Director of Social Welfare Patrick Nip (centre) details the application procedures of the Old Age Living Allowance.
Elderly plan to launch in 3 phases
January 31, 2013
The Old Age Living Allowance scheme will launch in April and will be rolled out in three phases, Director of Social Welfare Patrick Nip announced today.
Speaking at a press conference on the application procedures for the elderly to receive the allowance, Mr Nip said the allowance, which is being introduced under the Social Security Allowance Scheme, will supplement the living expenses of people aged 65 or above in need of financial support.
Those eligible will receive a monthly allowance of $2,200. The monthly income limit for a married couple is $10,940, with a total asset limit of $292,000, while the limits for a single person are $6,880 for income and $193,000 for assets.
The first phase, "Auto-conversion", involves all of the 290,000 elderly who are currently receiving the Old Age Allowance (commonly known as "fruit money"), including Normal Old Age Allowance recipients aged 65 to 69, as well as Higher Old Age Allowance recipients aged 70 or above who have received the Normal Old Age Allowance at the ages of 65 to 69.
The Social Welfare Department will issue a green notification letter with an attached reply slip on February 25. Those who are still eligible need not reply. The department will credit the allowance payment to their bank accounts on or after April 5. Seniors who opt not to switch to the Old Age Living Allowance or have income or assets exceeding the prescribed limits should notify the department before March 22.
The second phase, "Postal Submission", involves those who did not receive the green notification letter in the first phase, including Higher Old Age Allowance recipients aged 70 or above who did not receive the Normal Old Age Allowance at the ages of 65 to 69, and recipients of the Normal Disability Allowance aged 65 or above.
The department will issue a yellow notification letter with an attached "Postal Submission" Application Form on March 25. Those who opt for the allowance can return their applications by post by December 31.
The third phase, "New Application", involves people aged 65 or above currently not receiving the Old Age Allowance or Normal Disability Allowance, who are in need of financial support from the Old Age Living Allowance. The department will receive new applications from April 2 by fax, by email, by post, through referral by government departments and non-governmental organisations, or through Social Security Field Units.
Eligible seniors whose applications are received by December 31 will receive the Old Age Living Allowance dating back to December 1 last year, at the earliest.
People aged 70 or above who opt not to switch to the Old Age Living Allowance can apply for, or continue to receive, the non-means-tested Old Age Allowance, which will increase from $1,090 to $1,135 per month from February 1.
The department has produced three versions of television and radio announcements to publicise the plan.