While the IDF Disabled Veterans Organization was very encouraged by Sunday’s announcement of another NIS 300 million of benefits being extended to disabled veterans, the NGO said on Monday that it is still waiting for another NIS 600m. in promised benefits to come through the pipeline.
The benefits approved by the government on Sunday included an additional NIS 25,000 subsidy for disabled veterans’ housing.
In addition, it included an additional NIS 12,000 subsidy toward medical-related car needs.
The NGO said this was major positive news for around 30,000 veterans, including some specific provisions to assist soldiers afflicted by post-traumatic stress disorder.
More specifically, the government said 70% of veterans would benefit from the housing subsidy and 45% would benefit from the car subsidy.
Israel's government and benefits for disabled IDF veterans
Already over two years ago, a previous governmental decision had approved an additional NIS 900m. in benefits for disabled veterans to be added to the country’s budget for 2021 and 2022.
However, until Sunday, none of the funds had been given a final go-ahead for a specific spending purpose.
According to them, there is another NIS 600m. that still must be given the same final green-light and spending designation.
Some of those funds could help pay for additional subsidies for real estate taxes, for psychological care, for dental care and for benefits for additional accompanying harms stemming from being a prisoner of war.
Further, the NGO is hoping that related Knesset legislation will be passed within three months – though currently, the government has its hands full with passing the budget generally and the judicial overhaul debate.
The NGO said that until just over a decade ago, the Defense Ministry and IDF had regularly granted some of these subsidies.
However, around that time, the car subsidy was frozen.
This means that for the NGO the government decision is in some ways correcting what it saw as a historical injustice that had unduly oppressed IDF disabled veterans for more than the last decade.
“The Defense Ministry, along with the Organization for Disabled Veterans, will continue to act by all possible means to substantially improve the care and service given to disabled veterans.”Yoav Gallant
Defense Minister Yoav Gallant stated, “The Defense Ministry, along with the Organization for Disabled Veterans, will continue to act by all possible means to substantially improve the care and service given to disabled veterans.”
He added that he felt that properly caring for such veterans was a deep obligation of the country, having himself seen many friends and soldiers generally become disabled while trying to defend the country.
The Defense Ministry Deputy CEO for Rehabilitation Limor Luria said, “I want to praise the government approval, which enables an immediate solution to be granted to tens of thousands of disabled IDF veterans for whom the level of assistance that they were receiving in the areas of housing and vehicles, had not been updated for years,” to account for inflation.
The Organization for Disabled Veterans Chairman Eden Kleiman added that the government had closed an economic gap for the veterans that had lasted for 11 years, which would benefit veterans from physically disabled to post-trauma cases.
Still, Kleiman said the group will maintain its focus on getting the rest of the budgeted benefits to actually flow out to the veterans in the near future.