My First Foray to Bituach Leumi

After doing Step One, opening up a Tik Osek Patur at VAT, then pretending that I don’t have to go to Mas hachnasa because they automatically sent me some papers, then not printing a receipt book as they told me to because I didn’t find the best solution yet, I finally got around to going to Bituach Leumi.

Here in Maale Adumim, we have a few government satellite offices that are a best kept secret. For example, the Misrad Hapnim branch gives [95% of] the same services you get at the Jerusalem Helene Hamalka main branch, with 1% of the line/queue and 500% of the niceness. I have been in Bituach Leumi offices in JM and in the one here in MA, and would guess the numbers are about the same if not better. Except that the MA BL branch is only open 8-12:30 Wednesday morning.

Anyway, I had some previous business (you could say run-ins) with Bituach Leumi, but I figured that with a little expectations clarification (tiyum tzipiyot – one of my favorite things), we could get onto the same page, with me getting what I want and them getting what they want.

So what did I want?

  1. To clarify my status as a low-income “oved atzma’i,” a “lo-sachir” ( or perhaps “atzma’i ve-eino-sachir”).
  2. To clarify the points at which the premium rates change.
  3. To figure out how I can assign myself to the lowest possible bracket.

What did they want?

  1. For me to fill out Form 6101 (Din Vecheshbon Rav Shnati = Multi-Annual Report), based on my self-definition as an “oved atzma’i,” fulfilling one of the following three conditions:
    a. Works at least 20 hours a week on average.
    b. Monthly average income is at least 50% of the national average income.
    c. Works at least 12 hours a weekand have an average monthly income of at least 15% of the national average income.

We spent about an hour each asking for the above from the other, and not getting it:-(

What I did get was a print out of my statement from Feb 1 2000 through Mar 19 2008.
On my way out, I called a friend of mine who has worked in bookkeeping/accounting for the past decade or so, to see if he could help me get the info that I was after, seeing that it didn’t seem to be a national security secret issue. He chided me for not dealing with an experienced accountant (as the BL clerk encouraged/urged/required me to). I was frustrated as: A. No-one would give me a list of such accountants and B. Why should I pay an accountant $100 for an hour’s consultation when I’m going to end up an osek patur??

Anyway, I am going to stop now, and hopefully complete this story before Wednesday, when I’ll go back to Bituch Leumi (I didn’t say which Wednesday…)

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4 Responses to My First Foray to Bituach Leumi

  1. Steve says:

    Whilst this is an interesting subject I think the articles would be more useful to more people if the Hebrew terms used would also hava an attached English translation.There may not be exact translations as concepts in different places may not be similar.Nevertheless English is a wonderful language with which one can describe all manner of things not naturally present within an English language zone. Regards SF.

  2. Gidon Ariel says:

    I’ll try my best bli neder (without promising), Steve.
    I will also create a glossary page, again, bli neder.

  3. Montserrat Caballe says:

    Yes, it’s very exciting in Israel because there are no official rules nor instructions for anything from finding the right bus line to your destination to opening your own business. The trials of the idealistic atsmi vemeshugene should be put under the “Cafe Oleh” section in Jpost to warn off any normal people from being exposed to this level of abuse.

  4. Gidon Ariel says:

    Montserrat, your bitterness and pessimism are clear, and seem to be conventional wisdom.

    I hope I will be able to clarify reality enough for people to know what they are getting into, so they won’t be disappointed.

    As A friend of mine likes to quote Calev and Yehoshua: “Tova Ha’Aretz Me’od Me’od.” [“The Land is very, very good.”] Think positive, it will be positive.

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