During Tuesday’s meeting of the State Control Committee, National Insurance Institute (NII)  Ombudsman Matanyahu Englman presented a report on the increase of complaints filed by the public during the coronavirus crisis.

According to yhr report there has been a 500% increase in the number of complaints received by the Ombudsman’s office against the NII.

“The corona [crisis] is challenging for anyone who deals with requests from the public. At this time it is important that all of the public bodies work for the benefit of the thousands of residents who are in need of assistance and help from the authorities and the public sector,” he said.

Following the report NII director-general, Meir Spiegler announced that employees who will be placed on unpaid leave for the second time will not be required to file another claim for unemployment benefits.

In order to receive their unemployment benefits, such employees will only have to enter the NII website and submit a statement saying they have been put on unpaid leave.

Spiegler further said that due to the recent government grant given to Israel’s citizens to help them deal financially with the corona crisis, the NII added the details of 2 million bank accounts to its database. In order to receive the grant, citizens were required to submit to the NII the details of their bank accounts.

The NII now has the details of 96% of the bank accounts of Israeli citizens, Spiegler told the committee, adding that this will help the NII improve its handling of claims and requests.

“After working around the clock, there is an erosion of the human capital in the National Insurance Institute,” he said. “Workers are ‘suffocating’ and fatigued. We didn’t say a word for five months and did everything as part of the national mission. We didn’t get a fingernail in additional workforce. Now we received an addition of temporary workforce, but it not hardly enough,” Spiegler said.