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Period for first-round applications under LIFA to end on July 31
     The Secretary for Labour and Welfare, Mr Matthew Cheung Kin-chung today (July 21) urged eligible families who have yet to submit their applications for the Low-income Working Family Allowance (LIFA) to do so before July 31 so that they can receive eight months' allowances dating back to November 2015 onwards.

     "Take the example of an eligible family of four comprising the parents and two children in school, with the applicant working more than 192 hours per month, this family may receive up to $20,800 for the eight-month period," Mr Cheung said.

     "As at July 20, over 27 000 applications had been received. So far, 3 880 applications have been approved, involving payment of $52,126,400. The highest amount of allowances totalling $30,000 was granted to a family of six," Mr Cheung added.

     Mr Cheung emphasised that the LIFA Scheme is an important Government poverty alleviation measure, which aims to encourage self-reliance, reward those who work more and ease inter-generational poverty.  

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

     The first-round applications are received in three phases. 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 the applications received after July 31, 2016 will be standardised at a six-monthly period. 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 for application forms and related documents, including the Working Family Allowance Office (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 Home Affairs Enquiry Centres of the Home Affairs Department.

     Applications can be submitted by post to PO Box No. 62600 Kwun Tong Post 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.

     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 (lifa.gov.hk).
Ends/Thursday, July 21, 2016
Issued at HKT 12:00
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