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.
Who Is a Chayal Boded?
The army will only grant the status of Chayal Boded to a soldier whose parents have spent no more than six of the twelve months prior to enlistment (as residents or on tourist visas) in Israel.
Halfway through a Chayal Boded’s service, the army will once again verify the time period the parents have spent in Israel. If the parents have been in Israel for more than half of the army service, the soldier will lose his or her Chayal Boded status. It is the responsibility of the soldier to report parental visits to the army. If the soldier fails to notify the army, the Chayal Boded may lose his or her status with financial repercussions.
For more information, please contact [email protected]
Most Lone Soldiers receive their Chayal Boded status at their Tzav Rishon.
Ensure that your army commanders and Mashakit Tash (army social worker) know of your status as a Chayal Boded. Before you enlist, 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.
|Non-Combat||Combat Support||Combat||Combat- After two years of service*|
|Lone Solider Stipend||554.7||554.7||554.7||554.7|
(Supersol & Shekem)
|Misrad Haklita Grant||540||540||540||540|
|Misrad Habinui Grant
(After 13 month of Aliyah)**
*From the ninth until the 12th month after making Aliyah, the amount is 223 NIS*
|Non-Combat||Combat Support||Combat||Combat- after two years of service|
|Lone Solider Housing Stipend
Lone Solider Meyuchedet for Moving – A Lone Soldier who moves homes during their service is entitled to a two-day leave in order to move. These days can also be used to search for an apartment or to organize the move.
The following criteria must be met:
A Lone Soldier in the process of moving.
A Lone Soldier may take advantage this Meyuchedet anytime within 60 days before the end of the existing contract, until 30 days after entering the new home.
A soldier that lives in a Dirat Alach receives a 400 NIS monthly food stipend
Chayalim Bodedim receive a monthly stipend allowing them to purchase food items in the amount of 150 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 (military ID) in order to make a purchase with this benefit.
What is the Kochavim Card?
A digital shopping card that soldiers can use from before their draft until their release. The card can be used at Hamashbir and H&O.
Using the Card:
Pre-Draft: 14 days prior to their draft date, draftees will receive an SMS message informing them of their entitlement to the Kochavim Card The draftees must open the link that is attached to the message and approve the card’s regulations. Once they have approved the regulations, they will receive a code that they can use to complete purchases at all H&O chains, as well as Hamashbir Latzarchan
You may be required to present a valid ID
*If an individual has not yet drafted, he/she must pay the equivalent value of “stars” to the IDF
Types of Stars
“Personal Stars” – these are intended for the use of undergarments and personal winter gear
“Sports Stars” – these stars are designed for the purchase of running shoes (as of March 2018)
“Discount Stars” – stars that can be used for discounts on private purchases
** The timeframe of receiving the “Kochavim Card” varies depending on the nature of the soldier’s service, and for more details and terms of eligibility please refer to the Mitgaisim website
In order to better understand your housing benefits, speak with your Nefesh B’Nefesh Lone Soldier advisor.
Beit Hachayal (Lone Soldier House)
- A Chayal Boded is entitled to stay, on an ongoing basis, at a hostel run by the Aguda Lema’an Hachayal (Soldiers’ Welfare Association). The hostels are located throughout Israel. 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.
Living on Kibbutz
There is an option for Lone Soldiers to live on a Kibbutz, and may be more appropriate for soldiers who are serving on closed bases (bases in which the soldier does not return home every day).
The Kibbutz is responsible to provide soldiers with laundry service, furnished rooms, a kitchenette, a shower and bathrooms, all free of charge.
Lone Soldiers are also eligible to receive an adopted family. You have the option to specify what kind of family you are looking for (religious, vs. secular, kids, vs. no kids) and where you would like to be located throughout your service.
If you are interested in living on a Kibbutz, or receiving an adopted family, send us an email at [email protected] and we can set you up with one.
Private organizations operate houses such as HaBayit shel Benji, Beit Koby and the Lone Soldier Center which are designed for combat soldiers. Residence is free of charge and there are free meals, a common living room and private bedrooms. Availability should be checked with each organization.
Shared Chayal Boded Apartments (with Assistance from Aguda Lemaan Hachayal)
Aguda Lema’an Hachayal has apartments available for Lone Soldiers throughout Israel. The apartments are available to soldiers free of charge. Soldiers living in these apartments will receive 400 NIS per month directly to their bank account. A soldier who lives in an Aguda Lema’an Hachayal apartment must follow certain guidelines and take care of the furnishings in the apartments. A soldier is required to move out of the apartments after he or she has been discharged from the army.
- The army will subsidize the rental of an apartment for a Lone Soldier in the amount of 1,300 NIS per month.
- Your name must be on the contract in order to receive this benefit from the IDF.
- Eligibility is not automatic. To receive this benefit, speak to your Mashakit Tash and present an original copy of your rental contract. Before signing a rental contract, check your eligibility with your Mashakit Tash
- Soldiers in active duty are exempt from Arnona (municipal taxes) throughout their service. Exemption also extends 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 Sadir, rental contract and copy of your Teudat 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 an Arnona exemption for a period of two years from the date that he or she joined Keva.
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 Aliyah and Integration) and Misrad Habinui (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 of 540 NIS per month, as long as he enlists within 5 years of the date when the Lone Soldier received Oleh Chadash status. To receive this benefit, the soldier must apply to Misrad Haklita, and present a Teudat Oleh, as well as an Active Service Certificate (Ishur Sherut Sadir), which may be obtained from the Lone Soldier’s unit.
A Chayal Boded who is an Oleh Chadash is entitled to this benefit until the end of his military service. However, these benefits may need to be renewed each year at the Misrad Haklita.
Benefits Offered by Misrad Habinui
Misrad Habinui helps Chayalim Bodedim who are Olim Chadashim by offering an increased rental subsidy (402 NIS per month), starting from the Oleh’s 8th month in Israel, until the end of the 5th year from Aliyah.
This benefit is allotted automatically, if for some reason you do not receive these payments automatically, please email Shaul Gibenber – Lone Soldier Olim Coordinator in Misrad Haklita – [email protected]
For general personalized information – Misrad Habinui Vhashikun hotline: *5442
After your shichrur (release), you are eligible to an extension of this benefit. For more information, please read the following article: Life After Army.
Visiting Parents Abroad (Chufshat Meyuchedet)
Chayalim Bodedim whose parents live abroad are entitled to a 30-day Meyuchedet (special leave) to fly overseas each year of their service.
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. The Army will pay for two flights for combat soldiers and one for non combat soldiers. Combat Soldiers are eligbible for this paid flight after serving for at least eight months. Combat support after one year and non combat soldiers are eligible after completing half their service.
Leave During Parents’ Visit to Israel
A Lone Soldier’s direct commander has the ability to grant up to eight days of special leave in Israel. This special leave applies only to visits of one or both parents.
Special leave can be granted in the event of an urgent and serious financial issue. During the work leave the soldier may receive up to 30 days to live and work outside the army in order to rectify the financial issue.
Personal Errands Day (Yom Siddurim)
A Chayal Boded is entitled to one Yom Siddurim each month during his/her basic training. After basic training, one Yom Siddurim is granted every two months to take care of errands. The purpose of Yom Siddurim is to visit government offices, banks and any other important 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 Direct Commander.
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 time to prepare for Shabbat or Holidays.
If the parents make Aliyah in the middle of the first or second year of a lone soldier’s IDF service, the soldier will get to keep their lone soldier status for another 3 months.
If parents make Aliyah in the last year of a lone soldier’s IDF service, the soldier keeps their lone soldier status until the end of their service.
Note: In this case, a soldier will not be granted a free flight from the FIDF as these flights are specifically meant for soldiers to fly home to visit their parents and immediate family.
If a lone soldier is serving for 12 months, and their parents make Aliyah in that year, the soldier must speak with their Mashakit Tash, because these situations are handled according to a case by case basis.
* One must be considered a lone soldier for 3 months in order for these regulations to apply.
* If parents decide to stay in Israel for an extended period of time without making Aliyah, a lone soldier must speak to their Mashakit Tash. It is the responsibility of the soldier to report parental visits to the army. If the soldier fails to notify the army, the Chayal Boded may lose his or her status with financial repercussions.
- 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: [email protected].