State set to increase benefits for widowers

Men who lose their spouse could soon see an increase in their state benefits after the Ministerial Committee for Legislation approved on Sunday an amendment to the National Insurance law that aims to increase their welfare allowance by almost 20 percent, it was announced Monday.
The bill, which was drafted by MKs Haim Katz, chairman of the Knesset Health, Labor and Welfare Committee and David Azoulay and was backed by Minister of Welfare and Social Services Isaac Herzog and National Insurance Institute Director General Esther Dominissini, will grant widowers a state income of up to 75 percent of the market wage.
Despite fierce protests from the Finance Ministry, which believes that increasing benefits for male widowers will be damaging to those allocated to widows, Herzog and Dominissini were able to persuade other minister’s involved to back the bill, which is expected to be voted into law by the Knesset officially on Wednesday.
Herzog called the decision a historic one that “will correct an unfairness that exists in the system.”
“This is only the first step to bring benefits and rights for widowers in line with those allocated to widows,” he added.