Defense Ministry program for disabled veterans moves forward

Approximately 7,200 applicants are awaiting responses regarding recognition of their disabilities and the degree of help that will be offered to them. The One Soul program will speed up the process.

A protest by disabled IDF veterans in Tel Aviv, April 18, 2021 (photo credit: AVSHALOM SASSONI/MAARIV)
A protest by disabled IDF veterans in Tel Aviv, April 18, 2021
(photo credit: AVSHALOM SASSONI/MAARIV)

In order to improve and optimize the treatment for disabled IDF veterans, the Defense Ministry's Rehabilitation Division is set to move their medical committee to operate under the care of rehabilitative hospitals across Israel.

The Defense Ministry's One Soul program, created to serve disabled IDF veterans struggling to receive support, has signed an agreement with Sheba Medical Center, Tel Hashomer and the Beit Loewenstein rehabilitation center that will see medical committees from the ministry operate under the supervision of the hospitals.

The medical professionals on the committee will begin conducting various simulation workshops in order to train hospital staff to deal with the various complexities that may arise in helping disabled veterans.

The move is intended to improve trust between the veterans and the ministry, which has long been accused of neglecting their rights. It also aims to improve the quality of service and the treatment provided to those eligible for support and to reduce the length of committee proceedings from 140 days down to just 30. 

Defense Minister Benny Gantz called this move "a significant step in improving and making the entrance gate accessible for those who so deserve it," and congratulated the Rehabilitation Division on its work to implement the reforms with "courage, transparency and thoroughness."

A protest by disabled IDF veterans in Jerusalem, May 5, 2021 (credit: IDF DISABLED VETERANS ORGANIZATION)A protest by disabled IDF veterans in Jerusalem, May 5, 2021 (credit: IDF DISABLED VETERANS ORGANIZATION)

According to data released by the division, approximately 7,200 applicants are awaiting responses regarding the recognition of their disabilities and the degree of help that will be offered to them. There was a 70% increase in the number of applications received by medical committees in 2021 over the previous year. 

Included in this number was a 330% increase in IDF veteran requests for recognition of PTSD compared to 2020.

Prof. Amitai Ziv, director of the Sheba Medical Center's Integrated Rehabilitation Hospital welcomed the reforms and congratulated the Defense Ministry on its decision to implement them in an "efficient, professional and respectful manner."