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- Pilot Scheme on Residential Care Service Voucher for the Elderly

The Pilot Scheme on Residential Care Service Voucher for the Elderly


The Social Welfare Department (SWD) launched the Pilot Scheme on Residential Care Service Voucher (RCSV) for the Elderly (Pilot Scheme) in March 2017. The Pilot Scheme, adopting the “money-following-the-user” principle, provides an additional choice for elderly persons in need of residential care service by allowing them to choose the services provided by eligible residential care homes for the elderly (RCHEs) operated by non-governmental organisations (NGOs) or the private sector under the Pilot Scheme according to their needs.  The Pilot Scheme is implemented in three phases with a total of 3 000 RCSVs to be issued within a period of three years from 2017 to 2019 by five batches and each batch with a specified quota.

Implementation Schedule

PDF Document (Acrobat Document


Eligible participants are elderly persons who have been assessed under SWD’s Standardised Care Need Assessment Mechanism for Elderly Services to be of moderately impaired and are waitlisting for care-and-attention (C&A) places on the Central Waiting List (CWL) for Subsidised Long Term Care (LTC) Services.

How to Apply


The 3 000 RCSVs will be issued by five batches.  For issue of each batch of RCSVs, SWD will send invitation letter direct to a number of eligible elderly personsNote according to their application dates for LTC services, inviting them to consider applying for that batch of RCSVs.  If the number of applications received upon the close of application exceeds the quota under that batch, SWD will prioritise the applications according to the applicants’ position on CWL and Comprehensive Social Security Assistance (CSSA) status. SWD will inform the applicants about the result by letters.


SWD has issued invitation letters to the eligible elderly persons who are waitlisting for C&A places under the CWL of Subsidised LTC Services as at 17.4.2019 with application dates on or before 31.12.2018 (not including those who are holding or have utilised RCSV, those whose status on the CWL is “inactive” or those who are offered subsidised placement) to apply for the fifth batch of RCSVs. In case the eligible elderly persons have not received the invitation letters, they are welcome to contact the Residential Care Service Voucher Office at telephone no. 3107 3280 or 3107 3290 (from Mondays to Fridays, 9:30 am to 1:00 pm and 2:30 pm to 5:00 pm, except public holidays).]

Recognised Service Providers (RSPs) and their Services


RCHEs participating in the Pilot Scheme have to provide non-subsidised places and meet the minimum requirements of EA1 homes under the Enhanced Bought Place Scheme (EBPS) on space standard and staffing requirements.  The RCHEs also have to meet the specified requirements in track record.

The Pilot Scheme is implemented in three phases, with different types of RCHEs joining the Pilot Scheme as RSPs in each phase.  The first phase was launched in March 2017 with the participation of RCHEs including subvented homes, contract homes and NGO-run self-financing homes meeting the entry requirements. The second phase and third phase were also launched in September 2017 and September 2018 respectively with the type of RCHEs joining as RSPs extended to those participating in the EBPS under Category EA1 and other private RCHEs meeting the entry requirements.

List of RSPs joining the Pilot Scheme under the first to third phases (as at 17.7.2019):

PDF Document (Acrobat Document)

For details on individual RSPs including facilities, staffing, fee and number of vacancy for beds open for accommodating Voucher Holders etc, please click the link to visit the SWD Elderly Information Website, a one-stop platform of SWD.

Details of the Pilot Scheme
Scope of Service

RSPs have to provide 'a standard service package' under the voucher value for individual voucher holders as follows -

(i) accommodation within shared rooms;
(ii) at least 3 meals a day plus snacks;
(iii) basic and special nursing care;
(iv) staff on duty 24 hours per day;
(v) personal care service;
(vi) rehabilitative services session twice per week, on either individual or group basis;
(vii) regular visits by a registered medical practitioner;
(viii) social or recreational activities on regular basis; and
(ix) laundry service.
Voucher Value of the Pilot Scheme

The voucher value is $13,287 (with effect from 1.10.2018). The voucher value will be adjusted annually pegging to the monthly cost of an EA1 place in urban area under the EBPS (i.e. the sum of Government subsidy and user fee).

Co-payment and Means Test

Under the principle of ‘users pay in accordance with affordability’, the less an elderly person can afford, the more the Government subsidises.  A sliding scale of co-payment at eight levels (Level 0 to Level 7) is adopted.  Voucher applicants will be assessed on an individual basis in the means test and both income and asset will be taken into account in determining the co-payment level.

For the income test, the monthly income of the voucher applicants is benchmarked against the latest Median Monthly Domestic Household Income (MMDHI) for singleton households.  For Level 0 (i.e. the level with zero amount of co-payment) voucher holders, their monthly income should not be more than 50% of the latest MMDHI for singleton households.  For Level 7 (i.e. the level with the highest amount of co-payment) voucher holders, there is no limit on their monthly income.

For the asset test, the asset limit for Level 0 voucher holders is pegged to the limit for singleton elderly persons under CSSA.  As for Levels 1 to 6 voucher holders, the asset limits are pegged to the limit for singleton elderly persons applying for public rental housing. There is no asset limit for Level 7 voucher holders.

Actual co-payment amount for voucher holders under different co-payment levels will be calculated according to the voucher value in the year.

Co-payment Table for the Pilot Scheme (with effect from 1.10.2018)

PDF Document (Acrobat Document)

Support for Voucher Holders at Co-payment Level 0

To avoid double benefit, any elderly person who has opted for the Pilot Scheme shall not be entitled to CSSA.  CSSA recipients when opting to become voucher holders will be generally classified as under Co-payment Level 0 and the Government will fully subsidise the voucher services they receive.

Voucher holders with Co-payment Level 0 will be granted:

- Medical fee waiving for public healthcare expenses;
- Full assistance under the Samaritan Fund and the Community Care Fund Medical Assistance Programme (if fulfilling the application requirements);
- Public Private Partnership Programmes (similar benefits for CSSA recipients);
- Government subsidy to RSPs to cover the items, including diapers, special diet and medical consumables, for voucher holders with proven needs as assessed by public doctors.

Voucher holders, including those at Co-payment Level 0, may still receive Social Security Allowance, including Old Age Living Allowance and Old Age Allowance/Disability Allowance, subject to their meeting the eligibility criteria of the respective schemes.

Top-up Payment

The Pilot Scheme allows voucher holders to make top-up payments up to an amount of 150%Note of the voucher value in force to purchase enhanced or value-added services which are outside the standard service package from RSPs.  Examples of top-up services include additional physiotherapy/occupational therapy sessions, upgraded dormitory, acupuncture, Chinese medicine and massage service, etc.


The ceiling for top-up payment has been uplifted from 75% to 150% of the full voucher value (only applicable to RSPs joining the Pilot Scheme after January 2019).]

Trial Period and Application Status in CWL

The Pilot Scheme will provide a six-month trial period for first-time voucher holders.  A voucher holder’s status on CWL will be changed to “inactive” once a voucher is issued to him/her.  If the voucher holder decides to opt out of the Pilot Scheme during the trial period or the voucher holder has not used the voucher in the trial period, his/her status on CWL will be “reactivated” and the original position will be resumed.  If the voucher holder decides to continue using the voucher after the trial period, he/she will be considered as having withdrawn from CWL.  A voucher holder may switch to another RSP throughout their participation in the Pilot Scheme.

Casework Service

Residential Care Service Voucher Office of SWD will provide casework support service for voucher holders, e.g. assisting in selecting / switching a suitable RSP and providing them with follow-up support after their admission to RSPs, including conducting regular visits and case referrals, etc.


Service Leaflet

 PDF Document (Acrobat Document)


Introduction on "the Pilot Scheme on RCSV for the Elderly" (Chinese Version Only)
Introduction on "the Pilot Scheme on RCSV for the Elderly"
Choosing a Recognised Service Provider under "the Pilot Scheme on RCSV for the Elderly"
Choosing a Recognised Service Provider under "the Pilot Scheme on RCSV for the Elderly"
Address :

Residential Care Service Voucher Office
Social Welfare Department
Rooms 2701-07, 27/F, Two Chinachem Exchange Square, 338 King's Road, North Point, Hong Kong

Telephone no. :

3107 3280 / 3107 3290
(from Monday to Friday, 9:30 am to 1:00 pm and 2:30 pm to 5:00 pm, except public holidays)

Fax :

3107 0236

E-mail :