Rehabilitation in the Community

The Rehabilitation of the Mentally Disabled in the Community Law refers to the rehabilitation and integration of the mentally ill in the community in order to facilitate the greatest possible level of functional independence and quality of life.

The law defines “rehabilitation” as a process aimed at developing the abilities and skills of the mentally disabled in a community framework accompanied by medical oversight. It includes rights for the mentally disabled in housing, employment, education and professional training, as well as training in the development of social skills and use of leisure time.

The Regional Rehabilitation Board

A mentally disabled individual who is at least 18 years old and suffers from a medical disability as the result of a mental disturbance, may request that the regional rehabilitation board determine his/her eligibility for a rehabilitation program. The request must be accompanied by the professional opinion of a psychiatrist that the individual requires rehabilitative services as a result of this disability.

Every regional rehabilitation board is composed of 3 members. In order to fulfill its duties, and subject to the legal requirements regarding relinquishing medical confidentiality, the board may refer a mentally disabled individual for a psychiatric functionality examination; study the individual’s medical file; hear and receive expert opinions in different fields; listen to the mentally disabled individual, his/her family or other interested parties; as well as demand required information from the mentally disabled individual or his/her representative, as determined. Additionally, subject to the law, the board may at any time demand information from anyone regarding the extent of the disabled individual’s integration in the rehabilitation program.

For those who are eligible, the board determines a detailed rehabilitation program based on the 7 fields of rehabilitation detailed in the law: employment, housing, education completion, society and leisure, family members, dental treatment, coordination of treatment.

An appeal of the regional rehabilitation board decision may be submitted to the district rehabilitation board within 45 days of the decision being declared. The district board must deliberate regarding the appeal within 60 days of the appeal submission, and it has the authority to approve the regional rehabilitation board decision, cancel it or change it.

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*This article has been translated and adapted from The Society For Patients Rights in Israel.
**This information is intended to promote general awareness. Make sure to consult an assistance professional to confirm details independently.