The magic circle: How income-security benefits are denied to the Palestinians of East Jerusalem

During the time of collecting the data presented above, the WAC-MAAN EJ branch represented 200 people. Of these, 158 approached the NII, 80 of them seeking ISBs (the others claimed...

During the time of collecting the data presented above, the WAC-MAAN EJ branch represented 200 people. Of these, 158 approached the NII, 80 of them seeking ISBs (the others claimed on-the-job injury benefits and unemployment compensation). The remaining 42 approached the EB. We also collected dozens of additional complaints and testimonies in our field work and training sessions.

  • Of the 80 claims that we represented vis-à-vis the NII, 27 ended successfully, while 36 are still caught up in an endless correspondence, most of which consists of our demands that the NII should answer our letters.
  • In 95% of our cases, the NII refused to let people submit claims on the ground that they did not have all the necessary documents in hand.
  • In 70 of our cases we found that the NII had failed to confirm receipt of the claims.
  • In all the files we encountered cases where the clerks refused to provide written confirmation of receipt of documents, even though these had been hand-delivered by the claimants.
  • In all the files we encountered cases where clerks demanded documents orally without adding them to the written list as is done at NII branches throughout the rest of the country.

 

  • Concerning the 42 jobseekers whom we represented vis-à-vis the EB, 22 of their files dealt with hindrances in being received and classified at the EJ branch, as well as difficulties with the requirement to appear weekly. The most outrageous obstacle is the branch’s systematic refusal to receive jobseekers unless they produce an official document, signed by the NII, confirming that they have submitted a claim for income support. As said above, the NII branch usually refuses to supply such a document.
  • Another 13 cases on file concerned persons listed as job refusers. Some of these were wrongly classified at their first appearance before the EB, with the result that there were referred to jobs unsuited to their medical condition; others were referred to “fictitious jobs.”

 

Please see the tables on the next page.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Table 2. All cases treated by WAC-MAAN before the National Insurance Institute between June 1, 2014 and May 31, 2015.

Type of claim Ended unsuccessfully Ended successfully Counseling only Still in treatment Total
Income support 7 23 14 36 80
Unemploymentcompensation 6 7 1 9 23
On-the-job injury 4 5 1 11 21
Other 10 7 6 11 34
Total 27 42 22 67 158

 

Table 3. All cases treated by WAC-MAAN before the Employment Bureau between June 1, 2014 and May 31, 2015.

Type of claim Ended unsuccessfully Ended successfully Counseling only Still in treatment Total
Attendance 1 8 2 11 22
Listed as job refuser 3 5 0 5 13
Other 2 3 0 2 7
Total 6 16 2 18 42

 

Among the claims for ISBs accompanied by WAC-MAAN vis-à-vis the NII and the EB, we encountered two main failures on the part of these institutions that led to denials:

 

Part II. A chronicle of denials foretold: exemplary cases

Here we detail some cases in which WAC-MAAN has been involved in the last year, representing income-support claimants at the Israeli National Insurance Institute (NII) and jobseekers at the Employment Bureau (EB). These cases are just the tip of the iceberg with regard to the obstructions that East Jerusalem jobseekers face each day.

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About Erez Wagner