Press Release



LCQ8: CSSA recipients receiving employees' compensation


Following is a question by the Hon Bernard Chan and a written reply by the Secretary for Health and Welfare, Mrs Katherine Fok, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question :

Will the Government inform this Council :

(a) of the number of Comprehensive Social Security Assistance ("CSSA") recipients who are currently receiving a monthly statutory compensation under the Employees' Compensation Ordinance (Cap. 282), which amounts to 80% of their pre-injury monthly income;

(b) of the total amount of CSSA payments made in such cases in the past 12 months;

(c) of the number of CSSA recipients who, taking into account the employees' compensation they also receive, have a monthly income higher than their pre-injury monthly earnings and, among these cases, of the longest period of concurrent payments made;

(d) whether employees' compensation is classified as an asset rather than income in processing CSSA applications; if so, the reasons for that; and

(e) whether the Government will review its policy of granting CSSA to recipients who are also in receipt of employees' compensation?

Reply :

Madam President,

(a) According to records available to the Social Welfare Department, there were nine Comprehensive Social Security Assistance (CSSA) recipients who were also receiving periodical compensation payments granted under the Employees' Compensation Ordinance in the past 12 months.

(b) The total amount of CSSA paid to these cases was $792,000 during the past 12 months.

(c) Generally speaking, applicants receiving periodical employees' compensation payments may be eligible for CSSA subject to passing the asset test irrespective of their pre-injury income. SWD therefore does not maintain records of the pre-injury monthly income of the recipients. Among the nine CSSA cases mentioned in (a), the longest period in which concurrent payments were paid was 15 months.

(d) Under the current CSSA provisions, the treatment of employees' compensation (EC) is as follows -

(i) Lump sum payment

Payment of EC in a lump sum (including periodical payments or any other advance payments which are deductible from the final award) for temporary or permanent incapacity or death is normally treated as savings in assessing the eligibility for CSSA; and

(ii) EC for medical expenses

Payment of EC for medical expenses of an injured employee will be disregarded in the assessment of CSSA eligibility.

The treatment of EC as asset rather than income in considering CSSA applications is in line with the treatment of other types of compensation payments, e.g. award of common law damages, compensation paid under the Pneumoconiosis (Compensation) Ordinance, etc.

(e) We have no immediate plan to review the policy on treatment of employees' compensation in assessment of CSSA eligibility.

END/Wednesday, May 19, 1999