Published April 15, 2021 11:53 AM IST
Countless Israelis lost their jobs or have been temporarily unemployed during the Corona pandemic. Fortunately, the government has provided generous unemployment benefits during this difficult time. This includes unemployment payments even to those who have been placed on unpaid leave (חל”ת).
However, numerous Israelis with relationships overseas experienced an unforeseen difficulty. Unemployment rules stipulate that to receive unemployment payments, the citizen must be physically located in Israel. Many were unavoidably delayed abroad for different Covid related reasons, and were surprised to find that their unemployment benefits were cancelled or revoked. Examples include people who travelled last year for Pesach, and then could not return from abroad due to passport issues, deaths, or medical circumstances which prevented travel. Their lengthy stay overseas caused them to lose their benefits.
MK Yitzchak Pindrus (UTJ), a longtime advocate for the English speaking community in Israel took up the challenge. He penned a letter to Mr. Meir Spigler, Director-General of Bituach Leumi, decrying this ruling. Chaim V’Chessed CEO Rabbi Paysach Freedman, along with Mrs. Rachel Morgenstern of our Governmental Department met with Mr. Spigler, as well.
On April 14, Mr. Spigler sent a reply to MK Pindrus, averring that unemployment benefits will in fact be reinstated for those who were detained abroad due to Covid. Details will be released a later point, he stated. Our thanks to MK Pindrus and to Mr. Meir Spigler for their speedy resolution of this issue.