Logo Clic

Logo Senior


Logo Clic

Law Logo

Show All Topics Image

Audio Image

Listen to Audio of this topic (Cantonese only)











Comprehensive Social Security Assistance Scheme

Social welfare for the elderly

The Comprehensive Social Security Assistance (CSSA) Scheme offers a safety net to individuals who are unable to financially sustain themselves and meet their basic needs.


1. Residence requirement

The applicant must:

  1. be a Hong Kong resident;
  2. have held the Hong Kong resident status for not less than 1 year; and
  3. have resided in Hong Kong for at least 1 year (since acquiring the Hong Kong resident status to the date prior to the date of application). The one-year residence need not be continuous or immediately before the date of application. Absence(s) from Hong Kong up to a maximum of 56 days (whether continuous or intermittent) before the date of application is/are treated as residence in Hong Kong.


2. Financial tests

The applicant must pass both the income and asset tests:

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.


3. Additional criteria for able-bodied adults

Persons aged 15 to 59 in normal health should actively seek full-time jobs and participate in the Support for Self-reliance Scheme of the Social Welfare Department if they are unemployed or with monthly earnings or working hours less than the prescribed levels set by the Department.


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 $35,500
Person aged 65 or above/child/disabled person $53,000
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
1 $23,500 1 $53,000
2 $47,000 2 $79,500
3 $70,500 3 $106,000
4 or above $94,000 4 $132,500
  5 $159,000
6 $185,500

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 $173,500 (i.e. $94,000 + $79,500).

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


What does the CSSA consist of?

Type of payment Description
Standard rates
  • Able-bodied/50% disabled person aged 65 or above:
    Single person: $4,195
    Family member: $3,945
  • 100% disabled:
    Single person: $5,065
    Family member: $4,480
  • Requiring constant attendance:
    Single person: $7,130
    Family member: $6,535
Long term supplement (payable annually to families if they have received assistance continuously for 12 months or more)
  • Single person: $2,620
  • Family comprising more than 2 or more members who are old, disabled, or medically certified to be in poor health: $5,235
Other supplements
  • Community living supplement: recipients who are old, disabled, medically certified to be in ill-health or able-bodied adults aged 60 to 64 and who are not living in institutions can receive a monthly payment of $400.
  • Transport supplement: recipients who are medically certified to be 100% disabled or in need of constant attendance and in the age group of 12 to 64 can receive a monthly payment of $335.
  • Residential care supplement: recipients who are old, disabled or medically certified to be in ill-health and who are living in non-subsidised residential care places can receive a monthly payment of $400.
Special grants
  • Special grants are available for specific needs of an individual applicant or the applicant’s family, including rent, water and sewage charge, expenses related to telephone services, the cost of glasses, school fees and school-related expenses, medically-recommended diet, cost of medical and rehabilitation appliances.


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 field units.
  • An application may also be made through a referral 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 Social Welfare Department, 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 Social Welfare Department’s website.