Pensions, Benefits for Disabled to Increase

YERUSHALAYIM -
A youth in a wheelchair is pushed by then-Minister of Social Affairs Meir Cohen in the city of Gedera, in 2013. (Yossi Zeliger/Flash90)

After months of protests, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu announced Tuesday that National Insurance benefits for disabled Israelis will rise significantly, about 30 percent over current levels. The budget for funding those benefits will increase by NIS 4 billion over the next four years, and those on 100 percent disability will receive a government pension of NIS 4,000.

The increase will be accompanied by other benefits, which will accrue to disabled Israelis who can no longer work. Such individuals will automatically fall below the poverty line in terms of monthly income, and they will qualify for various benefits, in addition to the NIS 4,000 disability payment.

For partially disabled Israelis who can work, the first NIS 4,200 they earn will not affect their pension; sums beyond that will be deducted from their pensions on a shekel for shekel basis. Out of the overall NIS 4 billion benefits budget, NIS 100 million will be dedicated to expanding programs that help disabled individuals enter and succeed in the workforce.

Commenting on the plan, Netanyahu said that it “provides immediate relief for those in the greatest need, and will significantly improve the situations of disabled Israelis and help bring them into the workforce.”