Pensioners group files lawsuit against NII hotline

Pensioners' welfare group Ken Lazaken has filed a legal petition against the National Insurance Institute, the social welfare minister and the finance minister demanding that the NII's *6050 telephone helpline be immediately disbanded and that the previous system whereby the individual branches deal directly with telephone requests be resumed. According to the non-profit organization, the hotline fails to sufficiently respond to thousands of callers who need information on essential benefits. Thousands of pensioners, disabled people and those from low socio-economic households rely on the NII for financial boosts to their monthly income. At a recent hearing of the Knesset Public Petitions committee, NII and Finance Ministry officials admitted that the experiment to outsource this national call center to a private company just over a year ago had completely failed, losing millions of shekels and cutting back on government employees.