Updates on Guangdong Scheme

     The Social Welfare Department (SWD) will implement the Guangdong Scheme (GD Scheme) with effect from October 1 for eligible Hong Kong elderly people aged 65 or above who choose to reside in Guangdong. They will receive the monthly Old Age Allowance of HK$1,135 without the need to return to Hong Kong each year.

     The SWD started receiving applications for the Scheme on August 1. Until yesterday (September 12) the department had received about 10 380 applications. Meanwhile, about 8 800 visitors have approached the Social Security Field Unit (Guangdong Scheme), located at Landmark North in Sheung Shui, to make enquiries or obtain application forms, while over 13 000 calls have also been received on the hotline.

     An SWD spokesman reminded, "Eligible elderly people who have submitted their applications to the 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."

     He added that SWD has deployed additional manpower to speedily process the applications received. After receipt of applications, SWD will issue a letter to confirm receipt of each application such that the elderly people concerned need not worry while waiting for the interview appointment.

     Regarding supporting documents for proof of residential addresses in Guangdong, the spokesman stressed that any rental receipt, utilities bills or official correspondence issued by government bodies will be accepted as proof of residential address. In addition, elderly people who are unable to open bank accounts in Hong Kong can appoint relatives to receive the allowance for them. The agent appointed by the SWD will also provide assistance as needed or help receive the allowance for the elderly people if necessary.

     To assist the public in understanding the application procedures, the "Application Form for the GD Scheme", "Application for GD Scheme Guidance Notes" and a set of Frequently Asked Questions on the Scheme are available at the GD Scheme website (www.swd.gov.hk/gds). This website is also linked to the homepage of the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office in Guangdong (www.gdeto.gov.hk/en/welcome/index.htm).
     For enquiries, please call the GD Scheme enquiry hotline at 3105 3266.

Ends/Friday, September 13, 2013
Issued at HKT 11:01