Chalat stands for Chofesh l’lo Tashlum, or unpaid leave. While, in normal times, workers on unpaid leave are not eligible for unemployment, salaried employees on chalat have been able to receive unemployment payments during the Corona crisis.
However, atzmaim (self-employed workers) are not eligible for unemployment. To alleviate this situation, the Israeli government has been offering grants for atzmaim. For many atzmaim, these grants are a lifeline. But, as several foreign residents of Israel discovered, not every atzmai could access these critically needed funds.
Callers to Chaim V’Chessed shared that, since they do not possess a mispar zehut (Israeli identity number), they were blocked from applying for these grants. It goes without saying that the Tax Authority manages to collect taxes from these residents, but now, when they should be receiving a benefit from the authorities, they were stymied.
Mrs. Rachel Morgenstern, Chaim V’Chessed’s Government Advocate & Liaison, contacted the Tax Authority regarding this issue. We are pleased to announce that Mr. Yigal Yamini, a senior official with the Tax Authority, responded to Mrs. Morgenstern with a resolution to this problem. Yamini created a route for foreign citizens to receive these grants, and also notified clerks in the tax office of the new arrangement.
In an extraordinary step, he even went further: Mr. Yamini actually ordered clerks to track down all and any foreigners who had been previously turned down for the grant, and appraise them of the new method for applying!
It should be noted that, as per the arrangement reached, foreign atzmaim must visit a Tax Authority office in person to apply for these grants. See instructions in this attached letter from Yigal Yamini.