Report: One Out of Five Families Receiving Social Assistance

YERUSHALAYIM -
A Yerushalayim chessed organization prepares chicken for distribution before Yom Kippur. (Hadas Parush/Flash90)

One out of five Israeli families required services of the Welfare and Labor Ministry in 2016. A total of 20.5 percent of Israeli families needed to draw upon services, including transfer payments, social workers, emergency medical care and other services.

That figure was an improvement over 2015, the Ministry said, but officials said that they were concerned that the number of Israelis who required services was on the upswing, with 4 percent more seeking help today than in 2009.

The south was the most assistance-needy region. There, 21.5 percent of families needed help. In the Haifa region, that was 19.1 percent. In the Yerushalayim area, that figure was 15.3 percent, and in the center of the country it was 12.7 percent.

Among adults 75 and older, about half were listed as being in need of services, as were 22.6 percent of youth ages 12-17. Forty percent of the requests for intervention in families had to do with problems dealing with teenagers; 40 percent of the requests for assistance in families were for this reason. Thirty percent of the calls for intervention were due to a lack of ability of a family to support itself. Among the elderly, medical issues and mobility issues were the primary factor.

Those statistics complement other recent studies on salary and income conducted by the Ministry, said Yekutiel Zava, director of budgets in the Ministry. “There is a clear connection between a family’s economic situation and their need for social services. The less a family’s income, the less they are able to deal with their own problems themselves, and the more likely they are to seek outside help. We are discovering that more and more people do indeed require our services,” he added.