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Social Security recipients to get one-off additional payment and back payment with retrospective effect from February 1 this month

     A one-off additional payment will be made by the Social Welfare Department (SWD) to recipients of Comprehensive Social Security Assistance (CSSA) as well as recipients of the Old Age Allowance (OAA) (including those payable under the Guangdong (GD) Scheme), Old Age Living Allowance (OALA) and Disability Allowance (DA) under the Social Security Allowance (SSA) Scheme next Wednesday (June 8).

     "The move is part of a package of one-off relief measures announced by the Financial Secretary in his Budget Speech on February 24. The Finance Committee of the Legislative Council (LegCo) approved the allocation of $2.821 billion on April 22 for implementing the measure. The additional payment will be issued to the beneficiaries next Wednesday. No additional application is required," the Secretary for Labour and Welfare, Mr Matthew Cheung Kin-chung, said today (June 2).

     For CSSA recipients, the amount of the one-off additional payment is equivalent to one month's standard rate payable to different categories of recipients (such as elderly persons, children or able-bodied adults) under the CSSA Scheme. Recipients of OAA (including those payable under the GD Scheme), OALA and DA will receive an additional one month's allowance.

     The measure will benefit about 360 000 CSSA recipients as well as some 220 000 OAA recipients, 20 000 GD Scheme recipients, 440 000 OALA recipients and 130 000 DA recipients.

     In addition, LegCo passed the Appropriation Bill 2016 on May 13, including the proposal to increase by 4.4 per cent the standard payment rates under the CSSA Scheme and the rates of OAA (including those payable under the GD Scheme), OALA and DA (see Annex) based on the established adjustment mechanism, i.e. according to the movement of the Social Security Assistance Index of Prices.

     "The above adjustment will take retrospective effect from February 1. Back payment will be issued tomorrow (June 3) at the earliest. An additional expenditure of around $1.6 billion per year will be incurred for the adjustment. The one-off additional relief measure and the adjustment will benefit some 1.2 million people," Mr Cheung added.

     The one-off additional payment and the back payment will be arranged through the existing CSSA or SSA payment method, i.e., through bank payment credited to the designated bank accounts of the recipients.

     For enquiries, recipients can call the SWD hotline on 2343 2255 or contact their respective Social Security Field Units.

Ends/Thursday, June 2, 2016
Issued at HKT 15:04


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