This information is subject to change due to changes in legislation and may not be up to date. Contact The Israeli National Kidney Transplantees and Dialysis Patients Association for current information. Their phone/fax is 03-9044110.
Who is Eligible for Benefits
- Dialysis Patients (Hemodialysis and Peritoneal Dialysis), starting from the day of first treatment.
- Kidney recipient, up to one year after the procedure.
- Patient suffering renal failure, before dialysis, whose earning capacity has been reduced by at least 50% or who is unable to keep house.
- Kidney recipient after one year whose renal function has deteriorated and requires social support.
Please note that certain benefits cease upon reaching retirement age: 67 for men and 62 for women.
What follows is a summary of the various government agencies and the benefits they provide to those entitled.
1. National Insurance Institute of Israel (Bituach Leumi)
A. Disability Pension
Men aged 18 – 65 and women aged 18 – 60 are eligible for disability pension.
In order to get disability pension, one of the following conditions must be satisfied.
- Reduction of earning capacity by 50% due to illness.
- A non-working married woman who is unable to keep house.
- A patient who is not employed and does not receive an early pension.
Claims for disability pension must be filed 90 days after stopping work or reduction in earning capacity. Patients with no income can file immediately.
Claims should be submitted to the Bituach Leumi office nearest your place of residence.
Documents certifying medical condition, employment and income must be included with your claim forms.
The patient will be summoned to a hearing of the medical board which will determine his eligibility for disability pension.
B. Attendance Allowance for the Disabled (Sherutim Meyuchadim)
All dialysis patients are eligible for an attendance allowance based on their general condition and ability to perform daily home functions. The allowance is paid from age 18 until 65 for men and 60 for women. (Older patients, see paragraph D.)
Claims should be submitted to the Department of Attendance Allowance of Bituach Leumi accompanied by certification from the nephrology department performing the dialysis. The patient must appear before the relevant medical board and will be visited by a social worker who will evaluate his ability to function at home.
C. Vocational Retraining/Rehabilitation
A dialysis patient whose condition prevents him from performing his job is eligible to request vocational rehabilitation. Bituach Leumi can finance courses for completing one’s education or for vocational training.
D. Long-Term Care (Under terms of the Long-term Care Insurance Law)
An organ recipient who is dependent on others for daily functioning and is above retirement age is eligible for long-term care in the form of services, not payments.
E. Mobility Allowance
Dialysis patients below retirement age whose walking ability is restricted are eligible to receive a mobility allowance, or a discount plus a full or partial tax exemption on the purchase of a car.
Claims for this benefit must be submitted to the medical board of the Ministry of Health district office.
2. Income Tax Exemptions
- Dialysis patients with recognized disability of at least 89.1%, whether an employee or self-employed, who continue to work during the treatment period are eligible for full exemption from income taxes up to a limit of 496,800 NIS.
- Such patients are eligible for income tax exemption up to 59,520 NIS on passive income (rents, interest, dividends, etc.)
Claims should be submitted to the exemptions department in the Office of the Assessment Clerk (Pakid Ha’shuma) based on certification by the medical board of Bituach Leumi. Each tax year requires a separate exemption. For periods between 185 and 364 days, the exemption is proportional. For temporary disability of less than 185 days there is no exemption.
- There is a possible exemption from income tax retroactive to before dialysis treatments to the time that renal function deteriorated and blood tests revealed more than 80 mg urea and more than 2.0 mg creatinine, provided that the patient’s earnings capacity was reduced by at least 50%. (According to clause 22 (7) E of Bituach Leumi Regulations – Determining Degree of Disability- 1956.) Requests should be submitted to the medical board of Bituach Leumi dealing with income tax matters on form BL 0169 including all its appendices. The form can be obtained from the exemptions department in the Office of the Assessment Clerk (Pakid Ha’shuma). This application costs about 450 NIS and must be accompanied by documentation of medical test results, medical opinions, vocational assessments, etc.
Renal failure patients fulfilling the conditions above can submit a request to the regular medical board, at no cost, even before dialysis treatments have begun. The regular board does not deal with retroactive requests.
3. Municipal Authorities
- Dialysis patients receiving disability pensions are eligible for discounts on property taxes (arnona), dependent on local policies: up to 80% for full disability and 40% for others. The income of the patient and his spouse is also a factor in determining the discount.
- Discounts are also available for school fees and other municipal fees.
Applications for all discounts should be made to the exemptions committee of the local municipal authority, accompanied by documentation from the nephrology department performing the dialysis, or certification of Bituach Leumi. Applications for maximum discounts must also include proof of income (from employers or the income tax authorities) or a declaration of lack of income of the patient and his spouse.
4. Ministry of Transportation
A fully disabled dialysis patient for whom traveling by public transportation would be dangerous is entitled to the following benefits for one private auto belonging to him or his spouse:
- Full exemption from annual registration fee. (There is a 21NIS charge.)
- Exemption from transfer of ownership fee.
- Reduced fare on public transportation. Apply to the Ministry of Transportation.
- Disabled parking sticker (green triangle) permitting free parking at hospitals and in spaces reserved for the handicapped, as well as at bus stops and crosswalks if traffic is not blocked. One sticker can apply to two vehicles and can apply also to the patient’s driver.
Application for any of the benefits should be made to the exemptions committee of the vehicle registration office, accompanied by medical certification from the Ministry of Health based on documentation from the nephrology department, photocopies of the vehicle registration and valid driver’s license.
5. Telephone Charges
Fully disabled dialysis patients are eligible for 60 free message units per month and a 50% reduction in monthly line fees for one telephone.
Application should be made to the rehabilitation section in the Ministry of Welfare – P.O.B 1260, Jerusalem, 91012, accompanied by medical certification from the nephrology department.
Submit the certification you receive to your telephone company.
This benefit is not retroactive, so the sooner the better.
6. Department of Real Estate Taxes, Ministry of the Treasury
A fully disabled dialysis patient pays purchase tax of only 0.5% when purchasing a residence, including purchase of a plot on which a residence will be built within two years. This benefit is given twice in a lifetime.
To apply for this benefit, send the following documentation to the district office of real estate taxes where the residence is located:
- Declaration of Purchase (Form 7002)
- Request for exemption due to disability (Form 2973)
- Certification of disability from the medical board of Bituach Leumi
7. Israel Land Administration
A fully disabled dialysis patient is exempt from the “consent fee” when selling a residence that is leased from the Israel Land Administration.
A letter requesting exemption from the “consent fee” should be sent to the Israel Land Administration in the area of the residence. A letter of confirmation from Bituach Leumi that specifies the degree of disability must be included.
8. Health Funds (Kupat Holim)
- A patient traveling to dialysis treatment is entitled to reimbursement for all of his bus expense or half his taxi/ambulance expense. Examination and check-up visits are not covered.To apply for this benefit, send the following documentation to the medical secretary in your health fund branch:
- Certification of the dialysis treatment and the type of transportation necessary
- Monthly report of treatment dates and expenses
- Bus tickets or receipts from taxi or ambulance
Additional assistance with travel expenses for low-income patients may be available also from the office of social services of the local government.
- Dialysis patients receiving disability or old-age pensions who are unable to afford the payments for medications should apply to the medical secretary for reduction of the payments.
- Dialysis patients are exempt from the referral form 17 ( tofes 17) fee for referral to specialists, outpatient clinics, institutes, etc. This exemption should be recorded in the health fund computer system.
- Dialysis treatments outside of Israel are also covered at the same rate as such treatments in Israel. For detailed procedures, consult your health fund in advance.
Important Notice: Dialysis patients are usually given a medication such as Caltrate which is sodium based. Patients with elevated levels of phosphorus in their blood are eligible to receive Renagel instead. This medication is also covered by insurance. If your doctor refuses to prescribe Renagel, you should protest to The Israeli National Kidney Transplantees and Dialysis Patients Association at telephone 03-9044110.
9. Other benefits
- Dialysis patients receiving disability pension of at least 75% can receive assistance with rental expenses or when purchasing a residence from a public company. Application is made through the mortgage bank.
- Patients with at least 75% disability are eligible for exemption from Bituach Leumi payments. Application should be made to the collections office of Bituach Leumi.
- Patients with at least 75% disability are exempt from application fees to all government offices upon display of certification from Bituach Leumi.