The National Insurance Institute of Israel (Bituah Leumi) announced this week a significant increase in disability benefits, which will be linked to the average salary in the country, while the rest of the benefits will be linked to the consumer price index. Starting at the beginning of next year, the monthly allowance of a single disabled person will be about NIS 4,054 ($1,180), rising from NIS 3,700 ($1,077). This is good news for marginalized groups in Israel, who have not seen an increase in benefits tied to the national average salary in the last two years as no state budget was approved.
According to a new estimate by the National Insurance Institute, it appears that the average salary has increased in the last three years by 12%, and after deducting the 2.45% increase received by the disabled during the COVID-19 crisis, the allowance will increase by at least 9.55%. The real increase will be determined in January, 2023, after calculating the average real salary.
The National Insurance Institute announced that according to the estimates made by the National Insurance Research Director the general disability allowance for a couple, which currently stands at NIS 4,892 ($1,424), is expected to increase to approximately NIS 5,360 ($1,560). A couple with a child whose allowance currently stands at NIS 5,846 ($1,702) will rise to approximately NIS 6,405 ($1,865). A couple with 2 children will see their allowance increase to about NIS 7,405 ($2,156) from the NIS 6,800 ($1,980) they receive today. The estimate of disability allowances for disabled and special needs children is also expected to increase to NIS 2,442 ($711).
The National Insurance Institute says that the level of disability allowances are the only ones directly affected by the average salary in the country and will be affected by the expected upcoming increase. Over 400,000 disabled people receive an allowance from the National Insurance Institute. The expected increase in the allowances will mainly affect the weakest strata of Israeli society, including Palestinian Arab society, where the poverty rate is higher than in other communities.
However, other allowances granted by the National Insurance Institute are linked to the consumer price index, which increased by about 5.2%, and are expected to increase accordingly. The pensions linked to the index include the senior citizen’s pension, income security, children’s pensions, child support payments, and more.
The National Insurance stated that “the increase in disability benefits is good news for more than 400,000 people for whom the amount of the benefit deposited by the National Insurance [Institute] will increase significantly following the increase in the average salary in the economy. This increase is even more significant since the amount of the allowance has remained the same and unchanged for the past two years. Especially in this period, there is no doubt that the increase in the amount of the allowance will bring aid and comfort to those who need it.”