Disability, Injured workers and State: The Emergence of Disability Percentages and the Israeli National Insurance (1948-1957)
Dr. Gaby Admon-Rick
The lecture will take place on Thursday October 27th 2016 from 16h30 until 18h in the Pedagogical Institute room 00.10, A. Vesaliusstraat 2 (Leuven, Belgium).
The disability percentages system is used in many countries for determining eligibility to pensions and services. This system is often viewed as a necessary bureaucratic process, allowing distribution of benefits, and is rarely critically analyzed. Nevertheless application of such a system for calculating disability was, and remains, more than an administrative process. Defining physiological injuries in percentages entails structuring disability as a calculable medical phenomenon while other facets of disability such as social barriers and accessibility are set aside as irrelevant. Furthermore, the ability and scientific expertise required to encode disability became part of the function of the government agency, which was also to register, evaluate and provide rehabilitation services to work-injured disabled.
The proposed talk follows the emergence of the disability percentages system for work injuries from the end of the British Mandate period in Palestine in 1948, into the newly established administration of the State of Israel. It will address the process in which national insurance for work injuries was established, while at the same time constructing a new understanding of disability.