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SWD to launch Guangdong Scheme in October and start receiving applications from tomorrow (with photos)

     The Social Welfare Department (SWD) will launch the Guangdong (GD) Scheme on October 1 and start receiving applications from tomorrow (August 1) to allow sufficient time for elderly people to submit applications.  

     The GD Scheme, under the Social Security Allowance Scheme, provides Old Age Allowance (OAA) to eligible Hong Kong elderly people who choose to reside in Guangdong, without requiring them to return to Hong Kong each year. Eligible Hong Kong elderly people will receive OAA at $1,135 per month. The amount of OAA will be adjusted annually in accordance with the established mechanism.

     A special one-off arrangement will be in place in the first year of implementing the GD Scheme (that is, from October 1, 2013, to September 30, 2014) to allow applicants who satisfy all other eligibility criteria and have resided in Guangdong continuously for one year (with a grace period of 56 days) immediately before the date of application to benefit from the Scheme without having to satisfy the one-year continuous residence rule in Hong Kong.

     An SWD spokesman said: "To enable eligible elderly people and their relatives/friends to learn about details of the Scheme, SWD will publicise the GD Scheme starting from tomorrow through various means including broadcasting of television Announcements in the Public Interest (API) and radio API on the electronic media and showing the television API on cross-boundary coaches. In addition, SWD will set up a webpage for the GD Scheme, making available relevant information of the Scheme including eligibility criteria, application procedures, application form and a set of frequently asked questions.  The department will also put in place a designated enquiry hotline to answer public enquiries in relation to the GD Scheme."

     In addition, SWD has set up a designated office in Sheung Shui to handle all applications under the GD Scheme. The designated Social Security Field Unit will start operating tomorrow.

     The spokesman reminded applicants, "There is no need for elderly people who wish to apply for the GD Scheme to rush to the designated Social Security Field Unit for submitting applications. They only need to post the completed application form with two recent photos and copies of supporting documents to the Social Security Field Unit (Guangdong Scheme) at Rm 2110-2111, 21/F, Landmark North, 39 Lung Sum Avenue, Sheung Shui. Upon receipt of an application, SWD will make appointment with the applicant to complete the application procedures in Hong Kong in person.  

     Eligible elderly people who have submitted their applications to SWD before October 1, 2013, will receive the allowance commencing from October 1 this year, as long as they have met all the eligibility criteria on or before October 1, irrespective of when their applications are approved."

     SWD has appointed the International Social Service Hong Kong Branch (ISS-HK) as the agent for the GD Scheme. The agent will conduct case reviews, interview applicants who are unfit to travel to Hong Kong for health reasons, and handle enquiries from beneficiaries of the GD Scheme.

     The application form and the guidance notes can be downloaded from SWD's GD Scheme webpage, and are available at all social security field units in Hong Kong as well as various designated venues in Guangdong province, including the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office and various ISS-HK offices in Guangdong. Applicants can also request an application form from the Social Security Field Unit (Guangdong Scheme) by phone or by post.

     For enquiries, please visit the GD Scheme webpage at or, starting from August 1, call the GD Scheme enquiry hotline at 3105 3266.

Ends/Wednesday, July 31, 2013
Issued at HKT 16:10


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