Caring for an elderly or frail family member can be challenging, demanding and often requires around the clock supervision. The care required can often become too much for family members to handle, and it is at this junction that other care options need to be evaluated. The benefits of hiring a 24 hour- foreign care worker to look after your relative are easy to measure: it allows for your family member to be cared for in the comfort of their own home and can also be considerably less expensive than the nursing home option. In addition, if you meet the eligibility requirements for home health care assistance from Bituach Leumi (National Insurance Institute), you may be entitled to receive partial reimbursement of the monthly cost through the Bituach Leumi Nursing Care Law.
In order to legally hire a foreign care worker for a family member in Israel, you need to obtain a permit from Misrad Hatamat (The Ministry of Industry, Trade and Labor). You can access the forms from the following link. There is an application fee (approx. 265 NIS) which can be paid online or at your local post office. You must attach the receipt of payment to the application. In addition, you need to submit a copy of your Teudat Zehut (Israeli identity card). You can only apply for the permit if your family member in question is living independently or in an assisted living complex. You will not be eligible to receive the permit if they are living in a nursing home.
The hiring of a foreign care worker is via a registered recruitment agency (see partial listing below). Once you have selected an agency, they will be able to assist you in applying for the permit (mentioned above) and in completing the forms. Even if your Hebrew is of a high standard, it is recommended that the agency review the forms to ensure they are correctly filled out before submitting them to Misrad Ha’tamat. It is in the agencies best interest to assist you in obtaining the permit in a timely manner so that they will be able to provide you with a care worker as soon as possible. Recent changes in policy have shortened the process, and it should now take no more than two weeks to receive your permit.
The cost of hiring a foreign care worker is approximately between 4,500 NIS – 5,500 NIS per month. The base amount is controlled by the government and includes: monthly salary, health care insurance for the worker and a weekly spending allowance. In addition to this, you are expected to provide: an adequate living space for the caregiver, three meals a day and one day off per week. Many families choose to fill-in on the worker’s day off, however the health care agency will be happy to provide another worker, at an additional fee to cover this day.
The following is a partial list of registered recruitment agencies and health care provider agencies in Israel: