Report: Most Israelis With Severe Disabilities Can’t Support Themselves

An aide takes care of an elderly Israeli man sitting in a wheelchair. (Abir Sultan/Flash90)

More than half of Israelis with severe disabilities do not work, and a third of the total earn less than NIS 5,000 a month – with half of them unable to pay their monthly bills in full, a Central Bureau of Statistics study said. Seventeen percent of those who do work say they are in constant fear of losing their jobs, while 64 percent said they were dissatisfied with their financial status. Only 45 percent of those with severe disabilities work at all, compared to 80 percent of the general population.

The report is based on data from 2016, the last year that information was available for. A total of 14 percent of Israel’s population, or 751,000, have “severe disabilities” that limit their movement (such as those in wheelchairs), or have serious vision or hearing problems. Among those ages 20 through 44, 6 percent of women and 7 percent of men are seriously disabled, but the number rises with age. Among those 75 and older, 55 percent of women and 47 percent of men are seriously disabled.

One third of the seriously disabled earn NIS 5,000 or less before taxes, compared to 20 percent of those in the general population who earn that amount. Forty-six percent of them have a hard time covering their bills, compared to 32 percent of all workers. Fifty-two percent of the seriously disabled say they have a supportive atmosphere at work, with managers and co-workers assisting them, while 26 percent said they feel “tension” at work due to their condition.

As might be expected, the seriously disabled are less satisfied with their lives, the CBS study said. Among those 20-64 years of age with a serious disability, 31 percent said they were dissatisfied with their lives, compared to 9 percent of the general population. Thirteen percent believe their lives will continue to deteriorate, compared to 5 percent of the general population. Eighteen percent feel isolated in their lives, a feeling only 4 percent of the population felt, the study said.

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