Elderly woman looks out of window [illustrative].
(photo credit: Ivan Alvarado / Reuters)
Many Holocaust survivors do not take advantage of their medical and financial
rights because they are unaware or undemanding, says a study by Meuhedet Health
Fund, the third-largest healthcare service in the country.
a social worker who coordinates Meuhedet’s treatment of Holocaust survivors,
said that some aging members face difficulties due to their past losses that
make them vulnerable. In response, the health fund staff offers special
A project titled “Assistance to the Survivor,” that Meuhedet and the
Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany run, helps inform survivors
of their healthcare rights, including allocations and payment
The new initiative urges survivors and their families to
learn if they are entitled to additional support. In many cases, as elderly
survivors’ conditions worsen, initial benefits do not match spiraling healthcare
In some circumstances, survivors can receive a discount or a full
exemption on co-payments when purchasing medications. They may qualify for
medications that are not included in the basket of medical technologies for the
rest of the population. Survivors may be exempt from paying for diagnostic
institutes, medical specialist co-payments and other costs.
recommends that they speak to a social worker at their health fund branch to
determine entitled care. Additional aid may come from the Finance Ministry’s
office for rehabilitation of the disabled, Germany’s health payments office, the
Claims Conference, the new law increasing benefits for survivors, the Amcha and
Aviv organizations and other institutions.
The Treasury recognizes
survivors as needy and those who receive National Insurance income supplements
are entitled to an annual grant from the “Claims Conference,” along with a smart
card where the monthly sum is deposited.
If survivors’ mental conditions
worsen, they may qualify for a higher degree of disability, which entails
exemption for treatment payments and medications that are not in the basket.
Also, survivors that develop new diseases may receive additional
Meuhedet’s social service official provided examples of
survivors who discovered they are entitled to additional benefit. One survivor,
identified by the letter B., receives 870 euros every three months along with an
old-age pension. When the social worker investigated, she found that B. was
entitled to more. The survivor – born during World War II – now receives a full
exemption for drug co-payments, an annual grant of NIS 4,800 from the Claims
Conference, a monthly smart card with NIS 200 and other benefits.
is 75, was also a child during the war. A few years ago, a medical committee
determined that he was entitled to 25% of disability payments due to his
emotional problems, along with a monthly treasury allocation. T. lost his
wife three years ago and suffers from osteoporosis and diabetes complications.
Meuhedet accepted his application for additional income assistance and
disability funds. T. now receives drugs not included in general health basket,
and his pension increased by hundreds of shekels a month.