´Holocaust survivors should utilize benefits´ (JERUSALEM POST) By JUDY SIEGEL-ITZKOVICH 04/18/12)
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Many Holocaust survivors do not take advantage of their medical and
financial rights because they are unaware or undemanding, says a
study by Meuhedet Health Fund, the third-largest healthcare service
in the country.
Michal Richter, a social worker who coordinates Meuhedet’s treatment
of Holocaust survivors, said that some aging members face
difficulties due to their past losses that make them vulnerable. In
response, the health fund staff offers special aid.
A project titled “Assistance to the Survivor,” that Meuhedet and the
Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany run, helps
inform survivors of their healthcare rights, including allocations
and payment exemptions.
The new initiative urges survivors and their families to learn if
they are entitled to additional support. In many cases, as elderly
survivors’ conditions worsen, initial benefits do not match spiraling
In some circumstances, survivors can receive a discount or a full
exemption on co-payments when purchasing medications. They may
qualify for medications that are not included in the basket of
medical technologies for the rest of the population. Survivors may be
exempt from paying for diagnostic institutes, medical specialist co-
payments and other costs.
Meuhedet recommends that they speak to a social worker at their
health fund branch to determine entitled care. Additional aid may
come from the Finance Ministry’s office for rehabilitation of the
disabled, Germany’s health payments office, the Claims Conference,
the new law increasing benefits for survivors, the Amcha and Aviv
organizations and other institutions.
The Treasury recognizes survivors as needy and those who receive
National Insurance income supplements are entitled to an annual grant
from the “Claims Conference,” along with a smart card where the
monthly sum is deposited.
If survivors’ mental conditions worsen, they may qualify for a higher
degree of disability, which entails exemption for treatment payments
and medications that are not in the basket. Also, survivors that
develop new diseases may receive additional benefits.
Meuhedet’s social service official provided examples of survivors who
discovered they are entitled to additional benefit. One survivor,
identified by the letter B., receives 870 euros every three months
along with an old-age pension. When the social worker investigated,
she found that B. was entitled to more. The survivor – born during
World War II – now receives a full exemption for drug co-payments, an
annual grant of NIS 4,800 from the Claims Conference, a monthly smart
card with NIS 200 and other benefits.
T., who is 75, was also a child during the war. A few years ago, a
medical committee determined that he was entitled to 25% of
disability payments due to his emotional problems, along with a
monthly treasury allocation. T. lost his wife three years ago and
suffers from osteoporosis and diabetes complications. Meuhedet
accepted his application for additional income assistance and
disability funds. T. now receives drugs not included in general
health basket, and his pension increased by hundreds of shekels a
month. (© 1995-2011, The Jerusalem Post 04/18/12)
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