The Long-Term Care Benefit of Bituach Leumi
The Long-Term Home Care Insurance Law of Bituach Leumi provides a long-term care benefit to citizens of retirement age who need assistance in carrying out daily activities such as dressing, bathing and eating. The benefit is also given to elderly people who need constant supervision in their home to prevent risks to themselves or to others. The long-term care benefit includes the aid of a caregiver in the home of the insured, or alternately, financial assistance in paying for a foreign worker at home. It also includes days spent at a daycare center for the elderly, installing an alarm button in the home, laundry services, and supplying disposable absorbency products for the insured individual.
There are several prerequisites for receiving the long-term care benefit:
The applicant must be a resident of Israel who has reached retirement age.
he must require the help of another person in performing everyday activities, or need constant supervision for his own safety as well as the safety of those around him. Functional eligibility for the benefit is determined by a dependency test (evaluation of the applicant’s functioning abilities), by an evaluator (nurse or physiotherapist) from Bituach Leum who visits the elderly person at home.
It is important to note that when the functional difficulty is a cognitive deterioration – dementia, the problem may not be observable from the outside. The person may look independent in his functions, but a closer examination reveals functional hardships. For example, a person may be physically able to eat, but will not do so unless reminded by someone else. It is therefore important to add a diagnosis from a geriatrician/ psychogeriatrician and have a family member present at the evaluation, in order to provide additional information about the elderly person’s problems.
The patient must live in their homes or Retirement Home and not in an institution.
His income cannot exceed the amount specified by law: above a certain income he will receive half of the benefit or none at all. The income of the beneficiary’s spouse is also taken into account.
He is not receiving a pension for personal care from Bituach Leumi or constant supervision from the Ministry of Defence.
People receiving the long-term care benefit also enjoy supplementary rights.
Daycare Centers for the Elderly
Daycare centers for the elderly provide a wide variety of services for disabled and mentally frail individuals, in order to improve their quality of life, and make things easier for their families. The service includes transportation to and from the center, as well as breakfast and lunch. Some centers also offer laundry services, showers, haircuts, manicures and pedicures. Individuals attending the centers enjoy social activities, classes, lectures, trips and more. Professional services such as physiotherapy, nurse’s examinations, administering medications and geriatric consultation are also available. Separate wings and/ or specially designated daycare centers serve people with impaired memory functions and/ or physical difficulties.
Some centers operate from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. and others are open until 3 or even 7 p.m. (for an additional fee).
For more information about daycare centers for the elderly click here.
Disability Pension from Bituach Leumi
Bituach Leumi’s disability benefit is paid to a person who has not reached retirement age but has lost more than 50% of his earning capacity, or to a homemaker whose functioning has decreased by more than 50% due to some kind of disability. The purpose of the disability pension is to compensate the disabled person for the loss of his earning capabilities as well as for the disability itself.
The percentage of disability is determined by a physician appointed by Bituach Leumi, based on medical examinations and documents presented by the applicant. Homemakers are referred to a special institute which evaluates their functioning level.
For eligibility criteria and full information about the Disability Pension click here.
Special Services Pension from Bituach Leumi
Bituach Leumi’s special service pension is given to individuals under retirement age. This pension is intended for people under retirement age who have already developed Alzheimer’s or dementia, and need the assistance of another person in performing basic tasks, such as dressing, bathing and eating, and/ or supervision to prevent danger to themselves or their surroundings.
Eligibility for the pension depends on several criteria:
- The individual is insured by Bituach Leumi, lives in Israel, and is 18 or older.
- A person who has reached retirement age is not eligible for the Pension unless a claim was filed no more than 6 months after retirement age, and a physician appointed by Bituach Leumi had determined eligibility for the Special Services Pension before the person reached retirement age;
- A person found eligible for the Special Services Pension when reaching retirement age will continue to receive the benefit after retirement age as long as he meets the criteria for eligibility;
- The insured has been determined by Bituach Leumi to have a medical disability of at least 60%, and receives a disability pension; alternately, he does not receive a disability pension, but has a medical disability of 75%, as determined by Bituach Leumi in a condition that-
The insured does not receive a Bituach Leumi pension for injury caused at work, or any other payment for care or help in the home. granted through another law.
The monthly income of the insured is not higher than five times the average salary in Israel
- The insured is not hospitalized in a nursing care facility or in any other place that provides medical nursing or rehabilitative care.
- The insured does not receive benefits based on the mobility agreement, with the exclusion of three situations: a medical committee has determined that he has a 100% mobility disability; he needs a wheelchair to get around; he is home bound and/ or bed bound.
Employing a Foreign Worker
Employing a foreign worker as a caregiver in the home of an elderly or ill person necessitates issuing license for this purpose. In Israel there are many employment agencies that specialize in bringing in foreign workers from various countries. These agencies are highly experienced in all the bureaucracy involved in employing a foreign worker. It is therefore advisable to ask for their assistance.
A permit for employing a foreign worker is issued on the basis of several criteria:
- Employing a foreign worker as a caregiver depends on the applicant’s eligibility, as determined by Bituach Leumi. For persons whose application for a long-term care benefit has been rejected on the grounds of high income, a dependency evaluation may be conducted through the Population & Immigration Authority.
- Permits are not given to applicants currently staying in hospitals, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes etc.
- The permission to employ a foreign worker is granted to persons of retirement age or older. Younger applicants are eligible for a permit only when they are eligible for Bituach Leumi’s special services pension.
See the complete guide on employing foreign workers.
Parking Permits for the Vehicles of Disabled Persons
Parking permits for vehicles of disabled persons are issued by Israel’s Ministry of Transport & Road Safety. Those eligible for the permit are: Individuals recognized as disabled by the Ministry of Defense; people with a Blind Person’s Certificate from the Ministry of Social Services; Holocaust survivors with a certificate from the Ministry of Finance; persons disabled through hostilities (such as terror attacks); persons of all ages with limited mobility – when it has been determined that they need a vehicle for transportation due to disability in their legs, or that they have a disability of at least 60% and their medical condition may be harmed by lack of a vehicle. Some medical conditions also entitle an individual to a Disabled Person’s Certificate. These include heart conditions (that meet certain criteria), chronic lung diseases (that meet certain criteria), ALS, advanced Parkinson’s with walking dysfunctions, dialysis treatments and more.
To obtain a parking permit apply by mail to the Ministry of Transport & Raod Safety, the Unit for Mobility Disabilities at the Public Inquiries Center, P.O.B. 72, Holon 58100, enclosing all required documents. For further information on the required docs and application process please see Parking for the Disabled.
Rehabilitation for seniors with dementia
Rehabilitation is a process that aims to restore a person to maximum functioning in his natural environment following an illness or injury.
In January 2009 the Ministry of Health issued a directive (4/2009 of Jan. 14 2009) that specifies the criteria for rehabilitative treatments for seniors (preceding the full circular doc). It is important to note with regard to persons with dementia in need of rehabilitation, that according to the directive of the Ministry of Health existing limitations in cognitive functions are not a reason to rule out rehabilitation – providing that according to the physician’s assessment, the person’s former functions can be restored, or his abilities can be significantly improved. The directive stipulates that rehabilitation should be provided even in cases of cognitive deterioration, provided that the patient is able to cooperate at a level enabling the rehabilitation of his mobility and cognitive functions.
Hospitalization in a Nursing Care Facility
Hospitalization in a nursing care facility is not necessarily a bad solution for the patient and his family. Such an institution can provide the patient with all the professional treatment that he needs and cannot receive at home, while also easing the family’s burden. If you are considering this possibility, it is important to visit a number of facilities and sense the atmosphere, how the staff relates to the patients, etc. Since hospitalization in such an institution entails a large financial expense, every resident of Israel is eligible to apply to the Ministry of Health for financial assistance in paying for a nursing home. To receive these funds the patient must fit into the following criteria:
- The Ministry of Health defines the elderly person as mentally frail or in need of nursing care.
- The income of the applicant and his immediate family will be examined according to law.
For more information on nursing care in institutions click here.
For a list of services for people with Alzheimer’s click here.
The information presented in the English website is partial. For full info please visit our Hebrew website