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Low-income Working Family Allowance opens for Phase 3 Applications from tomorrow

     The Low-income Working Family Allowance (LIFA) is open for Phase 3 applications from tomorrow (July 4). Since the implementation of the LIFA Scheme on May 3 and up to June 29, nearly 23 000 applications have been received.

     The Secretary for Labour and Welfare, Mr Matthew Cheung Kin-chung said, "I encourage eligible families with two persons to submit their applications as soon as possible. I also appeal to eligible families with three or more persons who have not yet submitted their applications to submit applications on or before July 31, 2016 as soon as possible. If the applications are approved, the claim period will equally be counted from November 2015 onwards."

     Mr Cheung added, "The objective of the Scheme is to encourage continued employment, reward those who work more, ease inter-generational poverty, and relieve the financial pressure of working families. The first-batch payments were made in mid-June 2016. As at June 29, 842 applications were approved, involving payment of $11,632,100. In one case, a family received allowances amounting to $27,600. This is a seven-member ethnic minority family with five children and only the father is working as a clerk. The family can receive allowances amounting to $4,600 per month."

     Applications can be submitted by post to PO Box No. 62600 Kwun Tong Post Office (Working Family Allowance Office (WFAO) of the Working Family and Student Financial Assistance Agency (WFSFAA)) or through the drop-in boxes at the WFAO, Student Finance Office (of the WFSFAA), the Work Incentive Transport Subsidy Division of the Labour Department and the District Social Welfare Offices of the Social Welfare Department.

     Under the LIFA 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 the applicant meets the working hour requirements. Each eligible child may also be eligible for a full-rate Child Allowance ($800 per month) or a half-rate Child Allowance ($400 per month). For single parents, the working hour requirements will be lower.

     The first-round applications are received in three phases. Phase 1 applications are for families with four or more persons, submitted in May 2016. Phase 2 applications are for families with three persons, submitted in June 2016. Phase 3 applications are now open (applicable to families with two persons) and may be submitted in July 2016. The claim period is from November 2015 to June 2016 (eight months).  

     For more flexibility, if applicants in Phase 1 (families with four persons or more), Phase 2 (families with three persons), and Phase 3 (families with two persons) submit their applications on or before July 31, 2016, the first claim month will be standardised to be November 2015. The claim period for an application submitted on or after August 1, 2016 will be the six months preceding the month in which the application is submitted.

     There are 159 distribution outlets of application form and related documents, including the WFAO, the Student Finance Office, the Work Incentive Transport Subsidy Division, Job Centres and Industry-based Recruitment Centres of the Labour Department, the District Social Welfare Offices, Social Security Field Units and Integrated Family Service Centres of the Social Welfare Department, and the Public Enquiry Service Centres of the Home Affairs Department.  

     Applicants are welcome to call the 24-hour LIFA hotline 2558 3000 or visit the enquiry counters of the WFAO at 9/F, 181 Hoi Bun Road, Kwun Tong. Details of the LIFA Scheme are also available at the LIFA website (

Ends/Sunday, July 3, 2016
Issued at HKT 09:00


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