Last update – 00:44 01/01/2009
Lawyers bilk Holocaust survivors for thousands of Shekels in state compensation

By Orly Vilnai

Tags: israel news, holocaust

A 78-year-old Holocaust survivor was forced to pay NIS 9,393 just to fill out her forms to get her state allowance of only NIS 1,590 a month, according to the head of the department in the psychiatric hospital where she is hospitalized.

Vika, who has a government appointed guardian to manage her affairs, is one of several survivors who have agreed to pay lawyers large sums to release the state funds.

“We are asking your immediate intervention with the guardians. This is the simplest work, filling out the forms,” read a letter sent from the head of the hospital to State Comptroller Micha Lindenstrauss on behalf of Vika last week. “If it is necessary, we are willing to fill out this form for every Holocaust survivor for the symbolic fee of one shekel.”

Vika, before being hospitalized a month ago at the Abarbanel Mental Health Center in Bat Yam, could not afford to eat, she said. She has no property and no money. Almost a year has passed since a state-appointed guardian was named to look after all her needs, after it was decided she was incapable of managing her own affairs. She had been hospitalized a number of times previously at Abarbanel.