bituah leumi 88.
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Sarah Gargi is director of the Publications Department in Research and Planning Administration at the head office of the National Insurance Institute, Jerusalem.
If you are interested in receiving a free copy of "National Insurance Programs in Israel" in English, last updated January 2009, offering a description of social security programs, definitions, conditions of entitlement, and rates of payment, please email your request; include your name and regular mailing address (NOT email address).
Click here to send us your questions for Sarah
and please leave your comments on the Q&A below.
NOTE: Sarah can only answer questions of a general nature. For specific cases, please call the Public Enquiries Dept. between 13.00 and 15.00, Sundays through Thursdays, at: 02-6709070 or call the national phone center at *6050. Make sure to supply your ID number. For general information see the NII web site most information is on the site in English as well.
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Q: I moved to Canada. How much do I have to pay Bituach Leumi each month to meet my obligation and who do I contact?
A: An insured person residing abroad (who wishes to retain his Israeli residency status) - who is not employed by an Israeli employer - pays insurance contributions based on his income in Israel liable for insurance contributions. If the person does not have an income in Israel, he or she pays the minimum rate of insurance contributions (today NIS 147 a month), as paid by a person in Israel who is neither an employee nor self-employed.
As a general rule, an insured person planning to go abroad should inform his local NII branch beforehand, and arrange insurance for the period of his or her residence abroad, since the payment must be made in shekels.
An insured person residing in a country with which Israel has a social security convention, such as Canada, and who pays insurance contributions in that country, upon presentation of proof of payment of insurance contributions, will be exempt from payment of national insurance contributions in Israel, but will be obligated to pay the minimal health insurance contributions (today NIS 92 a month).
You should contact your local NII branch in Israel.
Q: I am an olah hadasha, 62 years old. How much am I entitled to receive as Pensioner?
A: The answer to your enquiry depends on information that I do not have, such as the month and year of your birth and your age when you came to Israel. You can find detailed information on our site, including tables that show when each woman is entitled to old-age pension with income test (conditional age of entitlement to old-age pension) and without income test (absolute age of entitlement). The site address: www.btl.gov.il.
Q: I worked for an Israeli company for 3 years. The company is closed and my employer left the country. How do I get my severance pay? They also owe me a month's salary. Thanks for any help
A: Here is a link to a claim form for benefit from the NII in cases of bankruptcy or liquidation of company.
The benefit consists of work salary and severance pay that the employer owes, as of the day of the work termination, up to a ceiling.
The claim should be filled out and sent to your local NII branch.
More information can be found on our site - www.btl.gov.il - under benefits, and bankruptcy
Q: I paid into Bituah Leumi until the age
of 65, left for the USA before I applied for my pension. Do I have the right to apply now for payments either in a bank account in Israel or in the US ?
A: You should contact your local NII branch in Israel, providing your ID number.
A list of local branches can be found at our site: www.btl.gov.il.
In the case that you are found to be entitled to pension, the pension will be paid to a bank account in Israel.
Q: I made Aliyah from Brazil in 1999. I lived in Israel for 19 months and left in October 2000. Went back to Israel in Dec 2004 and stayed for 1 year.
In Dec 2005 I moved to the US for my Master's degree. I got married in the meantime and I am now 5 months pregnant. My husband made aliyah in 95 but stayed only 10 months because of serious illness.
A great deep desire has grown in my heart to have my baby born in Jerusalem.
I have not paid Bituah Leumi since I left. My status is 'non-resident.'
Here's my question: Is there any possibility I could have medical insurance for the birth of my baby in Israel? I'd spend around 4 months.
Although my husband and I do desire to go back, we still need to sell our home here....there are many arrangements to be done.
A: Only the following are covered for the hospitalization grant under maternity insurance in Israel (payment for hospitalization costs where the mother gives birth):
1. A resident of Israel or the wife of a resident of Israel (even if the birth took place outside Israel)
2. An employee or self-employed woman working in Israel (even if she is not a resident of Israel, provided that the birth took place in Israel)
3. The wife of an employee or self-employed person employed in Israel for at least 6 consecutive months immediately preceding the birth (even if the mother and her husband are not residents of Israel, if the birth took place in Israel).
Q: I intend to retire when I turn 65 in 2 years' time. I would like to travel and live in Australia for 2 years. Will I receive the pension while I am abroad?
A: If you intend to leave Israel for any reason, you must inform the National Insurance Institute. If you depart without doing so, you may accumulate debts that you will be required to repay to the National Insurance Institute.
If you live abroad for up to 6 months, your pension will be paid into your bank account in Israel. If you live abroad for more than 6 months, you must notify your local branch of the National Insurance Institute (Old Age Department) of your stay abroad in writing. Under certain circumstances, the National Insurance Institute will continue to pay your pension, even while you are abroad.
Since there is no social security convention between Israel and Australia, it is not clear that your pension will be paid beyond 6 months. I suggest that you actually go to your local branch and clarify the matter in your specific case.
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