This is a guide to what to do after having a baby in Israel – get a bigger tax credit, Kupat Cholim card before naming your baby, and much more!
Mazal tov! Your little bundle of joy has arrived. Now that your baby is born, you are asking yourself what you need to do. “Is it true I can get a bigger tax credit in my salary?” “How do I get a Kupat Cholim card without giving the baby a name?” “Do I really get paid for giving birth?” “How much child allowance should I be receiving anyway?”
Whether it is your first or you are already a veteran parent, there are many things you must do to begin your life with your new addition. Below is a checklist and explanation of how to go about some of the important tasks you must undertake.
#1 Baby boys only: Mohel
If you have a baby boy, your first step is to call a mohel.
#2 Health Fund Registration
One of the most important things to do is to get your child registered with a health fund (קופת חולים / kupat cholim) in case you need to take your child to the doctor after leaving the hospital.
- What to bring: Parents’ Certificate (תלוש להורים / tlush l’horim), a Ministry of Interior document which you received at the hospital
- What to request
- Membership card – Assuming you are waiting to name your child until a brit or simchat bat / Torah reading, you may request that the first name be temporarily filled in as זכר (zachar) or נקבה (ne’kay’va).
- Supplemental health plan – If you have a supplemental health plan (e.g., Maccabi’s Magen Zahav or Meuchedet’s See) that you want extended to your newborn, then make sure that the baby is signed up for that as well.
- Internet access – Request an internet access code for your child to allow you to login to your child’s health fund account online. In addition, verify that the child’s account will be linked to both parents’ accounts, so that it can be accessed via the parents’ login as well.
#3 Baby boys only: Schedule a Check-Up with Your Pediatrician
If you have a boy, schedule an appointment with your pediatrician for the day before the brit. It is nice to have the doctor’s okay.
#4 Plan an Event
If you’re planning a celebratory event, make sure you have a location and food arranged.
#5 Add Baby to Private Health Insurance
If you have private health insurance (besides your health fund membership and supplemental health plan through your health fund), then it makes sense to call your insurance agent and add your baby right away so there will be no issue of pre-existing health conditions.
#6 Foreign citizens only: Schedule an Appointment with the Foreign Embassy
If your child is eligible for a foreign citizenship and passport, consider taking care of the paperwork right away, especially if you are planning a trip with your newborn in the near future. The first step (at least for Americans) is scheduling an appointment at the Embassy or Consulate. Americans should also request a Social Security Number.
#7 Schedule a Well-Baby Clinic Visit
Your local well-baby clinic (טיפת חלב / tipat chalav) will have lots of things for you to do, from weighing and measuring your baby to starting vaccinations.
#8 Update the Water Company
The number of people in your household affects how your water bill is calculated. (At least some) local water companies will not backdate your household status change, so you should report it to them at your earliest convenience.
After having taken care of the initial steps, you can move on to less time-sensitive issues.
#9 Update Income Tax Credits
If you and/or your spouse are salaried workers, give a copy of the Parents’ Certificate (תלוש להורים) to your employer(s). Even fathers receive extra in their bank account post-tax every month (218 NIS as of 2014)!
#10 Register Baby’s Name, Update Parental IDs, Request Birth Certificates
At the Ministry of Interior, you have a number of tasks.
- When to come: Two to three weeks after the child’s birth. You can call your local branch of the Ministry of Interior to see if your child’s information has been updated in the system.
- What to bring: Parents’ Certificate (תלוש הורים), both parents’ ID cards (תעודת זהות / teudat zehut)
- What to request:
- Register the baby’s name – Assuming that you did not register the baby’s name at the hospital, register it now. The appropriate form (הודעה על מתן שם פרטי לנולד/ת) can be filled out in advance.
- Update the addendum to parental IDs – Update the addendum (ספח / sefach) to your IDs to reflect your new child. Though both parents’ IDs must be present, only one parent needs to be.
- Request a birth certificate and an English-Hebrew birth certificate – If you have any need for use of your child’s birth certificate outside of Israel, the dual-language certificate will be invaluable. Of course, verify that all details are correct.
- Request a passport – If you have plans to travel in the near future, then you can request a passport if you bring appropriate pictures. Otherwise, you can hang on to your money a little while longer.
#11 Health Fund Membership Card with Baby’s New Name
If you did not have a first name for your baby when you first registered at your health fund, you will need to return to inform them of the baby’s name and request a new card. At the same time, you can ask for a second card for your spouse.
#12 Apply for Maternity (or Paternity) Leave
If you are eligible, apply for maternity (or paternity) leave. Details regarding eligibility and how to calculate how much you are owed can be found on the National Insurance Institute’s Maternity Allowance page.
You have run around and done all that work. Now, the last thing to do is make sure you are receiving the government benefits to which you are entitled.
#13 Check Your National Insurance Institute Child Allowance
If this is your first child, you should start receiving a monthly child allowance from the National Insurance Institute (ביטוח לאומי / Bituach Leumi); and if your newborn isn’t your first, your monthly child allowance should be increased. To find out how much you should be receiving, see Calculate your Bituach Leumi child allowance.
#14 Verify Receipt of Your Birth Allowance
Parents who have been working in Israel for six months prior to the birth of a child in a hospital in Israel are entitled to a Birth Grant (מענק לידה / ma’anak leyda). The grant should be deposited in your bank account within one month of birth. For details of eligibility and to find out how much you should receive, see the NII’s Birth Grant page.
If there are other things you make sure to do when a baby is born, leave your suggestion in the comments. Mazal tov!