After retiring in May 2014, Katya was astounded to discover that she wasn't receiving her old-age benefit; without this benefit, she was afraid that she wouldn't be able to pay her rent, and would find herself, at 68, homeless. Katya immediately turned to Israel's National Insurance Institute (NII), and demanded an explanation as to why she wasn't receiving her old-age benefit. A service representative explained that in all her years of employment, Katya had not worked the minimal amount of months (144) that would make her eligible to receive her old age benefit; upon further investigation, it turned out that she had worked the required amount of months, but that one of her former employers had neglected to report that Katya had worked for him. In order to receive the benefit, Katya would have to gather ten years' worth of pay stubs (66)! Though she was entitled to these pay stubs by right, when Katya went to her former employer to ask for them, he rudely turned her away, and refused to help her.
It was at this point that Katya turned to YEDID's Mobile Center. Although she only had her final paystub from her unpleasant former employer, the pay stub noted the date that Katya had started to work there, and YEDID staff concluded that this was enough information to take action. A YEDID staff member approached the Department of Insurance Continuity at the NII with a letter detailing the sequence of events, and asked the department to update their registrations. Within a week, YEDID was informed that Katya's insurance continuity had been fixed, and that she would begin to receive her old-age benefit. In numbers, this means that over the next 20 years, Katya will receive NIS 30,620. Thanks to YEDID, Katya can enjoy her retirement without the fear of losing the roof over her head.
The goal of YEDID's Mobile Citizen Rights and Health Center is to empower and strengthen residents like Katya of Israel's socioeconomic and geographic peripheries in the areas of health and social rights. The Center's objectives are to help clients navigate the national health system; to provide preventative medical services; and to supply information about legal rights and social benefits in the area of health care and other areas (such as housing and National Insurance, to name just two). Unfortunately, due to the ongoing conflict in Gaza, all of the health days that were planned in the south have been postponed until further notice.
From the beginning of May 2014 through the beginning of August 2014, the Mobile Center provided 131 clients with rights counseling. The most prevalent subjects for which people turned to the center for non-health related issues during this period were matters related to debt and repossessions (31%), issues concerning public housing and mortgages (20%), and problems in accessing benefits and rights from the National Insurance Institute (Social Security) (15%). Clients served included immigrants and veteran Israelis, Arabs and Jews.
The Mobile Center's plans for the coming months are to continue running Health Days, to recruit more volunteers with specific skills such as fluency in Arabic and Russian, and professional experience in relevant fields. Thanks to a generous donation, we will be able to hire an additonal part-time case manager for the Mobile Center. This will allow the center's staff and volunteers to more efficiently handle the packed caseload, especially on days in which the center both receives clients and simultaneously runs health days.
On behalf of YEDID's staff, volunteers, and clients, I thank our supporters for their partnership. The immediate and essential assistance that the center provides to individuals across the country could never happen without your help. Thank you so much!