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Upward adjustment of asset limits for Old Age Living Allowance and Guangdong Scheme with retrospective effect from May 1
     The Social Welfare Department (SWD) announced today (May 19) that the asset limits under the Old Age Living Allowance (OALA) and Guangdong (GD) Scheme have been adjusted upward with retrospective effect from May 1.

     An SWD spokesman said that with the passage of the Appropriation Bill 2017 by the Legislative Council on May 18, the asset limits for OALA and GD Scheme (applicable to the GD Scheme applicants aged 65 to 69) have been relaxed with retrospective effect from May 1, i.e. the first day of the month in which the bill was passed. The existing income limits for the OALA and the GD Scheme remain unchanged. The relaxed asset limits and the existing income limits are as follows:
  Single person Married Couple
Limit of total asset value $329,000 $499,000
Limit of total income per month $7,750 $12,620

     The spokesman said, "Elderly persons who meet the above financial limits and other eligibility criteria may, having regard to their individual circumstances and needs, submit application for the OALA or the GD Scheme. The payment of allowance will be disbursed from the date of application or the date of eligibility, whichever is later.

     "For elderly persons who submitted their applications before the effective date of the new asset limits (i.e. May 1), the SWD will verify their eligibility as soon as possible and disburse payments to the eligible persons from May 1 or the date of eligibility, whichever is later."
     He pointed out that if an OALA applicant is an existing Old Age Allowance (OAA) recipient or a Normal Disability Allowance (NDA) recipient aged 65 or above, the SWD will deduct the OAA or NDA already paid during the corresponding period from the OALA payment.

     The spokesman added, "The higher tier of assistance under the OALA (Higher OALA) also takes a retrospective effect from May 1 this year. In view of various operational considerations, including the lead time for updating the computer system for implementing the enhancement, it is estimated that the Higher OALA will be implemented in mid-2018 at the earliest. The department will announce the actual implementation date and details in due course."

     For enquiries, people may call 3595 0130 (OALA) and 3105 3266 (GD Scheme), or browse the relevant webpages (www.swd.gov.hk/oala; www.swd.gov.hk/gds).
Ends/Friday, May 19, 2017
Issued at HKT 15:45
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