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Comprehensive Social Security Assistance Scheme

Social welfare for the elderly

An applicant must pass the following financial tests to become a beneficiary of the Comprehensive Social Security Assistance (CSSA) Scheme:-

Income test
The total assessable monthly household income of the applicant and his/her family must be insufficient to meet their total monthly needs as recognized under the Scheme.

Asset test
The applicant and his/her family’s capital assets must be within the prescribed asset limits (see below).

Note: Any resident aged 65 or above is regarded as “elderly” in applying for CSSA.

Can CSSA recipients still receive assistance if they leave Hong Kong?

Temporary absence from Hong Kong does not affect payments under the CSSA provided the number of days the recipient is absent in a payment year (counted from 1 July to 30 June of the following year) does not exceed the following limits:

  • Recipients aged 65 or above and recipients medically certified as disabled: 180 days a year.
  • Other recipients: 60 days a year.

(The permissible limit of absence from Hong Kong can be extended up to 90 days at the discretion of Director of Social Welfare for those whose absence exceeds 60 days for special reasons.)

What are the asset limits for applying for CSSA?

For single persons:

Able-bodied adults

HKD 33,000

Person aged 65 or above/child/disabled person

HKD 50,000

For families:

Able-bodied adults/children

Persons aged 65 or above, disabled persons or persons medically certified to be in ill-health

No. of such members

Asset limit

No. of such members

Asset limit


HKD 22,000


HKD 50,000


HKD 44,000


HKD 75,000


HKD 66,000


HKD 100,000

4 or above

HKD 88,000


HKD 125,000


HKD 150,000


HKD 175,000

For example, the asset limit of a 7-member family, including two able-bodied adults, three able-bodied children, one disabled child and one elderly person, is $163,000 (i.e. $88,000 + $75,000)

The Social Welfare Department website has tables listing the current asset limits for applying for CSSA.

What does the CSSA consist of?

Type of payment


Standard rates

  • Able-bodied/50% disabled person aged 65 or above:
    Single person: HKD 3,815
    Family member: HKD 3,590
  • 100% disabled:
    Single person: HKD 4,610
    Family member: HKD 4,075
  • Requiring constant attendance:
    Single person: HKD 6,485
    Family member: HKD 5,945

Long term supplement (payable annually to families if they have received assistance continuously for 12 months or more)

  • Single person: HKD 2,385
  • Family comprising more than 2 members who are at least 65 years old, disabled, or medically certified to be in poor health: HKD 4,765

Other supplements

  • Community-living supplement: CSSA recipients who are at least 65 years old, disabled, or in poor health can receive a monthly payment of HKD 360.
  • Residential care supplement: This is payable to people who are at least 65 years old, disabled, or in poor health, and who are CSSA recipients living in non-subsidised residential care homes. Recipients can receive a monthly payment of HKD 360.

Special grants

  • Special grants are available for specific needs, including rent, school fees and school-related expenses, essential travelling expenses, medically-recommended diet, cost of medical and rehabilitation appliances. Able-bodied adults/children are only entitled to rent allowance, water/sewage charge allowance, grant to cover schooling expenses for children, grant to cover child-care centre fees and burial grant.

How can I apply?

  • You can file your application in person or by phone, fax, email or post to a social security field unit. Please click here for the addresses and telephone numbers of the Social Security Fild Units.
  • You can be referred to the Social Welfare Department by another government department or non-governmental organisation.
  • The supporting documents required are as follows: (1) your personal details, (2) home address, (3) monthly income and assets value of you and your spouse, (4) travel documents, (5) account particulars of your guardian/agent, and (6) your declaration and undertaking.
  • The calculation of the allowance payment is made immediately after the application is received.

As a CSSA applicant, do I have to report to the Social Welfare Department any changes in the circumstances of my family member(s) or me?

As such changes may affect your CSSA entitlement, you or your guardian/appointee should promptly report any change in the information that has been provided to the SWD, including the following:

  • Changes in employment, income, financial resources, school or family circumstances, or expenditure;
  • The total value of assets exceeding the prescribed asset limit;
  • Absence from Hong Kong exceeding the limits mentioned above;
  • Admission to, or discharge from, any residential institution; or
  • Detention or imprisonment.

For an introduction to the CSSA and its application, please click here to visit the SWD website.