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- Comprehensive Social Security Assistance (CSSA) Scheme

Comprehensive Social Security Assistance (CSSA) Scheme

The CSSA Scheme provides a safety net for those who cannot support themselves financially. It is designed to bring their income up to a prescribed level to meet their basic needs.


Eligibility Criteria

To be eligible for assistance, an applicant must satisfy the following conditions :


Residence Requirement

The applicant must : 


be a Hong Kong resident; 


have held the Hong Kong resident status for not less than one year; and


have resided in Hong Kong for at least one year (since acquiring the Hong Kong resident status to the date prior to the date of application).  The one-year residence need not be continuous or immediately before the date of application.  Absence(s) from Hong Kong up to a maximum of 56 days (whether continuous or intermittent) before the date of application is/are treated as residence in Hong Kong.


 (1) Persons whose presence in Hong Kong are unlawful and persons admitted to Hong Kong for a purpose other than residence (i.e. those who are subject to conditions of stay prescribed in Regulation 2 of the Immigration Regulation Cap. 115A, such as imported workers and visitors) are excluded from the CSSA Scheme.
 (2) Hong Kong residents aged below 18 applying for CSSA are exempted from the requirements at (ii) and (iii) above.
 (3) In exceptional circumstances, CSSA may be granted at the discretion of the Director of Social Welfare to a person who does not satisfy the residence requirement.
B. Financial Tests

The applicant must pass both the income and asset tests :
  1. Income Test

    The total assessable monthly household income of the applicant and his/her family must be insufficient to meet their total monthly needs as recognized under the Scheme.
  2. Asset Test

    The total value of the capital assets(including land/properties, cash, bank savings, cash value of insurance policies, pre-surrender/surrender value of annuity schemes, investments in stocks and shares, and other readily realizable assets) of the applicant and his/her family members must not exceed the prescribed limit.

    * including those in Hong Kong, Macao, the Mainland or overseas
C. Additional Criteria for Able-bodied Adults

Persons aged 15 to 59 in normal health should actively seek full-time jobs and participate in the Support for Self-reliance Scheme of the Department if they are unemployed or with monthly earnings or working hours less than the prescribed levels set by the Department.
2. Types of Payment

Payments can be broadly classified into three types :
A. Standard Rates

Standard rates are paid to different categories of recipients to meet their basic needs.
B.    Supplements
  1. Long-term Supplement

    An annual long-term supplement is payable to families involving any member who is old, disabled or medically certified to be in ill-health for the replacement of household and durable goods if they have received assistance continuously for 12 months or more. The amount payable depends on the number of such eligible members in the family.
  2. Single Parent Supplement

    A monthly single parent supplement is payable to single parent families to recognize the special difficulties which single parents face in bringing up a family.
  3. Community Living Supplement

A monthly community living supplement is payable to recipients who are old, disabled, medically certified to be in ill-health or able-bodied adults aged 60 to 64 and who are not living in institutions to better support their stay in the community.

        d.   Transport Supplement

A monthly transport supplement is payable to severely disabled persons who are medically certified to be 100% disabled or in need of constant attendance and in the age group of 12 to 64 to encourage them to participate more in activities away from home, thereby enhancing their integration into society.

       e.   Residential Care Supplement
            A monthly residential care supplement is payable to recipients who are old,
            disabled or medically certified to be in ill-health and who are living in non-
            subsidised residential care places to ease their financial burden.

       f.   Employment Support Supplement

A monthly employment support supplement is payable to able-bodied adult
           recipients aged between 60 and 64 to encourage them to join the labour market
           and remain in employment.


C. Special Grants

Special grants are payable to meet the specific needs of an individual applicant or the applicant's family.  They include payments to cover rent, water and sewage charge, expenses related to telephone services#, the cost of glasses, school fees and school-related expenses, medically-recommended diet, cost of medical and rehabilitation appliances.

# Only applicable to persons who are aged 18 or above and who are not residing in any residential institution.  Application for this grant is not necessary.

3. How to Apply

A person 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, by online form 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.  Upon receipt of an application, staff of the Department will conduct investigation and verification of the applicant's circumstances and information provided through office interview and home visit.
4. Service Charge

No service charge is required


More information (downloadable)

Downloading of the materials for reading and printing can be done through the use of the Adobe(R) acrobat (R) reader software which is available free at the Adobe Systems Inc. Website. Get Adobe Reader  

Description Document Format
Pamphlet on Comprehensive Social Security  Assistance Scheme PDF Document(Acrobat Document)  
Pamphlet on the Comprehensive Social Security Assistance Scheme and the Social Security Allowance Scheme - Residence requirements for applicants and permissible limits of absence from Hong Kong during receipt of payment  PDF Document(Acrobat Document)        Word Document(MS Word Document) 
A Guide to Comprehensive Social Security Assistance PDF Document(Acrobat Document)


Information Sheet on the Comprehensive Social Security Assistance Scheme - Treatment of maintenance payments PDF Document (Acrobat Document) /

Comprehensive Social Security Assistance Registration Form
PDF Document (Acrobat
A Brief of the Comprehensive Social Security Assistance Scheme (in ethnic minority languages)    
- Translation in Hindi  PDF Document (Acrobat Document) /
- Translation in Indonesian  PDF Document (Acrobat Document) /
- Translation in Nepali  PDF Document (Acrobat Document) /
- Translation in Tagalog  PDF Document (Acrobat Document) /
- Translation in Thai  PDF Document (Acrobat Document) /
- Translation in Urdu PDF Document (Acrobat Document) /
- Translation in Punjabi PDF Document (Acrobat Document)  /
- Translation in Vietnamese PDF Document (Acrobat Document)  /


Online Form
Comprehensive Social Security Assistance Registration FormComprehensive Social Security Assistance Registration FormComprehensive Social Security Assistance Registration Form 網上表格


Service Boundaries of Social Security Field Units

By District Social Welfare Office
By Name of Social Security Field Unit