Last Updated on:
July 14, 2022

Children with Special Needs – Rights, Benefits and Services

In addition to the inherent difficulties of parenting, parents of children with special needs find themselves confronted with many financial, social, and bureaucratic hardships when trying to get the best available support and services for their children. These hardships are simply compounded for immigrants and those who do not speak Hebrew as a first language. The information on this page is primarily relevant for children with sensory, developmental, cognitive, or motor disorders and their families. Many of the resources listed here are the translations of Yad L'Olim's Healthcare Division in Memory of Shira Pransky z"l, thanks to our exclusive partnership with Kol-Zchut.

Know to Ask

Understanding your rights & benefits, and knowing what to ask professionals is the key to receiving care in a timely manner. Review the various rights, benefits, and services highlighted in this checklist to become more knowledgeable about what is available. Please note that many items have eligibility conditions related to age, means, insurance membership, or other factors.

Discounts, Exemptions, and Assistance from the Health Plans

Education

Financial Assistance and Other Benefits

Employment

Supportive and Nursing Care

Patient Support Organizations

This is not an exclusive list, check out the "Children" section of our organizational directory for more organizations. If you have a need for a service you do not see here, we urge you to make your need known. If it is not already addressed by an existing program, many organizations will use their resources to facilitate your individual needs in any way possible.

General Services

Counseling, Support, and Rehabilitation

Recreation and Respite

Specialized Organizations

More Organizations

  • ALEH (severe cognitive and physical disabilities) 02-501-1000
  • Kav-Or (distance learning in hospitals) 077-717-1919
  • Tlalim (educational support) 02-571-0555
  • Variety Israel (financial assistance) 03-644-7220

Where to Turn

Here are your primary avenues for receiving helpful information. Remember to be persistent in seeking clear and comprehensive details about assistance and the means to access it. There are multiple sources for guidance and often you need to pursue more than one.

  • Kupat Cholim Social Workers: Every health fund employs a social work staff with hours available to address any of your needs. Speak to your branch secretary about office hours or to arrange an appointment. The Child Development Services branches also offer assistance from social workers.
  • Yad L'Olim Healthcare Advisor: Contact the Yad L'Olim Healthcare Division in memory of Shira Pransky z"l. One of our Healthcare advisors can walk you through your rights and benefits, and assist you with getting what you need for your child through the healthcare system: healthcare@yadlolim.org
  • School Social Workers and Other Assistance Professionals: Many schools with special needs programs offer guidance to their parents through social workers or counselors providing specialized information and assistance.

What Assistance Can You Expect?

  • Information about rights and services that relate specifically to a person’s circumstances, and practical guidance on acquiring them.
  • Practical insight, and some hand holding, on navigating the system, whether it be within the healthcare system, in government bureaucracy or the education system.
  • Help to find and connect with organizations dedicated to particular conditions, where there may be even more resources of specific interest to you.
  • Help with emotional coping in difficult situations.

A Few Tips:

  • Schedule a sit-down meeting with enough time blocked out to discuss what you need.
  • Delegate tasks to accomplish your goals. Note the things you need to do (e.g. call this office, obtain these documents, etc.) and the things the social worker is committing to doing (e.g. calling that office, finding out about that service, getting those forms, etc.).
  • Schedule the next contact. e.g. The social worker will call you in two days with some follow-up information, or you will meet again in a week to fill out forms together, etc.
  • Show your appreciation. Everyone in the healthcare sector chose to go into a profession dedicated to helping others.

If you still have questions feel free to email one of our health care advisors. Email: