As a Chayal Boded (lone soldier) in the IDF, you are eligible for different benefits.
Speak to your Mashakit Tash (army social worker) in your military unit in order to ascertain which benefits you are eligible to receive.
Be sure to report immediately to your Mashakit Tash if there is any change in your personal status, such as your parents’ arrival in Israel, a change of address or your marriage.
Obtaining Chayal Boded Status
Make sure that your army commanders and Mashakit Tash (army social worker) know of your status as a Chayal Boded. Six months before your enlistment to the army, you will receive a summons to meet with an officer from Mador Prat, the department that deals with questions of individual status, and you will be asked to bring the following documents:
- Teudat Oleh
- Teudat Zehut
- Apartment contract (if you are renting an apartment and plan on staying there during your service)
In addition, you may have to sign a declaration stating that you don’t receive any financial support.
Monetary Benefits Received on a Regular Basis
|Salary as of 2/1/15||Lone Soldier Stipend||Operational Status A||Operational Status A+||Total Per Month (NIS)|
As a Chayal Boded, you receive a monthly stipend allowing you to purchase food items in the amount of 120 NIS per month. This benefit is given automatically to every soldier who is recognized as a Chayal Boded. The benefit can be used at any branch of the Supersol supermarket chain anywhere in Israel; and it cannot be carried over from one month to the next.
- You are forbidden to purchase tobacco and alcohol with this stipend. A soldier who purchases these items loses his or her benefit.
- You must show your Choger (army IDF) in order to make a purchase with this benefit.
The IDF offers Chayalim Bodedim a number of housing options. In order to take advantage of your housing benefits, please speak with the Mashaki Tash in your unit.
Beit Hachayal (Lone Soldier House)
- A Chayal Boded is entitled to stay, on an ongoing basis, at a hostel run by the Aguda Lemaan Hachayal (Soldiers’ Welfare Association). The hostels are located throughout Israel, in Kiryat Shmoneh, Tiveria, Jerusalem, Haifa, Tel Aviv, Beer Sheva, Ramat Gan and Eilat. Here is a listing of the Beit HaChayal locations around Israel.
- Each Beit Hachayal serves breakfast and dinner throughout the week, with more extensive meals provided on the weekends. Meals are free of charge for any soldier who is eligible for accommodations at the Beit Hachayal.
Staying on Kibbutz
The option to stay on Kibbutz is designed for combat soldiers, and soldiers who are serving on closed bases (IDF positions where you are not returning home every day).
The Kibbutz is responsible to provide soldiers with food, laundry service, furnished rooms, a kitchenette, a shower and bathrooms, all free of charge.
A soldier who lives on a Kibbutz , and has received approval by the IDF, will receive 8 supplementary meals a month.
Shared Chayal Boded Apartments (with Assistance from Aguda Lemaan Hachayal)
Aguda Lemaan Hachayal has apartments throughout Israel. The apartments are fully furnished and are supplied with food and cleaning materials on an ongoing basis. The apartments are available to soldiers free of charge. A soldier who lives in an Aguda Lemaan Hachayal apartment must follow certain guidelines and take care of the furnishings in the apartments. A soldier moves out of the apartments after he or she has been discharged from the army.
Rental Payments/Maintenance Expenses
- A Chayal Boded who rents an apartment independently is eligible for assistance with rent, in the amount of 795 NIS, and assistance with maintenance expenses in the amount of 251 NIS, for a combined total of 1,046 NIS per month.
- Eligibility is not automatic. To receive this benefit, speak to your Mashaki Tash and present an original copy of your rental contract. Before signing a rental contract, check your eligibility with your Mashaki Tash
- As per local municipal legislation, soldiers in active duty are exempt from Arnona (municipal taxes) throughout their service. Exemption can also be extended for up to four months after discharge from the military. (This applies only for soldiers who live in apartments that are up to 70 m2 in size.) To submit a request to receive the exemption, go to the municipality or local council in your place of residence, and bring an Ishur Sherut, rental contract and copy of your Teudat Chayal Boded.
- If you break your rental agreement, move to a new apartment or change your address, you must report this immediately to your Mashakit Tash
- A Chayal Boded who stays in the army in Sherut Keva (professional pay) is eligible for housing benefits for a period of two years from the date that he or she joined Keva. The soldier’s place of residence during these two years will be considered his or her permanent place of residence, towards future housing benefits.
Benefits Offered by Government Ministries
In addition to the benefits that are received within the IDF framework, a Chayal Boded who is an Oleh Chadash is entitled to benefits offered by Misrad Haklita (Ministry of Absorption) and Misrad Hashikun (Housing Ministry).
Benefits Offered by Misrad Haklita
An Oleh Chadash who is recognized by the IDF as a Chayal Boded is entitled to a monthly stipend equal to the monthly salary of an army private (approximately 433 NIS per month), so long as he enlists within 5 years of the date when he received Oleh Chadash status. To receive this benefit, the soldier must apply to Misrad Haklita, taking with him his Teudat Oleh, as well as his Chayal Boded certification and Active Service Certificate (Ishur Sherut Sadir), which may be obtained from his unit.
A Chayal Boded who is an Oleh Chadash is entitled to this benefit until the end of his military service. However ,the benefits must renew every year at the Ministry of Absorption.
Benefits Offered by Misrad Hashikun
Misrad Hashikun helps Chayalim Bodedim who are Olim Chadashim by offering an increased rental subsidy (totaling approximately 400 NIS per month), starting from the soldier’s second year in Israel, for a total maximum period of 48 months.
To receive this benefit the soldier should apply to one of the branches of Misrad Hashikun.
The following documents will be needed: Teudat Zehut, valid Teudat Boded, Ishur Sherut Sadir.
Misrad Hashikun updates these benefits from time to time. The local branch of the Misrad Hashikun should be consulted for the latest conditions.
Taking Leave (Meyuchedet)
Visiting Parents Abroad
Chayalim Bodedim whose parents live abroad are entitled to a 30-day Chufsha Meyuchedet (special leave) overseas, once per year of service
In addition, Chayalim Bodedim may travel abroad during regular annual leave, with the approval of their unit commanders and in accordance with military regulations. The duration of the stay abroad shall not exceed 30 consecutive days.
The IDF does not provide medical insurance to soldiers traveling abroad on leave. Soldiers must take care of insurance themselves, through private insurance companies or travel agents.
Leave During Parents’ Visit to Israel
A Chayal Boded whose parents live permanently abroad is entitled to 8 days of special leave if one or both of his/her parents arrive in Israel for a visit.
Chufsha Meyuchedet (Special Leave)
Special leave is granted in the event of an urgent and serious financial or other personal problem. Up to 30 days of special leave are available per calendar year, with the first 5 days of leave deducted from regular leave.
Personal Errands Day (Yom Siddurim)
A Chayal Boded is entitled to one Yom Siddurim every month during his/her basic training. After basic training, one Yom Siddurim is granted every two months to take care of necessary errands. This is not deducted from annual leave or special leave days. Leave for personal errands is granted during weekdays, not on Fridays or on the eve of holidays, and with the approval of the soldier’s Mefaked.
Soldiers departing for weekend or holiday leave will be released from the unit in time for them to reach their place of residence by noon, allowing them time to organize what they need for Shabbat or holidays.
Permission to Work Privately
A Lone Soldier can request to work privately after completing his work hours at the unit. This request must be approved by an officer in the unit with a rank of Lieutenant Colonel. To submit a request, soldiers should contact the Mashakit Tash of their unit.
Dmei Kalkala (Financial Support)
- Dmei Kalkala during sick leave: A Chayal Boded who is on sick leave, at home, for three or more days is eligible for Dmei Kalkala retroactively beginning on the first day of sickness. To receive the benefit, speak to the Mashaki Tash for your unit and submit a doctor’s note that indicates when you were sick.
- Dmei Kalkala during Chufsha Meyuchedet (special leave) due to financial problems: A Chayal Boded who takes a Chufsha Meyuchedet due to financial issues is automatically eligible to receive Dmei Kalkala throughout the leave. It is not necessary to speak to your Mashaki Tash. The benefit is given automatically, together with the soldier’s salary.
- A Chayal Boded who is eligible to receive any type of Dmei Kalkala automatically receives enhanced Dmei Kalkala of 150%.
Cards for International Phone Calls
A Chayal Boded whose parents live overseas is eligible to receive a phone card. The card entitles you to a certain number of minutes per month, in calls to any destination in the world. A card is valid for one year from the day it is activated. There are operating instructions on the back of the card.
To obtain the card, speak to the Mashakit Tash in your unit. Details regarding this benefit are updated from time to time, and are publicized by Machleket Prat.
Reduced Electricity Bills
Soldiers eligible for rental subsidy via the IDF are also entitled to a 50% reduction in their electricity bill for an initial number of kilowatts.
Take note! You must be registered as a customer of the Electricity Company in order to receive your reduction automatically. For further details, contact the Electric Company, Call Center 103.
Chayalim Bodedim are eligible to receive holiday vouchers in the amount of 250 NIS prior to Pesach and Rosh Hashana, enabling the soldiers to make the necessary purchases for the holiday. The vouchers can be used at a number of different stores. The list changes from year to year. Holiday vouchers are distributed just before the holiday by the Mashaki Tash in your department.
- The value of the voucher is updated occasionally. Changes are publicized by the Machleket Prat.
Accommodations at a Beit Hachayal
On weekends and holidays, soldiers are eligible to stay at one of the Beit Hachayal hostels, which belong to Aguda Lemaan Hachayal. To be eligible, you must present a Teudat Chayal Boded and Teudat Choger to the person responsible for the Beit Hachayal. Be in touch with the Beit Hachayal by phone to coordinate the time of your arrival. Beit Hachayal accommodations are open 24 hours a day and can be used as necessary, even without prior coordination.
Subsidizing a Flight (with the assistance of the FIDF)
A Chayal Boded whose parents live abroad is eligible to receive a fully-subsidized flight in order to visit his or her parents. This benefit can be used once, during military service.
The full cost of the ticket is covered, including airport taxes and medical insurance.
To submit a request, speak with the Mashaki Tash of your unit. Eligibility is dependent on your type of military service:
- Combat soldiers who are categorized as Aleph+ are eligible after 8 months of service.
- Soldiers who are Tomekh Lechima (combat support) and are categorized as Aleph are eligible after one year of service.
- Soldiers in other categories are eligible after the completion of half of their service, or after the completion of twelve months of service, depending on which takes place later.
- Prior to booking your ticket, you must receive approval from the Mefaked of your unit regarding your final flight dates
- For the cost of your ticket to be covered, you must have at least three months of service left
- You are entitled to travel abroad for a period of thirty days
- Check that your Israeli and foreign passports are valid for at least six months. The cost of issuing new passports and other needed documents for entering the country are at your own expense.
- After receiving permission to have the cost of the ticket covered, be in touch with Aguda Lemaan Hachayal in Tel Aviv ( located at 60 Weizmann St) to obtain your ticket. You must arrive in full uniform and according to military dress code. Bring with you the following documents:
Points to Remember
- A Mispar Esmachta for your request, as received from the Mashaki Tash of the Moked Bodedim
- Completed copies of the form requesting coverage for the cost of the flight, and the form for traveling abroad
- Israeli and foreign passports that are valid for at least six months from the date you are leaving Israel
- If you are flying to a country for which you are required to obtain special approval from the Bitachon Sadeh (field security), you will need to present an Ishur Bitachon Sadeh (field security permission) for you to travel abroad
- Teudat Choger or Teudat Katsin
Traveling in an Emergency
If a Chayal Boded Oleh loses a close relative who was living abroad, a flight overseas can be fully covered by Misrad Habitachon. The trip is considered Chufsha Meyuchedet for a period of 30 days.
In order to facilitate leaving the country quickly, soldiers should check that both their Israeli and foreign passports are valid and can be easily obtained. Flying to countries where Israeli soldiers are forbidden entry, will not be permitted.
If you need to travel due to an emergency, call the Moked Bodedim immediately at any hour of the day at 03-737-5200.
Moving Your Belongings to a New Location
If you need to move to a new residency, the army can usually help you and save you the cost of hiring outside movers. While this is not technically a “rule” or legal right, the army views itself as responsible for helping you, since you are a Chayal Boded and your funds and resources are limited.
To receive assistance with moving, you must approach your Mashkit Tash and request to receive a truck from the army. If you are stationed on a base that does not have an available truck that is appropriate for the move, you may need to pay a moving company, but you can submit the receipt from the moving company to your Mashkit Tash and ask to be reimbursed. However, before hiring the moving company, you must first exhaust all options (through your Mashkit Tash).
You may need to be flexible regarding the exact timing of when the army provides you with a truck for your move. Remember, even if it’s not perfect, you are receiving a free service.
A Chayal Boded Whose Parents Make Aliyah
A Chayal Boded whose parents make Aliyah during his or her final year of service will retain Chayal Boded rights until the end of his or her service. If the individual does not wish to be recognized as a Chayal Boded, he or she may submit a request for family payments, which will be evaluated in accordance with the regulations for entitlement.
A Chayal Boded whose parents make Aliyah before their final year of service, will be entitled to three additional months of entitlement, to assist with the transition.
A Chayal Boded, whose parents make Aliyah and rent an apartment where the soldier then moves in and lives together with his/her family, will be entitled to a rental subsidy once he or she presents a rental contract for the new residence.
Consult your Mashakit Tash to clarify what level of subsidy you are entitled to before signing a rental agreement or any other contract.
**If you are not receiving your full benefits for any reason, or if you need further information and assistance, you can always contact the army’s Moked Bodedim (Chayal Boded call center open 24 hours a day) at 03-737-5200.
***All amounts of money listed are current as of the time of the writing of this article. Please be aware that they are subject to change. To check the current status, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org.