MAAN: A bureaucratic breakthrough for Palestinian workers

From now on, Palestinian Authority residents who work in Israel or Israeli settlements will be able to access their personal area on the website of the National Insurance Institute (NII), submitting claims and documents as their Israeli counterparts can.

An Israeli insured-individual can easily generate a username and password for their personal area on the website of the National Insurance Institute (NII). There, they can not only read updates and letters but also submit claims and documents quickly, conveniently, and reliably.

Until recently, this was not the case for Palestinian Authority (PA) residents employed in Israel or the settlements. They could not generate a username and were not granted a personal area on the NII website for use in the event of a work accident. As a result, there were delays of months and even years in handling claims, often leading to rejection due to lack of communication.

MAAN Workers Association (MAAN) has repeatedly addressed the issue and demanded its resolution. MAAN’s activist appeared on the radio program “Yihiyeh Beseder” (“Everything will be alright” in Galei Zahal), first in April 2021 and again in March 2022. Finally we succeeded, in March 2024, to have the NII launch a dedicated online form for foreign workers and PA residents. In the event of an injury on the job, these workers can now receive an identification number allowing them direct use of the website through a personal area.

Ra’ed, for example, lives in Ramallah. He worked in Israel legally with permits. In December 2019, he suffered a severe work accident in which he fell from a considerable height.

Ra’ed sought MAAN’s assistance, which included filing a claim for NII disability benefits. It should be noted that non-Israeli workers employed in Israeli businesses (in Israel and the settlements), are insured under the National Insurance Law for three kinds of cases: work injury, childbirth, and bankruptcy of the employer.

A claim for disability benefits is not complicated in itself. The form can be filled out without professional assistance. To gain access to the branches of the NII, however, one must schedule an appointment using an Israeli ID number, which Palestinians from the PA territories do not have.

Therefore, we at MAAN submitted Ra’ed’s claim via fax in June 2020. We received an automatic confirmation of successful transmission. However, for a long time, there was no way to ascertain the status of the claim. To get an update on Ra’ed’s case, we pursued all our contacts and reached out through every possible channel. Meanwhile, Ra’ed remained without income for himself and his family, and without funding for his many medical expenses.

Only after numerous inquiries and threats of going to court did we finally receive a response in November 2020 – almost a year after the accident – stating that the faxed claim form had not been received!

To shorten the story, we eventually managed to submit the claim. However, many months passed until all the money due to Ra’ed was transferred to his bank account  in May 2021. This situation is similar for many others.

In April 2021, we appeared on the Radio program “Yihiyeh Beseder”, demanding that all NII insured-individuals be allowed access to a personal area on the NII website, which would overcome a major obstacle to obtaining their legal rights, activating insurance for which they have been paying for years.

The NII argued that the matter is complex administratively, and further complicated due to security of data, but they promised that by the end of 2021, updates would be made to the system. In the meantime, we continued, together with Kav Laoved, to correspond with them.

In March 2022, having made no progress , we again appeared on the radio program. The NII made commitments on air, but in practice nothing changed.

Nevertheless, we did not give up, and after many calls, letters, inquiries, and meetings, a dedicated online form was finally launched in March 2024, enabling a PA resident who had suffered a work injury (the new service is also open to foreign workers) to receive an identification number from the NII. They can then easily and quickly submit a request (albeit in Hebrew) for access to the NII’s online personal area, performing all required actions without leaving home.

To enter the new form in the NII website see here https://www.btl.gov.il/about/news/Pages/OvedZarMisparMzehh.aspx

 

 

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As an organization committed to the rights of workers without distinction of religion, race, nationality, gender, or profession - democracy is our essence. We strongly oppose the authoritarian laws that the extreme government of Netanyahu, Lapid, Bennett, and Smotrich is attempting to impose.

Without democracy, there are no workers' rights, just as a workers' organization cannot exist under dictatorship.

only a victory of the democratic camp will enable a discussion on the Palestinian issue and lead to an alternative solution to occupation and apartheid while ensuring human rights and citizenship for all, Israelis and Palestinians alike. As long as the apartheid regime persists, the democratic camp will not succeed in defeating Israeli extremists. Therefore, we work to involve the Arab and Palestinian society in the protest.

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