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SWD accepts Ombudsman's report

January 10, 2013
The Social Welfare Department says it appreciates and respects the Ombudsman's latest report, saying it will review the Comprehensive Social Security Assistance Scheme.
 
In response to the report, the department said it must ensure public funds are spent properly and are used to help those who need it most.
 
In executing income and asset tests, the department said it must strike a fair balance in making compassionate arrangements to allow elderly or disabled scheme recipients to continue living in their original homes.
 
Under the scheme, the purchase of a residential flat is not considered as a basic necessity. If recipients are given a choice to prioritise funds or resources supplied by family members or relatives to individual exempted items in order to be eligible for the scheme, instead of making use of the funds or resources to cope with their basic necessities, this will violate the purpose of the scheme as a safety net of last resort.
 
Applicants must apply on a household basis since family members should support one another. When approving applications, the department will assess the status of each case to ensure each family with financial difficulties will be offered appropriate assistance.


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