Women, elderly hit hardest by coronavirus - report

The report covers 4,684 complaints recieved during the coronavirus pandemic.

People walk with face masks on Jaffa street in Jerusalem on September 4, 2020 (photo credit: YONATAN SINDEL/FLASH90)
People walk with face masks on Jaffa street in Jerusalem on September 4, 2020
(photo credit: YONATAN SINDEL/FLASH90)
Women, the elderly and low-wage workers have been hit harder than other populations during the pandemic, State Comptroller Matanyahu Englman revealed Tuesday.
The comptroller’s report covers the period between March 15 – four days after the WHO declared a pandemic – and June 30. During that time, the comptroller received 4,684 complaints, 16% more than for the same period last year. Of the complaints, 36% were related to the coronavirus.
Women were forced to stop working at a higher rate than men, 21% versus 16% respectively, the report found.
Those who earn lower wages were also more heavily impacted by the coronavirus. The report said 38% more low-wage workers lost their job compared with those who earn higher wages.
Many of the complaints received by the comptroller were about delays in receiving financial benefits that, according to those filing the complaints, put them in dire financial situations.
Approximately 75% of complaints were about the National Insurance Institute. The report said this was probably due to the fact that while the NII normally receives 200,000 requests for unemployment benefits yearly, during the few months of the report, it received more than a million requests.
The vast majority of complaints received about the NII payments were on the topic of pensions.
Numerous complaints were also filed by those entitled to public housing who were unable to renew their eligibility or get in touch with housing companies to request rent-aid during the report period. The comptroller reported that they facilitated communication with public housing companies.
Of the complaints related to coronavirus, 73% of those within the purview of the comptroller and that were handled during the report were found to be justified complaints, far more than the 41% of complaints found to be justified in 2019.
Englman said “providing a response to the public and to its distress is more important than any other task, as is providing support to the comptrollers of other organizations so that they can provide the best, most effective response to the public.”