Introduction:

Long-term care and mentally frail seniors requiring financial assistance for institutional arrangements, are entitled to received assistance from the government
The amount of assistance and the contribution required from the applicant are determined according to an income test of the senior, his/her spouse and adult children, and it is conditional on family cooperation
Nursing homes require a license from the Ministry of Health; before choosing a nursing home, it is crucial to confirm that it has a license in accordance with the law
For more information, see the Ministry of Health's English website

Long-term care and mentally frail seniors, who have decided (or whose legal guardian has decided on their behalf) to move to a nursing home may choose one of the following two options:

  • If the senior does not wish to receive financial assistance for the institutional arrangement, a nursing home of his/her choosing may be contacted directly. It is crucial to confirm that the nursing home has a license in accordance with the law!
  • If the senior is incapable of paying for the nursing home, the Ministry of Health bureau in his/her place of residence may be contacted in order to make arrangements for receiving financial assistance from the government.

The financial assistance request process is composed of a number of stages:

Contacting the Ministry of Health

  • In order to receive financial assistance, the closest Ministry of Health bureau to the applicant's place of residence must be contacted. Click here to view a listing of the bureaus.
  • The following documentation must be submitted to the Ministry of Health bureau:
    • Photocopy of the senior's national identification card (teudat zehut) including the attachment (sefach)
    • Updated functioning report filled out by a nurse and family doctor
    • Medical documentation regarding hospitalization in the past year
    • Additional medical documentation detailing the senior's medical condition
    • Social work report filled out by a social worker who is familiar with the senior

Ministry of Health Bureau Classification Committee

  • After receiving the relevant documentation, a classification committee at the Ministry of Health bureau will decide if the senior should be classified as long-term care, mentally frail, or another classification.
  • If the senior is determined to be long-term care or mentally frail, the committee will decide which department in the nursing home is most appropriate.
Example
An 85 year old man who is wheelchair-bound and unable to care for himself as the result of his age and a stroke he suffered in the past has requested to move to a nursing home or other appropriate facility. He contacted a social worker who explained to him that due to his functioning capacity, he should contact his nearest Ministry of Health bureau, which he did, submitting all required documentation. A classification committee meeting was held, which he was not required to attend. The committee decided that he should be classified as a long-term care senior and so arrangements were made for him at a nursing home through the Ministry of Health.

Nursing Home Payment

  • After a committee has determined the proper residential framework for the senior, questionnaires will be sent to him/her, his/her spouse (if applicable) and children in order to carry out an income test.
  • The senior and family members must sign the questionnaires before a lawyer or court clerk and submit them to the Ministry of Health bureau.
  • The payment amount(s) required by the senior, his/her spouse and children will be determined according to the documentation submitted to the Ministry of Health.
  • The senior's acceptance to a nursing home with government assistance is conditional on financial contributions from all of his/her children according to the amounts determined as the result of the income test.
  • The amount each child is required to contribute is different and based on income, the number of children below the age of 18, and any special expenses they may have.
  • Those already paying for another parent (either their own or their spouse's) may be exempt from further financial contributions.
  • If children do not cooperate in providing proof of income in order to have eligibility determined, or are not willing to contribute the amount that has been determined they must contribute, the parent may not receive financial assistance from the government to move into a nursing home and will be required to fund the arrangements without assistance (except for in exceptional cases, such as if he/she will be at risk if left at home).

Documentation the Senior and His/Her Spouse Must Submit with the Questionnaires

  • Salaried Employee or Pensioner - Proof of income for the past three months
  • Self-Employed Workers - Last tax assessment from the income tax assessor
  • Documentation of amount received from National Insurance benefits
  • Other proofs of income, if applicable (such as pensions, insurance benefits, income from real estate assets, etc.)
  • Information about savings and deposit accounts
  • Information about private long-term care insurance
  • Documentation of irregular expenses, if applicable (such as mortgages/rent, mortgage reimbursements, etc.)

Documentation the Children Must Submit with the Questionnaires

  • Salaried Employee or Pensioner - Proof of income for the past three months
  • Self-Employed Workers - Last final tax assessment from the income tax assessor
  • Mortgage - Documentation from the mortgage bank regarding the loan amount, the monthly payment amount and the mortgage date
  • Documentation if a child is in university or the military/national service
  • Documentation of rent

Signing Letters of Commitment

  • After the contribution amounts for the family members have been determined, every one of them must sign a personal letter of commitment to contribute the monthly payment.
  • Two guarantors with fixed income must be present at the signing.

Appeals Committee

  • Families who do not feel that they can meet the contribution amount(s) determined for them due to a specific problem may submit an appeal.
  • Submissions are made to an appeals committee through a social worker at the Ministry of Health bureau; a letter and relevant documentation must be attached to the appeal.

Entrance Fee

  • Upon moving into the nursing home, a one-time entrance fee must be paid to the Ministry of Health.
  • The entrance fee amount is equivalent to double the monthly contribution amount (not including the National Insurance benefit), and may be paid in four installments.
  • If the senior leaves the facility within two months, a proportional amount of the entrance fee will be returned, according to the number of days he/she lived there.
  • If the senior paid out-of-pocket for living in a nursing home or long-term care facility for a number of months, the family may be exempt from paying an entrance fee (an appeal must be submitted).
  • If a senior has no savings and no grown children, the family may be exempt from paying an entrance fee.

Choosing a Nursing Facility

  • The senior and his/her family are entitled to choose an appropriate facility (meaning that it has an appropriate department according to the senior's needs; for example a ward for the Mentally Frail) anywhere in Israel, as long as it has an agreement with the Ministry of Health and has vacancy.
  • If there is no vacancy, the senior and his/her family may choose to wait until there is or choose a different facility.
  • Choosing a facility is not an obligation to stay there forever, the senior and his/her family may at any time request to move to another appropriate facility that has an agreement with the Ministry of Health, or move back home (if proper care may be provided there).
  • When choosing a facility, it is important to take the following into consideration: recommendations from people you know; the facility's population (i.e. in terms of language, socializing); location (i.e. if it's close to family); level of building maintenance; staff to resident ratio; how the staff interacts with residents and families; etc.

Monthly Contributions

  • The obligation to pay contributions only begins after moving to the facility.
  • The monthly contributions from the senior and the family are general paid by means of a standing order (הוראת קבע).
  • If a standing order is not possible for some reason, a monthly bill will be sent to those obligated to pay contributions.
  • Contributions must be paid by the fifth of every month.
  • If the senior goes into a facility after the beginning of the month or permanently leaves a facility before the end of the month, required contributions will be prorated proportionately according to how much of the month he/she was actually living in the facility.
  • It is not possible to pay a partial contribution if the senior goes on vacation, for example, as the Ministry of Health pays regardless of whether or not a resident has temporarily left the facility to go on vacation, etc.
  • Nursing homes are forbidden from requiring any additional payments from a resident referred by the Ministry of Health, or require that the family purchase equipment or supplies, such as medications or adult diapers, on their own in order to bring them to the facility.

Contribution Exemptions

Aid Organizations

  • For a comprehensive listing of organizations that help senior citizens and the elderly, click here.
  • For a comprehensive categorized listing of healthcare organizations offering assistance and support, click here.
  • For a comprehensive categorized listing of aid organizations offering assistance and support for people with disabilities, click here.

Government Agencies

Additional Publications

Credits