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


Financial Assistance and Other Benefits


Supportive and Nursing Care

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.

General Services

Counseling, Support and Rehabilitation

Recreation and Respite

Specialized Organizations

More Organizations

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:

6 thoughts on “Children with Special Needs – Rights, Benefits and Services

  1. Do you provide information to those parents with special need young adults making
    Aliyah ?

  2. Hi Zach
    Are you aware if Bet Issie Shapiro in Ra’anana? They might be perfect to add to the project in some fashion. Or at least make aware of it.
    Best wishes!

  3. You seem to have a lot of info for parents with kids with primarily physical disabilities. My daugther has been diagnosed with severeADHD and we struggle to help her with daily needs even when she is on medication. As soon to be new Olim, what Kupat Cholim services can we expect to be able to receive for her and should we have any expectation of assistance from the public school system?

    • Hi B. Firstly, Mazal tov on making aliyah. You should check out our All Rights Index for information on various relevant rights, benefits and services. You may be particularly interested in starting with the Learning Disabilities and ADD/ADHD portal we have translated. If you are having trouble understanding anything that has not yet been translated, please let us know.

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