Welfare and Israel's National Insurance Institute

Community and mutual support are at the beating heart of the Israeli society. This principle isn’t just a cultural value but a real aspect of the governing system.

Photo by Din Ahahroni Rolland

The Israeli government is structured to assist those in economic need, offering a network of support services that often act as a safety net for those struggling to stand on their own two feet. This commitment to welfare is one of the many reasons why making Aliyah is more than a change of address. It represents joining a society that is prepared to support you through life’s challenges, ensuring that no one is left without help when they need it the most.

The National Insurance Institute of Israel - Bituach Leumi

Your Security Blanket for Times of Need

The National Insurance Institute of Israel, Bituach Leumi, functions similarly to the Social Security systems in North America and Canada or the National Insurance program in the United Kingdom. It administers various pensions and benefits to insured individuals who are 18 years or older and qualify under the National Insurance Law. This enrollment is essential for general insurance coverage and healthcare services and involves a monetary contribution to ‘opt-in’.

For any inquiries or assistance, Bituach Leumi’s main hotline can be reached at *6050. Please note that a 4-digit PIN code is required for service, which you can obtain by following the instructions.

Eligibility for Insurance

Bituach Leumi provides financial assistance to insured residents aged 18 and above, according to Bituach Leumi’s guidelines. This support encompasses various allowances, such as those for children, disabilities, unemployment, and elderly care.

Bituach Leumi also determines eligibility based on residency in Israel rather than citizenship. This means that insurance coverage is determined if your primary life activities are centered in Israel.

The factors that establish residency include, but aren’t limited to:

  • Your main place of living (being in Israel for at least 183 days each year, cumulatively)
  • Where your family resides
  • Where your children go to school
  • Your primary workplace or educational institution’s location

According to Bituach Leumi, it’s possible to be considered a resident, even if you’re in Israel on a student visa and haven’t officially made Aliyah. This means you might need to contribute to insurance, as well.

Even if you’re temporarily living abroad (for things like studies, trips, or short-term jobs), you can still be considered an Israeli resident as long as your life is focused in Israel.

Ensuring Social Security Across Borders

Bituach Leumi has entered into international agreements to safeguard the social security entitlements of individuals relocating between different countries. These arrangements also prevent Israelis residing and working abroad from making duplicate insurance payments. Additional details are available here.

Absorption Basket

Israel extends a warm welcome to Olim Chadashim, accompanied by enticing benefits and allowances as part of its welfare policy. The nation offers robust support programs for newcomers, offering opportunities to leverage these advantages for smoother acclimation.

Also known as the Sal Klita, the ‘absorption basket’ is a financial grant provided by the Ministry of Aliyah and Integration. It serves to aid you during your initial year of transition in Israel, covering your family’s living expenses and other needs.

All Olim, regardless of their previous residence, are eligible for the “Absorption Basket.” This entitlement remains valid for 1 year from the moment they attain their status. Payments cease only if the Oleh spends an extended period abroad within the same year. However, these payments are reinstated upon the Olim’s return to the country within the first year of their Aliyah.

Explore the Absorption Basket

National Health Insurance

Bituach Leumi collects National Insurance payments from all residents based on their income and insurance status. In strict adherence to the National Health Insurance Law, Bituach Leumi ensures these funds reach the insurance providers (kupot cholim), safeguarding each individual’s right to the country’s healthcare system. All insured individuals are required to enroll with one of the kupot cholim and can opt for their preferred provider (kupah). The chosen kupah is obligated to provide all insured individuals with a standard health package, as specified by law.

Get to know the impact of your contributions

Employment and Unemployment

Help with Supplementary Income

An Oleh Chadash who has recently made Aliyah to Israel and has been living in the country may be eligible to receive help with their income (Havtachat Hachnasa). This possibility exists even if the period of 5 years since their Aliyah has not yet passed.

Specifically, an Oleh Chadash may qualify for supplementary income after completing 12 months of residency (even in a non-continuous manner), if they fall into certain categories.

These categories include but are not limited to:

  • A single parent
  • Separated from their spouse
  • Facing an illness
  • Being pregnant
  • Being institutionalized or participating in a detoxification program
  • Unemployment

Unemployment Benefits in Israel

Israel’s unemployment benefits are like a safety net that gives you a bit of breathing room when life throws unexpected curveballs. Whether you’re navigating the winding paths of a job transition or taking some time to rediscover your passions, these benefits are like a trusty sidekick, here to offer a helping hand while you navigate the ever-changing motion of the job market.

As an Oleh, you may qualify for unemployment even before getting a job. That’s because following the initial 6 months, when Sal Klita payments end, you may qualify for financial assistance from the Ministry of Aliyah and Integration (Misrad Haklita). This support is known as Dmei Kiyum or Havtachat Hachnasa, which roughly translates to “income support”.

Dmei Kiyum
Only available during the first year of your Aliyah, Olim are eligible to receive Dmei Kiyum if they meet the following criteria:

  • They are no longer receiving Sal Klita payments
  • They are unemployed or earning a minimal monthly income, as specified in the provided chart
  • In the case of Olah Chadasha /Ezrachit Olah/Ktina Chozeret, who has given birth within their first year of Aliyah, they can receive Dmei Kiyum either from their 7th month or from the birth (whichever comes later) until their 12th-month post-Aliyah

Payment amounts for the monthly stipend of Dmei Kiyum vary depending on various demographic factors.

It’s important to note that this benefit is not paid retroactively. For instance, if you apply for Dmei Kiyum in the 9th month following Aliyah, you will receive payments only for the 9th through the 12th months and not for the 7th and 8th months.


Havtachat Hachnasa
This is available if you remain unemployed for 12 months after Aliyah or earn below the minimum wage.

Child Rights - Support for Olim Parents

Child Allowance

Upon making Aliyah, Bituach Leumi extends a monthly stipend as to all Israeli citizens, determined by the number of children below 18 years old within their family (kitzbat yeladim).

Your entitlement to this child allowance is immediate after your Aliyah. Typically, your child allowance will automatically commence within 2-3 weeks following your Aliyah. There is no need for an in-person registration process. Bituach Leumi retrieves information about your children and their ages from the Ministry of Interior (Misrad Hapnim), as well as your bank account details from the Ministry of Aliyah and Integration (Mirsad Haklita).

If your child is born in Israel, the hospital where the child is born handles the submission of the claim. To facilitate this, the mother is required to present her, and her spouse’s ID cards at the hospital while also providing the hospital with her bank account number.

Payments for the child allowance are made on the 20th day of each month. These funds are deposited into the bank account of the child’s mother, or the joint account shared with her spouse.

It’s important to note that if the parents have any outstanding debt with the National Insurance Institute, the Institute has the right to deduct the debt amount from the allowance until the debt is fully resolved.

Daycare and Family Care Funding

To facilitate the integration of parents into the workforce, the government offers funding to cover recognized daycare and family care expenses. Olim parents in Israel can receive financial assistance for daycare and family care services for their children. For specific information and general details about this benefit, please refer to the guidelines for participating in daycare and family care funding.

This support is accessible to a diverse range of individuals, including new Olim parents. Additionally, Olim parents may qualify (subject to specific conditions) for grade 3 participation on the Student Stipend Table for each of their children without being required to undergo an income assessment.

Who Qualifies?

A parent who is an Oleh and has been residing in the country for up to 2 years from their date of Aliyah at the start of the school year during which they sought assistance qualifies for financial aid.

This eligibility is contingent upon both parents meeting any one of the following criteria:

  • Both parents are engaged in studies at an institution for a minimum of 24 hours per week.
  • Both parents are registered as job seekers with either the Employment Office or the Ministry of Aliyah and Integration.
  • One parent studies at an institution for a minimum of 24 hours per week, while the other parent is registered as a job seeker with the Employment Office or the Ministry of Aliyah and Integration.

Children with Disabilities

Recognizing the substantial challenges faced by families caring for disabled children, the National Insurance Institute takes proactive measures to assist these families by contributing towards the expenses they incur. This support aims to alleviate the financial strain on these families and facilitate the pursuit of a relatively normal lifestyle for the disabled child.




Revised Retirement Age for Women

Bituach Leumi has adjusted the retirement age for women. To stay informed about the updated retirement age for women set by Bituach Leumi, click here.

Please be aware that the retirement age for men is 67 years old.

Qualifying for the Old-Age Pension for Olim

An Oleh who has made Aliyah before the age of 62 for men or before reaching the retirement age for women could potentially qualify for an old-age pension, provided that specific entitlement criteria are met.

Benefits for Elderly Olim

For seniors, health care is a consistent concern, particularly those grappling with multiple daily health issues. This is especially pertinent for seniors from the United States, where private insurance practices have traditionally excluded coverage for pre-existing conditions.

Thankfully, any Oleh entering Israel with an Aliyah visa is immediately eligible for health insurance through Bituach Leumi, irrespective of age or pre-existing conditions. Olim can select from one of the four health care providers (Kupot Cholim) of their choice, and retirees enjoy the first year free of charge.

Senior citizens are also entitled to enroll in supplementary coverage provided by their chosen Kupah, effective immediately upon their arrival. This holds regardless of pre-existing conditions, provided they opt in within 90 days of their arrival.

These benefits include:

  • If you or someone you know is homebound, all Kupot Cholim offer in-home medical services, including physicians, nurses, and technicians for tests. To access this service, coordinate through a physician at the Kupah
  • After hospitalization or rehabilitation, if the senior isn’t ready to return home, their supplemental Kupah plan may reimburse up to 80% of hotel stay costs
  • Hearing-impaired individuals aged 65 and above are eligible for financial assistance with hearing aids through all Kupot Cholim
  • Israel regulates the cost of foreign caregivers utilizing Bituach Leumi’s nursing law. Hours can offset the expense, making foreign caregivers more affordable
  • Senior citizens aged 62 and above (women) or 67 and above (men) are eligible for the Senior Citizen card (Cartis Ezrach Vatik). This card offers a 50% discount on public transportation and cultural events, along with medication discounts and television tax exemptions

Olim with Disabilities

Benefits for Olim with Severe Disabilities

For Olim living with severe disabilities, Israel offers a comprehensive benefit starting at age 18 and continuing until the recipient reaches retirement age. This benefit is compromised of 2 key components:

  1. Special Attendance Allowance
    This allowance’s eligibility is determined based on the extent of the disabled person’s reliance on assistance from others. It’s not necessary to assess their medical disability percentage for qualification. This holds true if the Oleh does not receive any other allowance or monthly stipend for their sustenance aside from the Absorption basket.
  2. General Disability Pension for Olim
    This pension becomes effective from the 181st day following Aliyah and continues until the conclusion of the first year post-Aliyah. To qualify, the Oleh must have previously met the criteria for the attendance allowance.

Assistance for Individuals with Limited Mobility

People facing mobility limitations due to lower body impairments are eligible to receive diverse benefits from the National Insurance Institute.

For new Olim with limited mobility, the potential for mobility benefits begins from their Aliyah day.

To determine mobility impairment, an evaluation is conducted by a medical committee under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Health. It is essential to undergo an assessment by the Minister of Health’s Committee before submitting a claim for mobility benefits to the National Insurance Institute (Bituach Leumi).

Long-Term Care Assistance and Nursing Support

If an Oleh, who has reached the retirement age, requires nursing care, they could potentially qualify for a long-term care benefit, accessible right after their Aliyah. Eligibility for this benefit commences from the 8th day following arrival.

To access this benefit, it’s necessary to complete a long-term care benefit claim form. Additionally, attaching details about income from abroad and relevant medical documentation is essential. The completed claim should be submitted to the National Insurance Institute (Bituach Leumi).

Survivor’s Insurance

Survivors’ insurance (kitzvat Sheerim) is specifically crafted to secure the financial support for the surviving family members – widows, widowers, and orphans – of an Israeli resident in the unfortunate event of their passing (excluding cases of death during wartime or due to crime).

Learn more about "Survivor's" Insurance