They are administered largely in the form of financial support that recipients may use in accordance with their needs and preferences. Some benefits (old-age benefits and child allowances) are given universally; others (e.g., income maintenance and unemployment compensation) are only for those who meet set criteria and eligibility tests. In recent years, benefits have been eroding as the government strove to cut its budget generally and its social budget specifically. The most significant cutbacks have been in benefits for the working age population: child allowances, income maintenance, and unemployment compensation. During the review period, long-term care benefits, alimony payments, maternity grants, and workers’ injury compensation were partly reduced, whereas disability benefits were hardly affected.
This paper appears as a chapter in the Center’s annual publication, Israel’s Social Services 2005, Yaakov Kop (editor).