Senior allowances merged

June 20, 2022

The Social Welfare Department announced that the Normal Old Age Living Allowance (OALA) and Higher OALA will be merged on September 1 this year to better support the elderly in need.


The merged OALA will adopt the more relaxed asset limits of the Normal OALA and the payment rate of the Higher OALA, while the monthly income limits will remain unchanged.


The arrangements will also apply to the Guangdong and Fujian schemes.


The merger will directly benefit about 50,000 elderly people who are currently receiving the Normal OALA.

The department said that all elderly people who are receiving the Normal OALA before the merger will receive the higher payment rate starting from September 1 without any application required. New eligible elderly applicants will also receive the higher payment rate.


The merger was one of the new livelihood initiatives announced by Chief Executive Carrie Lam in January 2020. She later announced in the 2021 Policy Address that the merger will be implemented in the second half of 2022.


Currently, the payment rates of the Normal OALA and the Higher OALA are $2,920 and $3,915. About 50,000 elderly persons currently receiving the Normal OALA will receive an additional $995 per month after the merger.


As for asset limits, the limit for singleton seniors will be raised from $163,000 under the Higher OALA to $374,000 across the board, and the limit for elderly couples will be raised from $247,000 under the Higher OALA to $568,000 across the board.


Singleton seniors and elderly couples with assets no more than $374,000 and $568,000 can receive the OALA at $3,915 per month while retaining more assets.


For OALA enquiries, call the department at 3595 0130. For the Guangdong and Fujian schemes enquiry, call 3105 3266.

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