Traditional Chinese Simplified Chinese Email this article
Low-income Working Family Allowance Scheme to start receiving applications in May 2016 (with photo)

     The Labour and Welfare Bureau announced today (November 24) that the Low-income Working Family Allowance (LIFA) Scheme will start receiving applications from May 3, 2016, onwards.

     The allowance under the Scheme for this first batch of applicants will be disbursed to eligible families in arrears on the basis of proof of eligibility for each calendar month since November 2015. Those who are interested to apply are advised to start keeping documentary proof of working hours, family income and assets and more from November 2015 onwards. The application forms will be available from April 2016.

     The Secretary for Labour and Welfare, Mr Matthew Cheung Kin-chung, said during his announcement of the LIFA implementation plan today, "This new initiative tops the Government's poverty alleviation agenda. It encourages self-reliance and eases inter-generational poverty.

     "We expect the Scheme to benefit 200 000 low-income working families, comprising a total of 700 000 people who include 170 000 eligible children or youths. The estimated expenditure on the Scheme each year is about $3 billion. The Scheme is estimated to cut the overall poverty rate by 2 percentage points and the child poverty rate by 4.2 percentage points."

     To ensure smooth processing, the Working Family Allowance Office (WFAO) of the Working Family and Student Financial Assistance Agency will accept first-batch applications in three phases: May 2016 for families with four persons or more, June 2016 for families with three persons, and July 2016 for families with two persons. The claim periods for the first-batch applications will all start from November 2015. After the first batch of applications, the claim periods of applications will be standardised to be six months.
     Under the Scheme, a family of two or more members meeting the income and asset limits may apply for a full-rate Basic Allowance ($600 per month), a full-rate Higher Allowance ($1,000 per month), a half-rate Basic Allowance ($300 per month) or a half-rate Higher Allowance ($500 per month) if it has a member, as the applicant for LIFA, meeting the working hour requirements.

     Each eligible child in the applicant family may also be granted a full-rate Child Allowance ($800 per month) or a half-rate Child Allowance ($400 per month). Noting that single parents may have less support in taking care of their children, the working hour requirements for single parents will be lower. Eligible new arrivals and self-employed persons may also apply for the allowance.

     The WFAO will begin to publicise the eligibility criteria for the LIFA Scheme and the application arrangements through various channels. Apart from broadcasting the relevant Announcement in the Public Interest on television and radio, posters will be displayed and leaflets distributed at various government offices and public organisations. Briefings will be organised for stakeholders and other interested groups.

     Details of the LIFA Scheme are available on the LIFA website ( For enquiries, please call the 24-hour LIFA hotline 2558 3000.

Ends/Tuesday, November 24, 2015
Issued at HKT 15:38


Print this page