Bituah Leumi expert: Domestic workers

Vol LXV: I moved to Israel about 6 months ago. I hired a woman to help clean my apartment once a week for 2 hours.. She says she wants us to give her bituach leumi - Is this normal? what do i need to do/not do/??

bituah leumi 88 (photo credit: )
bituah leumi 88
(photo credit: )
IMPORTANT NOTE: Due to an internal technical error, all questions that were submitted during the months of late July and August have been erased. We apologize for the inconvenience and ask you to resubmit your questions. With apologies, Staff Sarah Gargi is director of the Publications Department in Research and Planning Administration at the head office of the National Insurance Institute, Jerusalem.
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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, contact the Public Enquiries Dept. at [email protected], or call *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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    * * * Vol LXV Q: My husband and I are both Israeli citizens and live in Israel. I gave birth on the 8 January 2008 in England. How do I go about getting benefits for my baby? As I didn't give birth here I never received the claim form. Very grateful if you could help me on this one. A: You don't specify what benefits you are referring to. Below please find links to a claims form for the (lump-sum) maternity grant and for the (monthly) child allowance You should fill out the relevant form/s and send them with the required documents to your local NII branch. Q: Hi Sarah, I left Israel about six years ago. I have continued to pay my Bituah Leumi payments or at least thought I had through my bank. Since I have left Israel I have been back several times and every time I have gone back I have visited the doctor, as I am entitled to. I will be visiting in the near future and called my doctor to make an appointment and to my surprise was told that I am not a member of Maccabi any more. In addition it appears that some time ago, for a reason unknown to me, the direct payments from my bank account to Bituah Leumi were stopped. The last time I was in Israel was about two years ago. I called Bituah Leumi and could not find anybody to speak to about this. My concerns are that I no longer have medical coverage in Israel despite paying Bituah Leumi for years. Originally when I left Israel I told them I was going abroad but wanted to continue with the payments. Is there a certain limit of time that one can live abroad, and despite making payment, can coverage be canceled? Why would Bituah Leumi stop taking payment? Does this mean that I no longer have medical coverage in Israel? Thanks so much for your time and all of you useful advice! A: Residence, and not citizenship, is the basis of coverage - rights and obligations - under the national and health insurance system Therefore, if one is absent from Israel for 5 years or more, it is generally advisable to discontinue one's NII payments, since in any case after such a period of absence from Israel the NII usually ceases considering the person an Israeli resident. In your next visit to Israel, go to your local NII branch and clarify your residency status. If your residency status has been revoked, you should be able to receive back the national insurance contributions you paid when abroad. Alternatively, you may be asked to fill out a form to prove residency - which is decided based on a number of factors. Only Israeli residents are insured under the National Insurance Law and under the national Health Insurance Law. Q: My wife who was born Jan 19, 1944 was denied the old age allotment last year as she had not worked enough in the last thirty years in Israel. We just got a letter telling us to re-apply. Does this mean anything or is Bituach Leumi just trying to annoy us? A: It could well be that last year your wife was not yet entitled to the old-age pension, and this year she is. Entitlement depends not only on the number of work years (and for a housewife, number of years of residence in Israel or a combination of periods of residence and periods of work), but also on age. She should re-apply. Q: I have worked at a specific place since July 2007. However, due to lack of funds the business is closing down and I have been fired. (I will be working until the end of June 2008) I am entering my 5th month of pregnancy (due at the end of November). Please advise me on what my benefits are and how I can collect unemployment and if the unemployment covers the 3 months of maternity leave as well. I appreciate all your help. A: One has to have been working a year (360 days) for a regular monthly worker, or 300 days for a daily worker - for entitlement to unemployment benefit. Check our site for more information about unemployment insurance ( The first thing that you should do now is report to your local labor exchange. This is the first important condition for entitlement to unemployment benefit. Persons aged 25 to 28 are entitled to a maximum period of entitlement of 67 work days. In order to be entitled to the full maternity allowance (more information on that, as well as a claims form for allowance - also on our site) one needs 10 months of insurance out of the last 14, or 15 out of 22. The months of work plus the months for which you will be getting unemployment are considered months of insurance, so you should have enough. Q: I was born in Israel in 1947 and left the country at the age of 13. I am now 61 years old and I am considering returning to Israel. I have much family in Israel including my father I am Jewish. I would like to know if I am entitled to any retirement plan and what would it cost me to be in the health plan? Thank you. A: Health insurance: A resident of Israel who returns to the country on March 1, 2003 or thereafter, following a period of absence of two consecutive years or longer (during which he did not pay health insurance contributions to the NII) is not insured for health services from the sick funds in Israel for two months for every such year of absence since 2002. This is called the waiting period. For example, if you return to Israel in January 2009, you will have a waiting period of 14 months to receive health services. (You can redeem this waiting period by paying a one-time sum of NIS 8,730 by credit card, through the NII web site - - 6 months before coming to Israel, and then be entitled to health services upon arrival.) Retirement - If you return to Israel now, upon reaching age 67 you may be eligible for an old-age pension if by that time you have 60 months of work in Israel. The pension at that age is conditional on an income test (at age 70 the pension is not conditional on an income test). If you return after age 62 you will not be insured for the regular old-age pension but may be eligible for the special old-age benefit (at the same rate) if your income is low. Q: My parents are 72 and 68 years old they are living in Israel for 17 years. During 15 years they were paying BL until they become pensioners. Now they made a decision immigrate to USA. Would they be able to receive their pension? A: The National Insurance Institute of Israel has a "friendship treaty" (not Convention) with the US, under which a person who is already receiving an old-age pension here can continue receiving it in the US as well. They should contact their local NII branch and inform them of their decision. Q: I receive bituah leumi pension from Israel. How much am I allowed to earn before I pay income tax. I am resident in Israel. A: You should go to your local National Insurance Institute branch. You can find information on the various branches on our site: Q: I moved to Israel about 6 months ago. I hired a woman to help clean my apartment once a week for 2 hours.. She says she wants us to give her bituach leumi - Is this normal? what do i need to do/not do/?? A: A domestic worker is a person employed in household work not for his employer's business or occupation. Such work includes the care of children, cleaning and the like. A person employing a domestic worker must register him at the National Insurance Institute, must report on his wages, and must pay both national insurance and health insurance contributions for him. The employer may deduct the worker's share of the insurance payment from the worker's wages. You should fill out the following form and send it to your local NII branch. You will then receive a paybook to use for these payments. Q: I would like to find out whether I am eligible for paternity leave and what level of compensation I would receive. My wife is eligible for maternity leave, though she was not working the last few months before she gave birth and we are not sure when exactly she will go back to work. In addition, I am currently employed full-time and have been for years. Am I eligible? Is my employer legally obligated to allow me to take paternity leave (i.e. not fire me before/during/after)? Does my wife have to work during the time I am on paternity leave? (If it is necessary, what if she is unable to find a new job right away?) A: The conditions of entitlement for maternity leave for the father, or paternity leave, are as follows: 1.The employer's authorization of the father's leave (he is not legally obligated to); 2. The wife's agreement to waive part of her maternity leave and her return to work not before the end of 6 weeks from the birth; 3. The wife's entitlement to maternity leave of at least 14 weeks from the birth; 4. The father's actual leave of at least 21 consecutive days. The amount of the maternity allowance for the father is the same as that for the mother; it is based on 100% of income in the three months preceding the date of birth (or day that the wife stopped working), from which income tax and insurance contributions are deducted. (In order to be entitled to the allowance, the father has to have worked for 10 out of the last 14 months preceding the birth or for 15 out of the last 22 months). You can find detailed information and a claims form on our site: Q: I am an Israeli citizen living in Australia since 2001. Before I left Israel I was in the process of a claim for loss of hearing from Bituach Leumi. All tests were conducted and all forms were completed and submitted. My question is if a citizen was living in Israel and injured in Israel and a claim was made during my time in Israel, am I not entitled to a payout if I take a contract to work abroad? All correspondence was blocked and I was shoved under the carpet as if I do not exist. Being in Australia has not fixed my hearing problem and I feel I should not be swept away because I am not there now. I paid Bituach Leumi all the years and this was a work related injury. The application was made a few months before I left Israel. Your comments will be appreciated. A: I was informed as follows: in principle, if your claim was approved and a degree of work disability was determined for you that entitles you to a monthly disability pension, you may receive this pension abroad as well. You should contact your local NII branch in Israel, providing your ID number, to clarify what is the situation on your claim. You can find information on the various local branches on our site: * * * Send your comments >> Cafe Oleh experts have been chosen for their knowledge and reputation. Cafe Oleh does not take responsibility for any advice they offer.
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