The Social Welfare Department (SWD) today (February 17) started a postal review on the financial conditions of about 273 000 elderly persons who have been granted the Old Age Living Allowance (OALA) under the Phase 1 ˇV Auto-conversion arrangement.
An SWD spokesman said that, when rolling out the OALA in April last year, the SWD devised a set of simplified application procedures to enable eligible elderly persons to receive the allowance as early as possible. Under the Phase 1 - Auto-conversion arrangement, eligible recipients were granted the OALA without having to declare their and/or their spouses' (if applicable) income and assets.
As indicated in the notification letter sent to these recipients last February, these recipients are subject to a postal review in 2014 and they are required to provide declarations of their and/or their spouses' income and assets to the SWD for updating their information and verification of their continued eligibility for receiving the OALA, the spokesman said.
The SWD will issue a blue notification letter enclosing the Postal Review Form today to elderly persons who were granted the OALA under the Phase 1 - Auto-conversion arrangement to advise them on the details of the postal review. Upon receipt of the notification letter, elderly persons should provide declarations of their and/or their spouses' (if applicable) income and assets by completing and mailing the Postal Review Form within one month from the date of issue of the notification letter to the following address: Social Welfare Department, PO Box 2200, Kowloon East Post Office, Kowloon.
"The SWD will, based on the information provided by the recipients, verify whether they will continue to be eligible for the OALA. If the recipients still meet the income and asset requirements, they will continue to receive the OALA payment, currently $2,285 per month," the spokesman said.
"For recipients who do not meet the income and asset requirements, they will receive OALA payment up to the expiry of the 24-month grace period (i.e. November 30, 2014). The SWD will arrange to stop payment of the OALA to ineligible recipients starting from December 2014 and will notify them separately in writing. If the ineligible recipients are aged 70 or above, the SWD will arrange for the non-means-tested Old Age Allowance (OAA) for them instead. The current monthly OAA payment is $1,180. In future, if their income and assets meet the prescribed limits of the OALA, they may apply for the allowance again," he added.
The OALA aims to supplement the living expenses of Hong Kong elderly persons aged 65 or above who are in need of financial support. To be eligible for the OALA, an applicant must satisfy the income and asset requirements as below:
Single personˇ@ˇ@Married couple
For details and frequently asked questions on the postal review, please visit the SWD website: www.swd.gov.hk/oala/index_e.html . For enquiries, please call the OALA hotline at 3595 0130 (office hours) or its 24-hour hotline at 3142 2202.
Ends/Monday, February 17, 2014
Issued at HKT 10:00