Your rights at the National Insurance Institute
Your rights at the National Insurance Institute
Your rights at the National Insurance Institute 1 Dear Citizens, The National Insurance Institute (NII) accompanies all Israeli citizens from birth until old age and serves as a social safety net for them. Beyond the services provided to every citizen, the NII serves as the long arm of the government by granting rights to those faced with economic hardships, disability, unemployment and other difficulties. The National Insurance Institute is actually the largest organization in Israel, which demands of me, and of the NII’s management, a continuous and creative process of improving and simplifying its operations, for the benefit of the citizens.
Transparency, accessibility and removing bureaucratic obstacles are our guidelines, all with the objective of providing citizens with quality, available and appropriate responses, as simply as possible.
Among other steps, we are improving the dialogue with target populations, particularly with the disabled population, and are acting to move the Appeals Committees out of the National Insurance Institute and into independent organizations. Such steps aim to improve the operation of Israel’s most important institute and to transform the service it provides to Israeli citizens to the quality and reliable service they deserve. Dear Citizens, The National Insurance Institute (NII) is the leading and most professional social security organization in Israel, and its main function is facilitating benefits to those eligible for them under law.
The NII provides an economic and social safety net for large segments of the population, such as families with children, the elderly, widows and orphans, and those facing personal crises, such as losing a job, becoming disabled, or being injured at work. Overall, NIS 70 billion in benefits are paid out to the public annually. In addition, the National Insurance Institute operates, through its Rehabilitation Department and its five Funds for service development, vocational rehabilitation programs and social services to special-needs populations. We are making significant efforts to promote social legislation to care for the welfare of all citizens and for a dignified life of the weaker classes, while maintaining a continual dialogue with the public, and trying to uphold the value of mutual responsibility, in the spirit of the words of the Prophet Isaiah, “Every one shall help his neighbor and shall say to his brother: Be of good courage” (Isaiah 41:6).
Our main objectives are to help citizens reach full take-up of rights at the National Insurance Institute and to provide quality services, with sensitivity to all those who need them. We are tirelessly working to improve the service provided at the various local branches, and are opening new service centers in the periphery. At the same time, in an effort to bring services closer to the public, we are developing tools which will reduce the need to personally visit the local branches. We have established a national call center, and operate computerized self-service stations. We have also expanded the services offered on the NII website, such as the possibility of paying insurance contributions online.
In this booklet you will find general explanations regarding the conditions of entitlement to benefits from the National Insurance Institute, the obligation to pay national and health insurance contributions, and information on services provided at the local branches and through other service channels. I hope that this information assists you in taking up your rights at the National Insurance Institute, and in receiving speedy and efficient service.
THE NATIONAL INSURANCE INSTITUTE – AT YOUR SERVICE Sincerely, MK Meir Cohen Minister of Welfare and Social Services Sincerely, Prof’ Shlomo Mor-Yosef Director General
2 This booklet provides general information only and should not be deemed to be the full or authorized text of the law. Everything stated in the male gender refers to women as well. Table of contents • Maternity insurance . . 4 • Children insurance . . 6 • Reserve Duty benefit . . 7 • Grant to discharged soldiers performing vital work . . 8 • Unemployment insurance . . 9 • Employees׳ rights following bankruptcy and corporate dissolution .
. 10 • Volunteers׳ rights . . 10 • Benefits for victims of hostilities . . 11 • Work injury insurance . . 12 • Disability insurance . . 14 • Mobility allowance . . 16 • Accident injury insurance . . 18 • Vocational rehabilitation . . 19 • Income support benefit . . 20 • Maintenance payments . . 22 • Benefits for a child orphaned by domestic violence . . 22 • Benefits for Prisoners of Zion and families of Martyrs . . 23 • Benefits for Righteous Gentiles . . 23 • Survivors׳ insurance . . 24 • Old age insurance . . 26 • Long-term care insurance . . 28 • Counseling Service for the Elderly .
. 29 • Appealing a decision of the National Insurance Institute . . 30 • The National Insurance Institute Funds . . 31 • Payment of national and health insurance contributions . . 32 • International social security conventions . . 36 • National Insurance Institute service channels . . 37 • National Insurance Institute local branches . . 40
Your rights at the National Insurance Institute 3 THE NATIONAL INSURANCE INSTITUTE The National Insurance Institute of Israel (NII) is a governmental social security institution that operates under law. Its main function is to ensure a means of subsistence for the residents of Israel who are unable to support themselves. The National Insurance Institute collects insurance contributions from all residents, in accordance with their income and status, and pays benefits to those entitled by law to receive them. The NII is also responsible for collecting health insurance contributions under the State Health Insurance Law and transfers the collected health insurance contributions to the health funds.
The NII pays benefits to the unemployed, to women on maternity leave, to the disabled, to people with limited mobility and those who have sustained work injuries, to accident victims, to people serving in military reserve duty, to families with children, to the elderly, to widows and orphans, to those with low incomes, to employees of bankrupt companies, to volunteers, etc. The benefits are intended to provide economic protection to each resident and family in times of temporary or persistent loss of income. By collecting the insurance contributions on the one hand and paying the benefits on the other, income is transferred from economically established groups to weaker or more vulnerable groups.
In this manner, the National Insurance Institute contributes to a more equitable distribution of national revenues and to decreasing poverty in Israel.
In addition to monetary benefits, the NII provides rehabilitation and vocational training services to the disabled and to widows, and long-term care and advisory services to the elderly. By means of the five Funds that it operates, the National Insurance Institute helps finance projects developing community and institutional services for people with special needs. These funds are utilized to facilitate projects to benefit the disabled, the elderly who require long-term care, disenfranchised youths, children at risk and others. The projects help to integrate these people into the job market and the community.
In order to improve its services, the National Insurance Institute has developed computerized information systems that provide access to up-to-date information, such as an Internet website through which extensive up-to-date information can be obtained, including personal information, self-service terminals, automated voice response and passwords for personal identification. These developments enable receiving service and making payments independently, eliminating need to go personally to the local branch. Deer Citizen, This booklet contains general information on the benefits and services provided by the National Insurance Institute pertaining to each one of us at any given point in life.
We hope that this important information will help you to exercise your National Insurance rights.
Changes are made from time to time in the laws under which the National Insurance Institute pays benefits. Therefore, when enquiring about exercising your rights, please clarify these rights by calling the call center at *6050 or visit the National Insurance Institute website at www.btl.gov.il, which contains extensive and up-to-date information. You can also obtain information at the local NII branch closest to your place of residence.
4 The main purpose of Maternity insurance is to insure the basic conditions for the welfare of both mother and newborn child, and to compensate working mothers for the loss of income due to pregnancy and birth.
Hospitalization grant A payment made by the National Insurance Institute to hospitals for hospitalization expenses of women giving birth. Birth grant Paid to the mother for participation in initial post- birth expenses. The birth grant is paid within a month of the birth into the mother׳s bank account to which the child allowance is paid or, for a first birth, into the bank account listed at the hospital. Who is entitled to a hospitalization grant and a birth grant?
A mother who gave birth in a hospital or was hospitalized immediately after the birth (the birth of a live infant or a birth after 26 weeks of pregnancy), and who is one of the following: • AnIsraeliresidentorthewifeofanIsraeliresident (even if the birth took place outside of Israel); • Asalaried employee or a self-employed woman who is working in Israel (even if she is not an Israeli resident, provided that the birth took place in Israel); • A mother whose spouse has been a salaried employee or self-employed in Israel for at least 6 consecutive months preceding the birth (even if the mother and her spouse are not Israeli residents, provided that the birth took place in Israel).
The claim for a hospitalization grant and birth grant (as well as for child allowance) Is sent to the National Insurance Institute via the hospital where the birth occurred. For this reason the birthing mother must bring her and her partner’s ID cards to the hospital, and provide the hospital with her bank account information (or that of her joint bank account with her partner). Birth grant amounts as of January 2014: For the first child in a family: NIS 1,751 For the second child in a family: NIS 788 For the third and for every additional child in a family: NIS 525 For twins: NIS 8,757 For triplets: NIS 13,136 Abirthing mother who gives birth to more than two children in the same birth is also eligible for a childbirth allowance (details below).
Maternity allowance Paid to a working woman on maternity leave, in a lump-sum payment to her bank account. The maternity allowance is designed to compensate the mother for the loss of her salary or income during the time that she is not working due to the pregnancy and birth.
Who is entitled to a maternity allowance? • Asalaried employee or a self-employed woman who is employed in Israel (even if she is not an Israeli resident); • A salaried employee who is employed outside of Israel − under certain conditions; • A woman at least 18 years of age who is undergoing vocational training or vocational rehabilitation − under certain conditions. Conditionsofentitlementtoamaternityallowance • If insurance contributions were paid for the mother for 10 of the 14 months, or 15 of the 22 months preceding the ״determining date״ (the date on which she stopped working during the pregnancy that ended in the birth) − she is entitled to a maternity allowance for 14 weeks.
• If insurance contributions were paid for her for 6 of the 14 months preceding the ״determining date״ (the date on which she stopped working duringthepregnancythatendedinthebirth)−she is entitled to maternity allowance for 7 weeks. The following months are considered months in which insurance contributions were made, provided that they preceded the ״determining date״: • Monthsinwhichthewomanworkedandreceived a salary from her employer (including sick pay and vacation pay), or months in which she had income from self-employment and she paid insurance contributions from that income.
• Monthsforwhichthewomanreceivedamaternity allowance (for a previous birth) from the National Insurance Institute, or a work injury allowance or unemployment benefit or accident benefit or pregnancy bed rest benefit or benefit for a 100% work disability.
• Months for which the woman received sick pay or pay in lieu of annual leave from a provident fund. • The first two months of unpaid leave (for which her employer is required to make insurance contributions). • Monthsduringwhichthewomanwasundergoing vocational training, provided that she worked for at least 30 consecutive days immediately before the ״determining date״. • Months of service in the IDF − A soldier who terminated her military service and started working − under certain conditions. Work during part of a month is considered a full working month Rates of the maternity allowance 100% of taxable income after deducting income tax, nationa and health insurance contributions, up to the maximum maternity allowance (in January 2014 – NIS 1,459.50 per day for women employed or self-employed).
Extending the maternity leave A birthing mother is eligible to extend or split a maternity leave following a multi-fetal birth (more than one child), or following her or her infant’s hospitalization for a period of at least 15 days. The birthing mother must notify the National Insurance Institute of the extension or split as soon as possible.Additional information is available on the NII website. How do you obtain a maternity allowance? Fill in the claim form for maternity allowance NI/355 anddeliverittoyourlocalNIIbranch.Claimformscan be obtained at any local NII branch or downloaded from the National Insurance Institute website and then mailed or faxed.
Salaried employees can obtain the form from their employer. Maternity insurance