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Will Unemployment Benefits be Cut? Finance Minister Says No
Thu, Apr 08 2021, 11:00 AM

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Data from the Central Bureau of Statistics published today (Wednesday) revealed that in the first half of March, the unemployment rate in Israel, which determines the payment of unemployment benefits, fell below 10%, and was set at 9.8%. Under the special law for the corona period, full unemployment benefits will be paid to those on chalat and unemployment due to the corona crisis only as long as the unemployment rate is 10% or more. Additionally, unemployment benefits due to the corona crisis will only be paid by June 30 this year and it has not yet been decided whether to extend them.


When the unemployment rate in Israel is less than 10%, the legislation stipulates that the unemployment benefits paid by the National Insurance Institute will be cut by 10%, one month after the drop to below 10%. According to the law, when the unemployment rate is lower than 7.5%, the payment of the special unemployment benefits will be stopped altogether.


This means that those who earned 10,000 nis before Corona and are unemployed at home - currently receive 7,000 nis in unemployment benefits (70% of their salary), but starting May 1st, were only supposed to receive only 6,300. Additionally, unemployment benefits will be paid from July only to those who were fired from their jobs in the last months or after June 30 of this year, according to the periods stipulated in the regular law.


But, before the data was officially released, Finance Minister Israel Katz announced that the unemployment benefit cut, as stipulated in the law, will not be made: "As I clarified in the past, the Knesset payments will continue until June, without a 10% reduction.” The Minister also added that there are currently discussions to extend the unemployment benefits after June as well.

However, the Finance Minister cannot make these changes and the extension requires changing the law.

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