People with deafness and hearing impairments are entitled to monetary reimbursement for the purchase of communication devices that help them in daily life.
- The reimbursement may be provided once every four years upon presenting relevant receipts.
- Recipients must pay at least 10% of the cost of each purchased device out of pocket.
- The reimbursement may be up to a total of 3,768 NIS as of February 2018.
- Beginning in March 2018, those who have reached retirement age are entitled to the same things as someone younger than retirement age
- Those who meet the eligibility requirements for the communications basket are also entitled to a monthly communication services allowance, as well as interpretation services.
Who is Eligible?
- One who is over the age of 18, who sustained a hearing loss of at least 70 dB in the better ear before age 3.
- If genetic hearing loss occurred after age 3, eligibility may be examined based on genetic background after having an ear nose and throat (ENT) doctor indicate this on the relevant form.
Assisting Devices Included in the Communications Basket
- The following devices are included in the basket:
|Devices for the computer, television and car||Warning/alert devices|
|Personal desktop/laptop/handheld computer||Intercom, camera and monitor|
|Computer printer||Wireless amplified/blinking doorbell, or sensors to detect a knock at the door|
|Webcam||Blinking smoke detectors|
|Modems (not including the refunded tax amounts)||Vibrating/blinking alarm clock or watch|
|Digital subtitle converter||Blinking alert system for home telephone, fax or cellular telephone|
|Teletext decoder||Emergency siren detection system for the car|
|Hearing assistance system for the television||Integrated alert system including a mobile device for visual and/or textual presentation|
|Special interior and exterior panoramic mirror for the car|
|Television system for trucks|
|Communication assistive devices||Hearing assistive devices|
|Telephone with amplified ring/voice and visual and/or vibrating pad alert capabilities||Personal F.M. amplification system|
|Portable amplifier that plugs into the telephone receiver||Personal hearing amplifier|
|Speech and/or ring amplifier for the telephone||Hearing device and headphones|
|Cellular telephone that includes SMS (sending and receiving text messages) capabilities|
|Vibrating battery for cellular telephone|
|Handsfree device for cellular telephone with amplifier or T-coil mode capabilities|
|Handsfree device for the car with T-coil mode capabilities|
|Stationary/mobile fax machine|
How to Claim It?
- A person must obtain a Communication Support Services Request Formand bring the form to an ear, nose and throat (ENT) doctor.
- The ENT will fill out the relevant part of the form and give a referral for a hearing test.
- One must undergo the hearing test and upon its completion the audiologist should fill in the relevant details on the request form. The hearing test results that should be submitted with the request must be up to date and no more than 2 years old.
Submitting the Request
- The completed form should be submitted to a Ministry of Social Affairs and Social Services office and must include:
- Two passport photos
- If the applicant has documentation from the National Insurance Institute indicating recognition of a hearing impairment, it is recommended to attach it to the application
- The forms are sent to the national communications clinician for an examination of eligibility.
- The social services office will notify the applicant if the request has been approved within 3 months.
- One has the option to request a re-examination of the decision of the national communications clinician, provided that there is new data or new circumstances that could change the decision.
- One may request a re-examination within 6 months from when the initial decision was given. In certain situations, the national communications clinician can make exceptions to this time frame.
- A re-examination request requires that all of the documentation detailed above be filled out again.
- Similarly, the national communications clinician, reserves the right to initiate a re-examination, or request more information or tests of anyone who has already been approved for eligibility.
- One who wants to appeal the decision given to him, may submit an appeal (objection) to the supreme professional committee of the Ministry of Social Affairs and Social Services' Rehabilitation Branch.
- The appeal (objection) should be submitted on the Appeals Form to the Supreme Professional Committee for the Provision of Communication Support Services (addendum B in the social work regulations).
- The forms and relevant documents should be sent to:
The hearing impaired division in the Ministry of Social Affairs and Social Services -Rehabilitation Branch, Yirmiyahu 39, Migdalei HaBira, Jerusalem
- The appellant should get a message and an invitation to a hearing within 15 days of when his appeal was received.
- The hearing in front of the committee shall take place within 45 days from when the appeal was received. The hearing should be recorded in a protocol.
- The central committee may request that documents relevant to the appeal be presented to it.
- The committee's decision regarding the appeal must be given within 30 days after the hearing.
- A message regarding the committee's decision about the appeal along with its explanation must be sent to the appellant within 10 days of his receiving of the decision.
Obtaining a Reimbursement for devices purchased
- One who has been approved and purchases a device included in the communications basket should submit the following documents to the Communications Support Center -, Shmaya
- Original receipt from the purchase of the device in the name of the person eligible for the Communications Basket
- Photocopy of identification card (teudat zehut) including the attachment (sefach)
- Details of the eligible person's bank account (the reimbursed money will be transferred directly into his bank account)
- The documentation may be submitted in one of the following ways:
- By mail to the Communications Support Center -Shmaya; P.O. Box 393, Bnei Brak, 5110301
- By fax to the number 03-6486030
- By email to [firstname.lastname@example.org]
- In person to Ben Gurion 38, Ramat Gan (Beit Nach Menachmani) 4th floor
- For more information about Shmaya see their English webpage
- The years are calculated from the beginning of eligibility.
- The Communications Basket may not be received retroactively.
Laws and Regulations
- Provision 5.7 of the Social Work Regulations: Hearing Communication Services for People with Hearing Impairment
- Appendix 5.7 of the Social Work Regulations: Communication Allowance Rates
- Assisting Devices on the Shmaya website
- Information written with the assistance of Bekol.
- English translation and maintenance by The Shira Pransky Project.