pransky Project?

AACI’s Shira Pransky Project was founded to help English speakers in Israel better navigate the Israeli healthcare system and make use of the rights and services that are out there.

What we do:

 

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Counseling Service for the Elderly from Bituach Leumi

 Senior Sign

Who? What? Where?

The National Insurance Institute (Bituach Leumi) operates a Counseling Service for the Elderly which is designed to assist the elderly and their families in resolving problems they may be facing.

The service is available to any elderly person in Israel who requires assistance, and is offered in all Bituach Leumi branches throughout the country. Click here for contact information.

The service is provided by retired volunteers who are trained in courses given at universities and colleges to provide counseling, guidance and practical assistance to the elderly.

 

Services

Call Center

The Counseling Service for the Elderly operates a special telephone line for the elderly and their families on aging-related issues. The service, which is provided by specially-trained volunteers, operates Sunday – Thursday from 8:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m (you can leave a message if there is no response) and is available in the following languages:

English – 02-6463404
Hebrew – 02-6463400
Arabic – 02-6463401
Russian – 02-6463402
Amharic – 02-6463403

Counseling for the elderly and their families

The elderly and their families can obtain information, assistance, guidance and support related to claiming rights and services for the elderly from Bituach Leumi and other organizations, offices and service providers.

Regular home visits

Volunteers visit the elderly on a regular basis once a month, for about two hours. The visits are only made with the consent of the elderly person and at his/her request. Through these home visits, the volunteers forge a personal, understanding, accepting and sympathetic relationship which is so important to the elderly, to improve their emotional and economic situation. These regular visits help the elderly, reduce their loneliness and improve their lives in general.

One-time home visits

Seniors who may be at risk or in distress are identified by means of one-time home visits, which are coordinated in advance with the elderly person or his/her family. The target population includes those defined as being at risk due to impaired functioning and dependence on others, advanced age (above the age of 80) or family status (widowed). The information is obtained from the Bituach Leumi database. Those found to be in need of assistance, such as referral to a care facility, some kind of intervention or regular home visits, receive continued care and follow-up.

Support groups

The types of support groups vary from one branch to another, and are established according to the unique needs of the local population, such as the elderly blind, spouses of long-term care patients, the middle generation who are coping with the age-related crises of their elderly parents, etc.

Support groups for widows and widowers

There are support groups for widows and widowers at every branch. The main purpose of these groups is to provide emotional assistance during the crisis and support in preparing to return to their normal lives. The group facilitators are social workers and professionals in the field of elder counseling at the branches. The groups contain up to 15 participants and the meetings continue for about three months, once a week for two hours each time. Participation in the groups serves as a significant anchor for the participants – they share with other group members the process of working through their grief and coping with their personal loss, and they acquire the spiritual strength and personal validation they need to return to a normal life.

 

For more information on Bituach Leumi’s Counseling Service for the Elderly, click here.

For more information on rights related to seniors, check out our All Rights Index (which is searchable and browseable), especially the Old Age and Aging Portal and Senior Health Portal.

 

If this information was helpful to you, please enable us to help others by supporting the project:
 www.shirapranskyproject.org/donate/ 

Long-Term Care Benefit

https://www.flickr.com/photos/papalars/1425443134/

Information about the Long-Term Care Benefit in English! 

A Long-Term Care Benefit is given to people who have reached retirement age, live at home in the community, and need help with daily activities (such as getting dressed, getting bathed, eating, mobility in the home, etc.), as well as elderly people who need supervision in order to prevent them from endangering themselves, or their surroundings (such as people with decreased mental faculties like Alzheimer’s disease patients who are liable to endanger themselves or their surroundings if left home alone).

The benefit is generally provided in the form of services, and is usually not monetary in nature!

As part of our on-going collaboration with Kol-Zchut, we are proud to have translated and published a Rights Guide for the Mentally Ill and Their Families. While a number of the links in the guide still lead to Hebrew content, it is an easy-to-read, critical and unique resource of information that was not previously available in English. You can either view the guide below or click here to follow an external link. 

Related information:

 

Not familiar with AACI’s Shira Pransky Project?

AACI’s Shira Pransky Project was founded to help English speakers in Israel better navigate the Israeli healthcare system and make use of the rights and services that are out there.

 

If this information was helpful to you, please enable us to help others by supporting the project:
Donate Now!

 

 

To your health ! לבריאות

Who is an Israeli resident?

As the entitlement to health services in accordance with the National Health Insurance Law is contingent on being an Israeli resident, it is important that the definition of “Israeli resident” be clear. While it still leaves room for interpretation, the following National Insurance Institute (Bituach Leumi) definition, which is also used by the Ministry of Health, was adapted from the Bituach Leumi’s English website:

Who is an Israeli resident?

A person is considered an “Israeli resident” if the center of his life is in Israel, if he declared his intention to reside in Israel and if he gave this intention a concrete, external expression. One’s “center of life” is examined both objectively – checking the actual place of residence – and subjectively – according to one’s personal view of the place that is the center of one’s life.

A person can continue to be considered an Israeli resident even if he is living abroad, on condition that his stay abroad is a temporary one (for example, for purposes of studies, a trip, a temporary job, etc.) – as long as the center of his life remains in Israel.

The National Insurance Institute (NII) generally continues to regard persons as residents of Israel for the first five years after they go abroad. After five years abroad, persons are requested to prove that their stay abroad is still temporary and that the center of their lives is still in Israel. For this purpose, they must fill out a questionnaire for determining residency of persons living abroad, and attach it to their letter detailing their claims. 

The NII may examine a person’s residency even if five years have not yet elapsed since he went abroad; for example, in cases in which the person himself contacts the NII and requests to prove that the center of his life has moved abroad.

An Israeli resident living abroad must continue to pay national and health insurance contributions to the NII, even during his stay abroad. A delay in payments of health insurance contributions during one’s stay abroad may rule out eligibility for health services for several months. It is therefore important to continue paying one’s insurance contributions.

It’s important to know that:

  • You must have a valid visa/permit to be in Israel in order to be considered a resident.
  • You may still be considered a resident while abroad, though you must continue paying National Insurance and health insurance contributions.

Bituach Leumi’s General Disability Program

Note:This information is intended to aid interactions with qualified social workers and other assistance professionals.

Disability applies to a person whose earning capacity, or household function as a homemaker, is significantly reduced due to disability. Children and individuals above the retirement age are not eligible for general disability, and should refer to the respective programs for their circumstances (such as Child Disability or Old Age Pension).
 
All of the details of Bituach Leumi’s General Disability program are available in English on the Bituach Leumi website. The following is a summary of the major details:

Establishing Disability Percentages

Pension rates and other benefits are based on two percentages:

Degree of medical disability: The applicant is examined by a medical committee at Bituach Leumi, except in certain cases when submitted documentation is sufficient, or a doctor will come to the patient.
Degree of incapacity to earn or to function in the household: A claims officer then establishes a second percentage to reflect the consequences of the specified conditions on the individual’s capacity to earn or function in the household.

Both the established percentage of medical disability and the degree of incapacity can be appealed.

Pension Rates

Partial Pension: starts at a 60% incapacity
Full Pension: starts at 75% incapacity (NIS 2,210 as of 01.01.2011)
Additional Increments: added for dependents

Working

While the pension may be reduced or replaced with an incentive pension, the total amount that a person will receive from the pension and employment will always be higher than the amount of the pension alone. An individual can also continue to receive fringe benefits such as discounts on municipal taxes, public transportation and rent assistance, in accordance with the rules established by the organizations that provide the benefits.

Submitting the Claim

Assistance from a medical social worker, or others familiar with the process, can be very useful in preparing the forms and accompanying documents, which include:

  • The claim form available on the Bituach Leumi website, from a medical social worker, or from Bituach Leumi offices
  • Medical documentation from the Kupat Cholim detailing chronic conditions, treatments and medications
  • Diagnostic summaries (and any other medical support for the claim)
  • Certification of employment and salary, if applicable

Start of Entitlement

Entitlement to a pension begins 90 days after the onset of the medical conditions that are responsible for the disability, regardless of when the claim is submitted, but the pension can only be paid retroactively for up to a year.

Additional Benefits

The other Bituach Leumi programs and benefits from other government institutions are discussed separately; however, the following additional benefits are highlighted specifically along with the disability program:

Vocational Rehabilitation

Individuals with a medical disability of at least 20% are also to vocational rehabilitation, which includes reimbursement of tuition fees and other expenses, even if their percentage of incapacity does not qualify them for a pension. Also available are accessibility services for those with severe disabilities that limit access to studies and to work, and job placement services that specialize in placing people with disabilities.

Disability Certificate

All recipients of a disability pension receive a disability certificate by mail that enables one to receive discounts from various bodies, such as entrance fees to private and public institutions, as determined by the bodies that grant them.

Grant Following Decease

The spouse or child of a deceased recipient of disability pension is entitled to a one-time grant (NIS 8,260 as of 01.01.2011) upon submitting a claim within 12 months. The survivors may also claim up to six months of uncollected pension retroactively.

Mobility Benefits

Note: This information is intended to aid interactions with qualified social workers and other assistance professionals.

The mobility benefits program provides various forms of assistance to people with impairments that limit their mobility, with the aim of helping them to integrate into the community and develop an independent life. These benefits include eligibility for a monthly allowance as well as various loans for vehicles and vehicle accessories. Each benefit in this program has its own conditions of entitlement.

All of the details of Bituach Leumi’s Mobility program are available in English on the Bituach Leumi website. The following is a summary of the major details:

Mobility Allowance

A monthly allowance is paid to those with limited mobility to assist with mobility expenses whether or not they are vehicle owners.

Vehicle owners’ allowance rates are established based on multiple factors, including:

  • Personal Variables such as the beneficiary’s percentage of mobility limitation, if the beneficiary is the driver, an earner and/or a long distance (40 km round trip) commuter.
  • Vehicle Variables such as engine size, insurance prices, gasoline prices, maintenance costs, the value and nature of special accessories installed or vehicle design.

A person without a vehicle is entitled to an allowance in an amount equal to that paid to a person with a valid driver’s license, who earns a salary, owns a vehicle with an engine volume of 1,800 cc, and for whom a 100% mobility limitation has been established.

For example: The mobility allowance paid to a person for whom a 100% mobility limitation has been established with a valid driver’s license, earning a salary, owning a vehicle with an engine volume of 1,800 cc was NIS 2,049 in July 2008.

Vehicle Loans

The following loans may be available to beneficiaries:

  • Loan for the taxes due on the purchase of a vehicle
  • Loan for a percentage of the cost of a new vehicle before taxes
  • Loans for vehicle accessories such as wheelchair lifts and other aids

Loan repayment is postponed for as long as the vehicle is in use by the beneficiary under continuing eligibility conditions, the amount due is reduced over this time, and in some cases the loan ultimately becomes a full grant. If a person remains eligible for mobility benefits he may also be able to receive loans multiple times to replace vehicles and/or accessories.

Establishing Entitlement & Submitting the Claim

The process of entitlement to the mobility benefit involves the Misrad Habriut along with Bituach Leumi. A person must first submit the Application for Medical Examination to Establish Mobility Limitations to the district health office (Misrad Habriut) where a medical committee will established the percentage of limited mobility according to a list of defined impairments, usually after a direct examination of the claimant.

After the percentage of mobility limitation is established,  the Claim for Benefits Under the Mobility Agreement must be submitted to Bituach Leumi.

Both of these forms list the necessary accompanying documents, which include medical documentation, driver and vehicle licenses, and other materials depending on each case. Assistance from a kupah or hospital social worker, or others familiar with the process, can be very useful in preparing the forms and accompanying documents.

Start of Entitlement

The beneficiary is eligible for the mobility allowance from the date the percentage of disability is determined by the Misrad Habriut medical committee. If the claim to Bituach Leumi is submitted later, the allowance is only paid for up to two months retroactively.

Limitations

A person after retirement age can not receive a mobility benefit unless they began receiving it beforehand.

Eligibility for multiple special pensions from Bituach Leumi, such as the Attendance Allowance or Child Disability, can sometimes conflict. In other cases double benefits are acceptable, usually when the circumstances are more severe.

Additional Details

Learning to Drive a Vehicle with Special Accessories

A person with limited mobility who must drive a vehicle for special accessories while sitting in a wheelchair, can learn to drive in a Bituach Leumi vehicle equipped with accessories to assist those learning to drive or learning to use the special accessories that will be installed in their vehicles.

Bituach Leumi’s Attendance Allowance

Note:This information is intended to aid interactions with qualified social workers and other assistance professionals.

An attendance allowance is given to those who require a great deal of assistance by another person for routine activities (i.e. dressing, eating, washing, mobility within the home and control of bodily functions), or who require constant supervision to prevent a danger to their lives or to the lives of others.

Individuals above the retirement age are not eligible for this program unless a Bituah Leumi doctor determines that the insured was entitled beforehand, and the claim was submitted within 6 months of reaching retirement age. Children are also not eligible. For each of these groups, refer to the respective programs for relevant circumstances (Child Disability or Old Age Pension).

All of the details of Bituach Leumi’s Attendance Allowance for the disabled are available in English on the Bituach Leumi website. The following is a summary of the major details:

 

Establishing Entitlement

 

The claimant is examined by a doctor on behalf of Bituach Leumi and afterwards, in certain circumstances, he is examined in his home by a professional who assesses his dependence. The level of required assistance is assessed to determine the corresponding allowance rate.

Note: Even those who not receive a disability pension (for example: if their income is higher than the threshold) are eligible for the attendance allowance if their established medical disability is at least 75%.

 

Rates

 

The attendance allowance is distributed at three different rates that are described as percentages relative to the amount of a full general disability pension, but are not connected to the actual disability pension amount that one already receives. The rates are based on the level of assistance required for some or all of the the essential daily routine activities: dressing, eating, washing, mobility within the home and control of bodily functions.

Low

50% of a full disability pension, plus an additional increment of NIS 289 (as of 01.01.2011), for those requiring assistance in most routine activities, most of the time.

Medium

105% of a full disability pension, plus an additional increment of NIS 589 (as of 01.01.2011), for those requiring assistance in all routine activities, most of the time.

High

175% of a full disability pension, plus an additional increment of NIS 878 (as of 01.01.2011), for those requiring assistance in all routine activities, all of the time.

 

Re-examination

 

A claimant whose condition has worsened is entitled to a re-examination if 6 months have elapsed since assessment, or earlier, based on submitted medical documentation of the circumstances.

 

Start of Entitlement

 

Entitlement to an allowance can begin 90 days from the commencement of incapacity. If the claim is submitted later, entitlement can begin immediately, or a Bituach Leumi doctor may establish a retroactive benefit for up to 6 months prior.

 

Submitting the Claim

 

The claim form for the Attendance Allowance is available on the Bituach Leumi website, from a social worker, or from Bituach Leumi offices, and must be submitted to the local branch. Assistance from a kupat cholim or hospital social worker, or others familiar with the process, is very useful in preparing the form.