Following an amendment to the Income Support Law: a child resident of Israel, whose one parent is imprisoned and the other is not an Israeli resident, is entitled to income support
Prior to entry into force of Amendment 35 to the Income Support Law (5770-2010) on April 1, 2010, a child resident of Israel both of whose parents are ineligible for such benefit – one due to imprisonment and the other due to non-residency – was not entitled to submit a claim for an income support benefit.
HaMoked, for example, is assisting a Jerusalem family in which the father and five children are permanent residents of Israel, while the mother is from the West Bank. Until he was imprisoned on June 2009, the father was eligible for income support covering him and the children. Once imprisoned, he forfeited his eligibility by law. Following the cessation of his benefit, the mother wished to submit a claim for income support for her five children who remained without a source of income. HaMoked applied on her behalf to the East Jerusalem Bureau of the National Insurance Institute (NII), however the application was rejected on the claim that the mother is not entitled to apply since she is not an Israeli resident. In December 2009, HaMoked filed a claim against the NII in the matter.The claim
illustrated the predicament of the Israeli resident children: their imprisoned father is unable to provide for them, while the mother is without permits to either stay or work in Israel. HaMoked argued further that the children should be regarded as abandoned children under the legal definition at the time, since the mother who indeed lives with them, falls into the category of those unable to fulfill their parental obligation.
In a similar case, the National Labor Court ruled
in the appeal, that the children's situation was incompatible with the legal definition of an abandoned child; therefore they were not eligible for a benefit. However, on April 1, 2010, an amendment
to the Income Support Law entered into force, which stipulates that children of a prisoner resident of Israel, whose spouse is a non-resident, are eligible for an income support benefit. The five children's case is still pending judgment of the Jerusalem Labor Court. In view of the legislative amendment, HaMoked reapplied for income support in some of its other cases.