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Social security payments to be raised from February this year
     ​The Social Welfare Department (SWD) announced today (January 20) that it would raise the standard payment rates under the Comprehensive Social Security Assistance (CSSA) Scheme, as well as the rates of Old Age Allowance (OAA), Old Age Living Allowance (OALA) (including OAA and OALA under the Guangdong Scheme and the Fujian Scheme) and Disability Allowance under the Social Security Allowance (SSA) Scheme from February 1 this year.

     An SWD spokesman said, "On December 16 last year, the Finance Committee of the Legislative Council gave approval for the Government to adjust upwards the above rates by 3.7 per cent (see Annex I) with effect from February 1 this year in accordance with the established mechanism on the basis of the year-on-year rate of change of the Social Security Assistance Index of Prices. The above adjustment will benefit around 1.5 million people, incurring an additional expenditure of around $2.262 billion per year."

     The spokesman added, "In accordance with the established mechanism, the Government will adjust the maximum rent allowance (MRA) under the CSSA Scheme taking into account the year-on-year rate of change of the Consumer Price Index (A) rent index for private housing. While the MRA should be reduced correspondingly from February 1 this year in accordance with the relevant mechanism, we are mindful that the evolving epidemic, challenging economic conditions and uncertain external environment would weigh on Hong Kong's economic growth in the near term. CSSA recipients will continue to be one of the most economically vulnerable groups amid such uncertainties. In this connection, the Government will maintain the MRA at the current levels (see Annex II)."

     CSSA and SSA recipients may contact their respective social security field units or call the SWD hotline at 2343 2255 for inquiries.
Ends/Friday, January 20, 2023
Issued at HKT 11:00
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