In addition to the inherent difficulties of parenting, parents of children with special needs find themselves confronted with many financial, social and bureaucratic hardships when trying to get the best available support and services for their children. These hardships are simply compounded for immigrants and those who do not speak Hebrew as a first language. The information on this page is primarily relevant for children with sensory, developmental, cognitive or motor disorders and their families.
Know to Ask
Review the various rights, benefits and services highlighted in this checklist to become more knowledgeable about what is available before making an appointment with the Kupat Cholim social worker at your local branch, a social worker from an aid organization, or another guidance professional for information and assistance in accessing support. Download a printable version of this checklist by clicking here. You can print out that checklist and go over it with the support professional. Please note that many items have eligibility conditions related to age, means, insurance membership or other factors.
Discounts, Exemptions and Assistance from the Health Plans
- Child Development Services: Diagnoses and Paramedical Treatments
- Fee Exemptions for Various Services for Child Mobility Benefit Recipients
- Medication Payment Ceiling for the Chronically Ill
- Payment Ceiling for Medical Foods/Nutraceuticals
- Exceptions Committee for Approving Coverage of Medications/Treatments
- Rehabilitative day care
- Community Support Centers (MATIA) for Special Education and Regular Education Integration
- Additional personnel or teacher training for integration into the Regular Education System
- Medical Aide for Children Enrolled in the Regular Education System
- Paramedical Treatments Within the Special Education System
- Accompanied Transportation in the Special Education System
- Matriculation Examination (Bagrut) Accommodations
- Distance Education for Homebound Children
- Education for Hospitalized Children
- Accessibility Modification of Preschools and Classrooms
- Extended School Day Programs from the Ministry of Social Services (Misrad Harevacha)
Financial Assistance and Other Benefits
- Disabled Child Benefit from the National Insurance Institute (Bituach Leumi)
- Child Mobility Benefit
- Assistance Performing Housing Modifications for People with Limited Mobility
- Assistance Funding Hearing Devices and other Rehabilitation Devices (Ministry of Health)
- Disabled Parking Permit and Disabled Parking Space Near the Home
- Discount on Bezeq Telephone Fees for Disabled Child Benefit Recipients
- Water Bill Benefit (High Rate Discount) for Disability Pension Recipients
- Electricity Bill Discount for Disabled Child Benefit Recipients
- Purchase Tax Discount on Residential Property
- Municipal Property Tax (Arnona) Discount
- Income Tax Credit Points for Parents of People with Disabilities
- Income Tax Credit Points for a Child Living Outside the Home
Supportive and Nursing Care
- Special Services Benefit (Attendance Allowance) from the National Insurance Institute
- Employing a Foreign Worker to Care for a Child with Disabilities
Patient Support Organizations
This is not an exclusive list, check out the “Children” section of our organizations directory for more organizations. If you have a need for a service you do not see here, we urge you to make your need known. If it is not already addressed by an existing program, many organizations will use their resources to facilitate your individual needs in any way possible.
- Ezer Mizion 02-500-2111
- ILAN 03-524-8141
- Alyn Hospital 02-649-4222
- Magen Lacholeh (medical system guidance) 02-644-2000
Counseling, Support and Rehabilitation
- All Rights (claiming rights) 03-751-7274
- Kesher 02-623-6116
- Fathers Connect email@example.com
Recreation and Respite
- Yachad Israel 02-560-9104
- Small Heroes (Giborim Ktanim) 03-7516666
- Etgarim 03-561-3585
- Yad Sarah *6444
- Jordan River Village 04-6608999
- Lotem 04-959-1808
- ALUT (autism) 03-571-8188
- Tsad Kadima (CP/motor dysfunctions) 02-654-0062
- Yated (Down’s Syndrome) 02-6721115
- MICHA (hearing impairment) 077-509-5003
- Shema (hearing impairment) 02-642-8359
- ALEH – The Society of Blind and Dyslexic Students in Israel 02-588-2155
- ALEH (severe cognitive and physical disabilities) 02-501-1000
- Kav-Or (distance learning in hospitals) 077-717-1919
- Tlalim (educational support) 02-571-0555
- Variety Israel (financial assistance) 03-644-7220
- AACI’s Klitah Counselors (absorption guidance) 02-566-1181
Where to Turn
Here are your primary avenues for receiving helpful information. Remember to be persistent in seeking clear and comprehensive details about assistance and the means to access it. There are multiple sources for guidance and often you need to pursue more than one.
- Kupat Cholim Social Workers: Every health fund employs a social work staff with hours available to address any of your needs. Speak to your branch secretary about office hours or to arrange an appointment. The Child Development Services branches also offer assistance from social workers.
- Organization Social Workers and Other Assistance Professionals: Many patient support organizations offer guidance to the community they serve through social workers or counselors providing specialized information and assistance.
- School Social Workers and Other Assistance Professionals: Many schools with special needs programs offer guidance to their parents through social workers or counselors providing specialized information and assistance.
What Assistance Can You Expect?
- Information about rights and services that relate specifically to a person’s circumstances, and practical guidance on acquiring them.
- Practical insight, and some hand holding, on navigating the system, whether it be within the healthcare system, in government bureaucracy or the education system.
- Help finding and connecting with organizations dedicated to particular conditions, where there may be even more resources of specific interest to you.
- Help with emotional coping in difficult situations.
A Few Tips:
- Schedule a sit-down meeting with enough time blocked out to discuss what you need.
- Delegate tasks to accomplish your goals. Note the things you need to do (e.g. call this office, obtain these documents, etc.) and the things the social worker is committing to doing (e.g. calling that office, finding out about that service, getting those forms, etc.).
- Schedule the next contact. e.g. The social worker will call you in two days with some follow-up information, or you will meet again in a week to fill out forms together, etc.
- Show your appreciation. Everyone in the healthcare sector chose to go into a profession dedicated to helping others. The social workers especially, did not do it for the glamour.
The information appearing here, along with some more resources, also appears in the Children with Special Needs Portal and the Special Education and Integration into Regular Education Portal we translated as part of our collaboration with the Kol-Zchut organization. Comprehensive information for parents of children with special needs can also be found in the Kesher Organization’s Ksharim Booklet.
Remember that a printable, slightly modified PDF version of this checklist may be found here.
If this checklist helped you or a loved one, please consider supporting AACI’s Shira Pransky Project by visiting: