Information and Rights for the individual with the dual disability of deaf-blindness:
Request for a Certificate of Blindness / Visual Impairment
The sighted guide allowance is a monthly payment intended to assist individuals who are blind and visually impaired with their mobility. Beginning from March 2018, a standard amount has been paid to all those eligible for this benefit – 1,337 shekels[TZM15] .
Additionally, beginning in March 2018, women are eligible to receive the allowance up to the age of 67 (as opposed to 62 previously).
The bearer of a Certificate of Blindness / Visual Impairment, or a parent living in the same home as a child who is blind or has a visual impairment, is entitled to a discount of 50% for telephone installation services and telephone use, as well as exemption from payment for 300 meter units [TZM16] per month.
How can you receive these services ?
To receive these entitlements, fill out and send in the request form to the address:
Department of Welfare and Rehabilitation Services
Ministry of Labor, Social Affairs, and Social Services
39 Yirimyahu Street (Habira Towers)
Attach with your request:
· Copy of National ID (Teudat Zehut)
· Copy of Certificate of Blindness
· A phone bill
· If an individual is renting their home and the telephone is not listed in their name, the rental contract (lease) must also be attached to the request.
Who is eligible?
Individuals who are blind or visually impaired.
The Ministry of Social Services, Department of Vision, Hearing and Technology Services (RESHET), provides individuals holding a Certificate of Blindness / Visual Impairment with a permanent tax rebate for the purchase of household equipment and personal equipment.
It is best to obtain information about eligibility conditions, list of items eligible for tax rebate and the amount of the rebate prior to purchase.
Who is eligible for this tax rebate?
· The bearer of a Certificate of Blindness (permanent) over the age of 18 who lives independently, after two years have elapsed since receiving the certificate.
· Individuals who receive the certificate after age 65 will be eligible for the tax rebate five years after receiving the certificate.
· The bearer of a Certificate of Blindness / Visual Impairment over the age of 75 will be eligible for the tax rebate five years after receiving the certificate and conditionally on the affirmation of a social worker from the Department of Social Services at their place of residence that the item was purchased for the individual and is located in their home for their personal use only.
Which equipment is eligible for this tax rebate?
· Home equipment: Fridge, washing machine, oven, heater, gas or electric stovetop, vacuum cleaner, stereo system, dishwasher, dryer, microwave, solar water heater, and air conditioner
· Personal equipment: digital magnifier (CCTV), magnifying computer software, Braille display, screen reader.
· In a single budget year, only a single tax rebate may be received for any of the following items: Fridge, oven, washing machine, air conditioner, solar water heater.
· A single person maintaining an independent household is entitled to a tax rebate on the condition when they submit a copy of an apartment purchase / rental contract (lease) in their own name.
· Invoice is valid for a year from the date of purchase and must be in the name of the holder of the Certificate of Blindness.
To receive this tax rebate, the following documents must be submitted:
· Original invoice (copies and reproductions are not accepted) with details of tax paid for the product purchased
· Copy of the Certificate of Blindness, both sides
· Copy of National ID (Teudat Zehut) page, both sides, showing date of birth and family status
How can you receive this rebate ?
For more information, please contact:
Israeli Center for the Blind, Tax Rebate Department
Address: 10 David Khakhami Street, Tel Aviv, 67778
Phone: 03-791-5530, Fax: 03-542-3710, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Beth David Institute – Center for Deaf-Blind Persons in Tel Aviv holds social activities including educational programs, trips, symposia, Young Adult programs, computer literacy courses, and more.
· Activities, lectures, parties
· Club meets weekly on Mondays
· Organized transportation provided for some participants
· Deaf-blind individuals are entitled to participate in the computer literacy course
· The course is not intended for work purposes, but rather, for orienting the user to the technological environment
· Submit a request to the Center for Deaf-Blind Persons to be accepted by the study committee
Tactile sign language training
· An individual who already knows sign language and whose vision is deteriorating to the point where they are no longer able to see
· An individual who does not know sign language and is becoming deaf and blind
· Submit a request to the Center for Deaf-Blind Persons in order to receive funding for this service.
Any deaf-blind individual is entitled to a grant from the Ministry of Social Services to participate in the 3-4 day annual retreat organized by the Center for Deaf-Blind Persons. The grant is in the amount of approximately ₪500.
A request is submitted by the Center for Deaf-Blind Persons and requires:
· Copies of National ID (Teudat Zehut) and Certificate of Blindness
· Proof of bank account ownership (“ishur nihul cheshbon bank”) or a copy of a check in the name of the deaf-blind individual
The Department of Vision, Hearing and Technology Services (RESHET) within the Disability Administration of the Ministry of Labor, Social Affairs, and Social Services, provides an “sighted guide allowance” benefit alongside a mobility benefit provided by Bituach Leumi (National Insurance Institute) to individuals with disabilities. Eligibility is limited to individuals who are blind or whose remaining vision is not effective.
What does the allowance benefit?
It is a monthly benefit intended to assist blind individuals with mobility, to increase additional activity which requires mobility and to aid in their integration within society.
Who is eligible to receive the escort fee?
· An individual holding a Certificate of Permanent Blindness / Visual Impairment over the age of 18, who received the Certificate of Blindness before old age
· Living in the community, including an individual living in a group home or residential care facility, who maintains an independent household
· Experiences one of the following vision conditions:
– Total absence of sight
– Visual acuity which is no higher than 1/60 in the better eye, even wearing glasses
– Maximum of vision no higher than 10 degrees in the better eye, even wearing glasses
How much is the sighted guide allowance?
As of March 1, 2018, the new universal allowance has been set at ₪1,337 per month .
In January of each year, the allowance is updated, tied to the pension amount from Bituach Leumi (National Insurance Institute).
How can you submit a request to receive the allowance?
You don’t have to submit any request to start receiving the allowance monthly. This entitlement is determined by The Department of Vision, Hearing and Technology Services (RESHET) as part of the testing process to receive a Certificate of Blindness.
However, an individual whose vision status is deteriorating may submit a request for an eligibility test for sighted guide allowances by submitting a request for a Certificate of Blindness, signed by the community ophthalmologist providing treatment.
After eligibility is determined, what do I have to do to receive the allowance?
Once you’ve received a positive reply, you must provide Blind Services with the following forms:
· Copy of a check or, alternatively, proof of bank account ownership (“ishur nihul cheshbon bank”)
· Declaration form
· Authorization from Bituach Leumi (National Insurance Institute) of the disability benefit amount and/or special services benefit (SHARAM)
Authorizations should be sent to the following address:
Department of Vision, Hearing and Technology Services (RESHET)
Ministry of Labor, Social Affairs, and Social Services
39 Yirimyahu Street (Habira Towers)
When is the sighted guide allowance benefit paid?
The benefit is transferred to your bank account on the 28th of every month.
An individual who is recognized as deaf and blind is entitled to additional interpreting hours beyond those provided to deaf individuals through the Ministry of Labor, Social Affairs, and Social Services. Interpreter services are provided by a professional interpreter who has completed an interpreter course in the language used by the blind and hearing-impaired individuals.
Eligibility criteria are as follows:
· Hearing loss of 50db or more in the better ear with a Certificate of Blindness / Visual Impairment: entitled to 32 hours of interpreter services annually.
· Hearing loss of 70db or more in the better ear with a Certificate of Blindness / Visual Impairment: entitled to 61 hours of interpreter services annually.
How can you receive this entitlement?
Through a social worker from the Department of Social Services nearest to the area where you live.
An individual with visual and hearing impairments (hearing loss of at least 70db) is entitled to 61 hours of interpreter services per year (unlike a deaf individual who is entitled to 45 hours).
Attaining interpreter and transcription services is done through the Center for Communications Support of the organization Shmaya.
Local authorities have trouble dealing with individuals who are deaf-blind due to difficulties in communicating with social workers.
The Beth David Institute’s Center for Deaf-Blind Persons operates social services with a social worker who uses tactile sign language.
The Ministry of Labor, Social Affairs, and Social Services operates a unique hostel (group home) for deaf-blind individuals. The hostel, which is operated by Slav, Ltd., is located in Holon in a new, comfortable home which has been adapted to the needs of these individuals.
· An individual with the dual disability in hearing and vision which has been determined solely based on medical findings, with a hearing impairment of at least 50% (70db) and a visual impairment of at least 90%, is entitled to an allowance of 112%, a total of ₪3,286.
Age – eligibility begins at the age of 18
· An insured individual who has reached retirement age may submit a claim for this allowance no later than 6 months after reaching retirement age. They are entitled to receive this allowance if a physician with the institute determines that they are entitled to it for the period before they reached this age.
· An individual entitled to receive the allowance when reaching retirement age will continue receiving it beyond retirement age.
SSP Program: The Support Service Provider (SSP) program began in 2015 and is already one of our key programs. This service provides deaf-blind people access to many otherwise inaccessible resources in the community, as well as practical support. SSPs are contracted to provide visual and environmental information on a regular basis so that deaf-blind people can retain their independence.
What is an SSP?
Support Service Providers, or SSPs, are trained, sighted guides, and providers of visual and environmental information. This information enables deaf-blind people make informed decisions and allows them to participate in the wider (mainstream) community. Typical activities include: grocery shopping, reading mail, simple banking, running errands, and maintaining a healthy lifestyle through activities such as exercising, going for walks, etc.
SSPs may be hearing, deaf, or hard of hearing. They must be familiar with a wide range of communication modes and techniques used by deaf-blind people, including Israeli Sign Language.
SSPs are not interpreters. Communication assistance often occurs for short exchanges, but this assistance is limited. SSPs do not facilitate communication for important transactions such as the translation of a lease, a medical appointment, or the discussion prior to making a large-purchase; this would require a professional interpreter. The emphasis of SSP work is on visual and environmental (not verbal) information.
Who is eligible? Deaf and hard of hearing people
Type of entitlement: allowance / benefit
Organization responsible for entitlement: Ministry of Labor, Social Affairs, and Social Services
Details of entitlement: Individuals born with a hearing impairment or whose disability began before the age of 3 are eligible to receive the communication package once they reach the age of 18.
What is the communications package?
The communication package is defined as assistance in meeting ongoing expenses stemming from the disability.
It is a fixed financial amout which is deposited each month by the central administration of the Ministry of Labor, Social Affairs, and Social Services directly into the bank account of the entitled individual.
Who is eligible to receive the communications benefit?
Entitlement to this benefit is given to an individual who meets all of the following criteria:
1. Hearing impairment of at least 70db in the better ear. The hearing threshold is calculated by the average hearing thresholds for a pure tone at frequencies of 500-4,000 Hertz.
2. Hearing impairment begins before the age of 3
3. The individual’s age is over 18
4. As of August 15, 2002, the individual had not reached old age
Only an individual meeting all 4 criteria may receive the communications benefit.
In addition, the individual must be an Israeli citizen.
Receiving the communications package is done through the Center for Communications Support of the organization Shmaya.
How can you receive the communications package?
The communications package is included within the range of communications support services provided to individuals with a hearing impairment.
To receive the communications package, contact the Department of Social Services nearest to the area where you live.
From the Department of Social Services site, fill out the Communications Support Services Request Form .
The following must be included with the form:
· Authorization from an ear nose and throat doctor (ENT, otolaryngologist)
· Authorization from a communications clinician
· Current hearing test
The form, with the required documents, should be submitted by the social workers of the Department of Social Services to the central offices of the Ministry of Labor, Social Affairs, and Social Services by regular mail.
Eligibility assessment is performed by Personal Services for Individuals with Hearing Impairments of the Branch of Assessment, Recognition, and Programs in the Disabilities Administration. The response will be sent to social workers with the Department of Social Services.
Entitlement: Individuals receiving a special needs allowance from Bituach Leumi (National Insurance Institute) of 105% or higher
What is the discount rate?
Individuals meeting the criteria are entitled to a 50% reduction in the home tariff on their electric bill for the first 400 kWh consumed per month, for home use only.
How can you receive this discount?
The discount is given automatically to those who are entitled according to the eligibility file which is transmitted to the electric company through Bituach Leumi (National Insurance Institute), on the condition that the bill is registered in the name of the eligible individual.