Certificate of blindness/visual impairment enables holders to receive rehabilitation services, rights and various benefits.
- The certificate can be given permanently or for a limited period of time depending on the situation. The expiration date is listed on a certificate that is for a limited period.
- The certificate eligibility review process is also used to check eligibility to receive a special monthly allowance for the blind/visually impaired
- According to a circular of the National Insurance Institute as of 02.16.2015, the blind and visually impaired are not required to undergo vision tests for the National Insurance Institute and service for the blind,one of the following tests are sufficient:
- One who first contacts the National Insurance Institute will be reviewed by them, if they are deemed as having 90% defective eyesight, the test for the service of the blind will be administered, according to that a course of action will be taken.
- If referred to a test from the Service for the Blind, the opinion of the physician of the Service for the Blind will be sent to National Insurance Institute. The physician will also give his/her opinion on determining the degree of disability. The National Insurance, will decide how to proceed without the need for an additional claimant committee.
- In order to transfer medical information between agencies, the patient has to sign that he agrees to the transfer.
Who is eligible?
- Anyone who meets one of the following criteria is eligible to receive a Certificate of Blindness/Visual Impairment:
- Total blindness
- Visual acuity which is less than 3/60 in the better eye, even with the assistance of eyeglasses
- Field of vision which is less than 20° in the better eye, even with the assistance of eyeglasses
How to Claim it?
- The person should undergo an eye examination by a local optometrist. The optometrist should fill out the Request for a Certificate of Blindness/Visual Impairment form.
- Passport pictures should be attached to the appropriate section of the form.
- The form filled out by the ophthalmologist and the picture can be scanned and sent via email to email@example.com.
- Alternatively the form can be sent by mail (preferably registered mail) to:
- P.O. Box 24051
- Mt. Scopus, Jerusalem 9124001
- After the form is received, an additional eye examination will be performed by an eye doctor on behalf of the Blind Services Department.
- In rare circumstances, if the applicant is immobile and has been checked by a local eye doctor, a detailed request from the treating social worker can be attached to the form, requesting that the Blind Services Department eye doctor may make a decision based on the information from the examination performed by the local doctor and not require the applicant to come for another test.
- The eye doctor will notify the Blind Services Department of what he established and the Blind Services Department will decide whether the applicant is eligible for a certificate.
- The answer from the Blind Services Department as to whether the request for a certificate was granted, and the provision of the certificate itself will be sent directly to the applicant by mail.
- The Blind Services decision regarding certificate eligibility can be appealed in front of a higher medical committee.
- The appeal to the medical committee should be submitted through the social worker at the social services office in the applicant's place of residence.
- An appeal fee must be paid at the post office.
- The following documents should be included with the appeal:
- Receipt of payment of the appeal fee
- A letter detailing the reasons for the appeal.
- Relevant medical information to support the reasons for the appeal.
- The decision of the higher medical committee will be sent directly to the applicant.
Submitting a Renewed Request
- A renewed request to test for certificate eligibility can be made after a year since the last test has passed.
- In the event that there is documentation of a deterioration of the applicant's visual condition, a renewed request may be submitted before a year passes.
Lost / Stolen / Destroyed Certificates
- In even of a lost/stolen/destroyed certificate, a new certificate can be obtained.
- A certificate renewal fee must be paid to the post office bank and the local Blind Services Department coordinator should be contacted:
- Jerusalem district: 02-5085391
- Tel Aviv district: 03-5125506
- Haifa district: 04-8619456
- Be'er Sheva district: 08-6264912
Certificate in English
- The Blind Services Department will provide an English document to those whose request it certifying that the applicant is recognized by the State of Israel as legally blind (see an example at the bottom of this page).
- Contact the Blind Services Department administration in order to get the document:
- Blind Services Department - Ministry of Welfare
- 39 Yirmiyahu St., Jerusalem, 9446724
- For questions call 02-5085422.
Transfer of Information to the National Insurance Institute
- During the test by the approved eye doctor the applicant will reverie an information packet which gives the option of transferring information to the National Insurance Institute in order to establish eligibility for benefits (such as the Disabled Child Benefit, General Disability Pension, and Special Services Benefit (Attendance Allowance) without the need for an additional eye test.
- An applicant interested in this will sign a form requesting that the results of his test be passed on to the National Insurance Institute. (The approved eye doctors have the forms.)
- On this form the applicant attests that he/she is interested in being checked for eligibility by the National Insurance Institute and the applicant must sign a waiver of confidentiality as a condition for the transfer of information.
- Once the form is filled out and signed, the applicant will be examined by the approved doctor regarding the issue of eligibility for National Insurance, the date of the test will be considered as the date of submission of the claim to the National Insurance.
- One who has additional medical issues (i.e. in addition to a vision impairment), must inform the ophthalmologist of them so National Insurance is aware of the other issues as well.
- The test material will be transferred from the approved doctor to the claims officer to examine if the application has been recognized with the National Insurance Institute. From there will the continuation of treatment be decided.
- One who has not yet filed a claim with the National Insurance Institute must have their their pension entitlement examined without additional evidence being examined as well.
- One who has claimed an allowance in the past and the condition of their vision has deteriorated may be approved for a higher eligibility.
- Services for the Blind - Rehabilitation Branch - Ministry of Social Affairs and Social Services
- See also Certificate of Blindness/Visual Impairment on the "Kol Habriut" website from the Ministry of Health
Laws & Regulations
- Welfare Services Regulations (Examinations of Need) – Section 4
- Provision 6.3 of the Social Work Regulations: Certificate of Blindness/Visual Impairment
- National Insurance Institute Circular from 16.02.2015 - Procedure for working with the Blind Services Department in the Ministry of Social Affairs and Social Services, for the mutual recognition of eye examinations for determining eligibility.
- The original information on the blind and visually impaired, relies mainly on Guide of Rights and Services for the Blind in Israel from the Blind Services Department of the Ministry of Social Affairs and Social Services' Rehabilitation Wing - Ministry of Social Affairs, and was uploaded by scholarship recipients with support from the Blind Services Department.
- Original translation performed by The Shira Pransky Project as part of a grant from The Fellowship Fund.