Tium Mas, Osek Zair, Unemployment benefits

Here’s a question someone sent me, instead of asking him to post it here and only then responding to it on this blog, I an cutting the bureaucracy and posting it directly. Your comments appreciated:-)
—–Original Message—–
Sent: Thursday, July 08, 2010 11:42 PM
Subject: tax status query
shalom,
i came across your very interesting and helpful website through a google search.
>>thank you shucks:-)
i was hoping that you may be able to answer a question that i have. once in a while, i do freelance work as a translator and recently i was asked to do some for someone working at an institution that requires me to provide a to’em mas.
>>that would be a ti-um mas
the issue is that i am officially listed with bitu’ah le’umi as ‘unemployed’ because i do not work and i have no income. (i likewise receive a significant discount on arnona, as a result.)
since this is a short-term engagement and i do not expect to receive much money (at most maybe NIS 10 000, probably much less)
>>this is NOT a small amount of money! If you would have said 100 NIS or even 500 NIS, then maybe…
, (1) how do i provide a to’em mas? (is it by following the steps mentioned above, namely, becoming an oved za’ir?)
>>If you are currently listed as a lo-oved, collecting bituach leumi unemployment benefits, then as far as I know, you cannot work for money at all to make it worth your while. I thought otherwise myself once, even asked the clerk at the bituach leumi desk, probably misunderstood her, and ended up eating the rotten fish, getting smacked, and being exiled from the city.
if so, (2) how does this affect my status as ‘unemployed’, since i will essentially still be unemployed after this is finished?
>>I would suggest that if you want to continue collecting unemployment benefits (which as far as I remember last no longer than six months anyway) then do so.
But if you can hustle up some 10K jobs, even 300 NIS jobs, open up a tik and get to work! See other posts on this blog for how-to’s.
Again, others might encourage you otherwise, but I would strongly not try to dance at two weddings here.
all of this is very new to me, so i would appreciate greatly any thoughts you may have.
thanks so much,
david
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7 Responses to Tium Mas, Osek Zair, Unemployment benefits

  1. david says:

    shalom gidon,

    thank you for taking the time to reply. i should point out one thing: aside from arnona discount, i receive NO unemployment benefits and have never received any. this is because bitu’ah le’umi has identified me as a student, which prevents me from receiving unemployment. on the other hand, i am forced to pay NIS 120 to bitu’ah le’umi each month as an ‘unemployed’ (instead of NIS 80 as a ‘student’) because i am enrolled in a foreign university and therefore (if this makes sense, which it does not), i am not technically considered a student. so it is not i who is dancing at two weddings — but bitu’ah le’umi. i tried to sue them some years ago in this regard (to decide once and for all what i am), but failed to overcome the bureaucracy.

    does this information change anything? (you wrote, ‘if you are currently collecting benefits …’)

    thank you,

    david

  2. Gidon Ariel says:

    Hi David,

    The only thing that it changes is that it makes it even more complex=I’m less of an authority to answer:-)

    This blog is trying to provide straightforward experience and instructions for relatively standard situations (or at least, those that are similar to mine:-)

    Again, you can try to claim that you are a student and therefore deserve to pay only 80 NIS a month instead of 120 (it seems that you actually tried to do exactly that), but by being a student you ostensibly lose out on thousands of shekels a month unemployment, so why mention that you are a student at a foreign institution at all? (I assume a distance learning setup, Latvia or Lancaster or something) Wait – don’t answer that, because like I said, I can’t really help you improve your position.

    I can only suggest what I would do, but since you clearly have more than a few extenuating circumstances, all bets are off:-)

    Sorry, but wishing you best of luck,
    Gidon

    • david says:

      shalom gidon,

      it’s ok, i figured it was a long shot, but you helped confirm that my situation is indeed quite complex. any idea to whom i can turn to help me with this situation (the original question regarding ti’um mas)? are there free legal/financial aid offices that can advise me?

      David

      P.S. Just for your entertainment, i did make the mistake of telling bitu’ah le’umi that i was a student, thinking that it would reduce my monthly payments. after i learned that they would not reduce them, i tried to apply for unemployment benefits, since they classified me as ‘unemployed’. when i learned that i could not receive them, since i was classified also as a ‘student’, i asked how they could classify me as both and how i could eliminate ‘student’. they told me that i need to provide a letter stating that i am not a student. however, since they do not acknowledge foreign students, this needs to be a letter from an israeli school. in other words, since i cannot prove a negative, i am in a catch-22 situation!

      like i wrote, i have given up fighting the insanity of this ‘logic’.

  3. Gidon says:

    I think the tium mas is not a problem, just go into mas hachnasa and ask to do a tium mas.

    I wonder about your arnona benefit. is that in JM? (Not that it makes a difference, probably). Is that because you are a student, or because you are a household earning less than a specific minimum monthly, or what? Because for the Municipality, a one-off 10K income infusion might not disqualify you…

    Free legal/financial aid: try SHIL
    http://shil.haifa.ac.il/shil2/jsp/general/home.jsp
    or AACI
    http://www.aaci.org.il/articlenav.php?id=48

  4. Gidon Ariel says:

    I think the tium mas is not a problem, just go into mas hachnasa and ask to do a tium mas.

    I wonder about your arnona benefit. is that in JM? (Not that it makes a difference, probably). Is that because you are a student, or because you are a household earning less than a specific minimum monthly, or what? Because for the Municipality, a one-off 10K income infusion might not disqualify you…

    Free legal/financial aid: try SHIL
    http://shil.haifa.ac.il/shil2/jsp/general/home.jsp
    or AACI
    http://www.aaci.org.il/articlenav.php?id=48

    • David says:

      Shalom,

      I receive the discount because I am ‘unemployed’ (not because I am a student). It is in Tel-Aviv and I need to submit an application each year, with documents from BTL confirming that I am unemployed. I also tend to think that a one-time infusion should not change this, which is the only reason for me to inquire about a change of status. Otherwise, since I do not receive any unemployment benefits from BTL, it would not matter for me at all.

      Thank you for the links and for sharing your expertise!

      David

  5. Gidon Ariel says:

    I suggest you go to the clerk that you went to to get the discount in the first place, and graciously ask him/her your questions. I expect they are not double-missioned, that is, to help people get the services they are there to give them, and also to spy on people to see if there are signs that they will try to cheat the city.

    If you are sincere, you deserve what you deserve, no more, no less. Ces’t la vie.

    good luck!

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