Old Age Living Allowance

長者生活津貼(繁體版)
长者生活津贴(简体版)
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Helping the Elderly in Need

within our Financial Means

What's New

Two-year grace period and Postal Review on "Auto-conversion" cases expired at end November


The 24-month grace period arrangement for the Old Age Living Allowance (OALA) ended on 30 November 2014. This arrangement applied to all cases which were granted the allowance under Phase 1 - "Auto-conversion", or applications of Phase 2 - "Postal Submission" and Phase 3 - "New Application" received on or before 31 December 2013. For OALA applications submitted after 31 December 2013, the grace period would be 12 months counting from the date of eligibility.


During the grace period, any changes in financial conditions which may result in the recipient's income and/or assets exceeding the prescribed limits will not affect the recipient’s eligibility for the allowance. If the recipient's income and/or assets exceed the prescribed limits after the grace period, such changes must be reported to the Social Welfare Department immediately since they will no longer be eligible for the allowance.


Besides, the Postal Review for OALA recipients benefited from the Phase 1 - "Auto-conversion" arrangement was also completed on 30 November 2014.

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Eligibility criteria

A person is eligible for Old Age Living Allowance (OALA) if he/she:



For details and other eligibility criteria of OALA, please refer to the Social Security Allowance Scheme.


Note: Effective from 1 February 2017, the “income and asset limits” are:

 
Single person

Married couple
Total income per month $7,750 $12,620
Total assets value $225,000 $341,000

"Income" includes wages from employment; income from handiwork, business, etc. (including salaries, wages, monthly commissions or bonuses received, and monthly income from self-employment); retirement benefits/pensions; and net income on rentals collected. Contributions from family members, relatives or friends, and monthly payments received under reverse mortgage schemes are excluded, but any unspent and accumulated amount of savings/cash in hand generated will be treated as “assets”.


“Assets” (1) include land and non-owner occupied properties (2), cash in hand, bank savings, investments in shares and stocks (including bonds, trust funds and accrued retirement benefits (3)), vehicle for investment (e.g. taxi and public light bus) and its business licence, and gold bars and gold coins, etc. Owner occupied property, columbarium niche for self-use in future, and the cash value of insurance schemes are excluded.


(1)

Including those in Hong Kong, Macao, the Mainland or overseas.

(2)

Only the value of one residential property which is the principal place of residence in Hong Kong is disregarded. Other properties separately or jointly owned by the applicant and/or his spouse are regarded as "non-owner occupied properties" and should be taken into account for assessment of "assets".

(3)

Accrued retirement benefits refer to the retirement benefits currently held in Mandatory Provident Fund ("MPF") Scheme(s) or other retirement scheme(s). The estimated total amount of such accrued benefits is based on information on the latest benefit statement(s) issued by MPF trustee(s) or other retirement schemes trustee(s)/administrator(s) or information obtained through other relevant documents.




Application procedures

The applicant or his/her relative/friend can make an application directly to a social security field unit near to his/her place of residence by phone, by fax, by e-mail, by post or in person. An application may also be made through a referral to the Social Welfare Department by another government department or a non-governmental organization. The applicant can also download the "Social Security Allowance Application Form" PDF Document and "Application for Social Security Allowance Guidance Notes" PDF Document from the Social Welfare Department website (http://www.swd.gov.hk) and return the completed application form together with photocopies of relevant supporting documents to the social security field unit by post or in person.


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"Three Phases for Application" (only applicable to applications in 2013)

Different types of elderly persons can receive Old Age Living Allowance (OALA) through different arrangements:

Phase 1 - Auto-conversion


Elderly persons aged 65 to 69 currently receiving Normal Old Age Allowance (OAA), or elderly persons aged 70 or above currently receiving Higher OAA and having received Normal OAA between the ages of 65 to 69


Social Welfare Department (SWD) will issue a green notification letter to them on 25 February 2013 enclosing the Old Age Living Allowance Reply Slip to inform about the auto-conversion arrangement.


Those who opt to switch to Old Age Living Allowance (OALA) and have income and assets not exceeding the prescribed limits need not reply, nor do they need to make separate applications. They will automatically be converted to receive OALA, and payment will be credited into their designated bank accounts currently used for receiving OAA payment on 5 April 2013 or thereafter.


Those who opt not to switch to OALA or have income and/or assets exceeding the prescribed limits should complete the Old Age Living Allowance Reply Slip and return it to "Social Welfare Department, P.O. Box 2200, Kowloon Central Post Office, Kowloon" on or before 22 March 2013.


Auto-conversion notification letter for NOAA (Sample Only) PDF Document

Auto-conversion notification letter for HOAA (Sample Only) PDF Document



Phase 2 - Postal Submission


Elderly persons aged 70 or above currently receiving Higher OAA and not having received Normal OAA between the ages of 65 to 69, or elderly persons aged 65 or above currently receiving Normal Disability Allowance (DA)


SWD will issue a yellow notification letter to them on 25 March 2013 enclosing the Postal Submission Application Form to inform about the arrangement to apply for OALA by post.


Those who opt for OALA can submit their applications by post to "Social Welfare Department, P.O. Box 2200, Kowloon Central Post Office, Kowloon" on or before 31 December 2013, and they need not approach SWD's social security field units direct for application. Upon receipt of the Postal Submission Application Form, SWD will verify their eligibility as soon as possible. For those eligible, payment will be credited into their designated bank accounts currently used for receiving OAA/Normal DA payment.


Postal submission notification letter (Sample Only) PDF Document



Phase 3 - New Application


Elderly persons aged 65 or above currently not receiving OAA or Normal DA but in need of OALA, and meeting the eligibility criteria including residence requirements and income and assets requirements of OALA


They can apply for OALA by fax, by e-mail, by post, through referral by government departments/non-governmental organizations, etc., or go to SWD's social security field units near their places of residence. Application forms and guidance notes can be downloaded from SWD's website and are available at social security field units with effect from 2 April 2013.


SWD will receive new applications with effect from 2 April 2013.


Social Security Allowance Scheme Application Form PDF Document

Application for Social Security Allowance Guidance Notes PDF Document


Important notes:


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Postal Review on "Auto-conversion" Cases (only applicable to the postal review in 2014)

Starting from 17 February 2014, the Social Welfare Department (SWD) will conduct a postal review on the financial conditions of all elderly persons who have been granted the Old Age Living Allowance (OALA) under Phase 1 - "Auto-conversion" arrangement.


When rolling out the OALA in April 2013, SWD put in place a set of simplified application procedures to enable elderly persons to receive the allowance as early as possible. Under the Phase 1 - "Auto-conversion" arrangement, eligible recipients were granted OALA without having to declare their and their spouses' (if applicable) income and assets. As indicated in the green notification letter sent to these recipients on 25 February 2013, they will be subject to a postal review in 2014 and they will be required to provide declaration of their and their spouses' (if applicable) income and assets to SWD for updating the relevant information and verification of their continued eligibility for receiving OALA.


SWD will issue a blue notification letter enclosing a Notice to OALA Recipients, a Postal Review Form and a return envelope on 17 February 2014 to target recipients advising them details of the postal review. Upon receipt of the blue notification letter, the recipients should provide declaration of their and their spouses’ (if applicable) income and assets by completing and mailing the Postal Review Form together with photocopy(ies) of the Hong Kong Identity Card of the recipients and their spouse (if applicable) to "Social Welfare Department, P.O. Box 2200, Kowloon East Post Office, Kowloon" within one month from the date of issue of the notification letter. Upon receipt of the Postal Review Form, SWD will base on the information provided by the recipients to verify whether they will continue to be eligible for OALA.


"Postal Review" notification letter (Sample Only) PDF Document


Meet the income and asset requirements:

If the recipient still meets the income and asset requirements of OALA, SWD will continue to arrange payment of OALA to him/her.


Unable to meet the income and asset requirements:

For recipients who do not meet the income and asset requirements, they will receive payment of OALA up to the expiry of 24-month grace period (i.e., 30 November 2014). SWD will arrange to stop payment of OALA to ineligible recipients commencing from December 2014 and notify them separately in writing.


If the ineligible recipients are aged 70 or above, SWD will arrange non-means-tested Old Age Allowance (OAA) to them instead. In future if their and their spouses’ (if applicable) income and assets can meet the prescribed limits of the OALA, they may apply for the allowance again.


Note : SWD urges all recipients who have been granted the OALA under Phase 1 - "Auto-conversion" arrangement to complete and return the Postal Review Form within the specified period. Otherwise, SWD will not be able to establish the recipients' continued eligibility for OALA and will need to consider suspending the OALA payment to the recipients concerned.

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