There are three levels of disability insurance that one can receive:
Level 1 – Bituach Leumi: Click here for the full explanation in English from Bituach Leumi’s website. There are a plethora of rules, but it is of note that the sums are not too high and you are not covered for the first 90 days of your injury. During these 90 days, you would use your sick days from your job (if you have accumulated 90 sick days; otherwise you just get paid for the days you have accumulated).
Level 2 – Pension: If you are labeled at least 25% and up to 75% disabled by the standards of Bituach Leumi, you can get up to 75% of your salary (the percentage is determined by the amount of coverage when you choose the insurance track in your pension – make sure you set this up correctly). The Pension reconciles what you are paid with Bituach Leumi. Like Bituach Leumi, you are only covered from the 91st day of your injury (in some cases, you can choose an option of a smaller waiting period or lump sum to cover the loss during the waiting period). There is also usually a waiting period of 60 months to cover disability from preexisting conditions. Other exemptions may apply – speak to your agent about your pension and what is and isn’t covered.
Level 3 – Private Disability Insurance: There are a variety of private disability insurances. Generally speaking, these are sums that cover you after the first 90 days, but unlike your pension, these sums are paid in addition to the money received from Bituach Leumi (not always, but almost all of them allow you to buy this feature as an expansion of the policy). If your looking for a policy, I recommend looking for some or all of the following features:
- That the payout does not deduct the money received by Bituach Leumi
- That the insurance covers disability for you to do your job. For example, if a surgeon gets disabled in such a way that his hands tremor, he wouldn’t be considered disabled by most policies (he can be a guard, work on a computer) but if he has this he would be covered.
- That you will receive partial disability for as little as 25%, unlike standard disability policies, which are mostly 75% disability or nothing.
- That there is some arrangement to cover the first 90 days, usually a it is an additional lump sum that you get if you reach the 91st day or a payout after a couple of weeks. Depending on your pension, you can set it up so that this will apply to the Level 2 part (from your pension plan) as well.
Unfortunately, the law changed so that you cannot get additional private insurance if you pay into a keren pensia meikifa. The reason for this law is supposedly to avoid people paying unnescessary amounts for insurance (since you have to pay a minimal amount in the pension and you’d pay for the private insurance which covers the same), but in truth, it forces people who need better coverage to get bituach menahalim instead of a keren pensia, which means that they will end up paying hundreds of thousands of shekels in additional fees, much more than than the amount they would be willing to throw away on the unnescesary insurance from the keren pensia. In my more recent experience, this means that one must consider strongly the limits of his insurance coverage when considering opening a keren pensia, and if the need merits it, consider an alternative option.