Coronavirus crises – how to claim unemployment benefits

Bituach Leumi it just like National Insurance of Social Security.  This is when the Government looks after the citizens by providing an income, if you are unemployed, going on maternity leave, suffered an injury or one is sick, disabled, people who do miluim and of course people who have retired.  Bituach Leumi will process and sometimes decide on how much the allowance the individual is entitled to.

Throughout our working lives, our employers pay Bituach Leumi on our behalf, you don’t have to pay it yourself and the amount is deducted from our payslips.  Being self-employed  I also pay Bituach Leumi and my accountant takes care of my Bituach Leumi payments and calculated how much I need to pay.

You start paying Bituach Leumi from the age of 18 when you have finished school.  You can start claiming Bituach Leumi from the age of 20 (after the army) till the age of 67.  When you have been made redundant you had to have worked 12 months of continuous employment you are entitled to unemployment benefits.  However, Bituach Leumi has adapted to the Coronavirus Crisis the requirement to claim unemployment benefits have been changed this to 6 months of continuous employment.  This means if changed your place of work but still worked continuously for 6 months you can still claim unemployment benefits.

Bituach Leumi has also increased the amount of unemployment benefits that you are entitled to.  For lower salaries, benefits paid are up to 70% of your wage and for the higher wage earners, it is 55% the maximum that you can receive is NIS 11,000.

For those of you who are made redundant make sure that you to receive the following:

  1. A letter why you have been made redundant
  2. According to their terms of employment any salary that is due to you.
  3. Remaining vacation days
  4. Dmei Havraha which is unique to Israel. You are entitled to receive dmei havraha a full year after starting working and for part time workers after a year and half.
  5. And your pitzuim which is compensation pay, you are entitled to this if you have worked a full year.  It is one month’s salary per year
  6. Also make sure that they release your pension that is in the company name.
  7. Form 106

I going to explain how to claim your benefits.  the Manchal of Bituach Leumi issued a video of how to put in a claim for unemployment both for people who are made redundant and people who have been asked to take unpaid vacation days.

  1. 1 The first step is to register at the לשכת התעסוקה  the Israeli Employment Service.  You do not physically have to go to their offices, but they request that you register online.  Only after that you can then register at Bituach Leumi. The website does not have an English site but either you can use Google translate or Nefesh B’Nefesh has instructions how to fill out the form. https://www.taasuka.gov.il/he
  2. The next step for people who are made redundant and those who have been asked to take unpaid vacation days. Their employer has to send to Bituach Leumi form 100.  What is form 100 is a form that your place of employment fills in showing your salary for the past year.  Bituach Leumi web site https://www.btl.gov.il/English%20homepage/Pages/default.aspx
  3. The last step is to put in a claim to Bituach Leumi this again must be done on line. There is a lot of traffic at the moment but try, try and try again.  People have said that site works well late and night and early in the morning.  So persevere. https://www.btl.gov.il/English%20homepage/Pages/default.aspx

You will also receive from Bituach Leumi a username and password so and   remember not to lose it and this will give you easy access to your file or when you phone up Bituach Leumi.

You have to receive a letter from your employer either stating why you are being made redundant or that you have been requested to take unpaid vacation.

Bituach Leumi asked to make sure that you adhere to these steps so that they can pay you without any hitches.  Let’s recap to register to the Israeli Employment Agency, 100 Form and then register to Bituach Leumi.

Bituach Leumi issued an announcement that people who put in a claim before the 26th March, that is today, will receive a special grant of NIS 2,000 before Pesach.  Another important fact is that those who claimed

People who put in a claim for unemployment benefits before the 28th February will receive another month in the unemployment payments. Bituach Leumi has a great website and it is also in English.  I do recommend you to check it out.

What does Chalat mean?  This was created when people had to take time off either to look after a sick family member, to take a long vacation, to prepare for exams to study.  Lots of reasons why an employee can ask for Chalat.  Your place of employment is not required by law to grant you Chalat but it is at their discretion whether you will be granted to take a period of time to not be at the office yet your position is guaranteed.

Here Chalat means  that after the crisis has abated, hopefully, there will be a place of employment that you can return to.  The minimum amount of time that you can take Chalat is 30 days and this ties in very nicely until after Pessach.

During the period of Chalat your employer is required by law to pay your Bituach Leumi.  Though this amount will be reimbursed to the company when the employee returns to work.  Also during this time, you will not accrue vacation or sick days.

People over the age of 60 and are on pension, but still, work are also entitled to claim.  However, check your rights on the Bituach Leumi web site.

If you require any further assistance please contact me on 054-4217207.  Or send me an email.

Please stay indoors and stay safe and healthy.