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Old Age Living Allowance

Social welfare for the elderly

The HKSAR Government introduced the Old Age Living Allowance (OALA) Scheme in 2013 to supplement the living expenses of the elderly. The amount of assistance payable per month of Old Age Living Allowance is $4,195.



The applicant must:

  • be aged 65 or above;
  • have been a Hong Kong resident for at least seven years and have resided in Hong Kong continuously for at least one year immediately before the date of application (see Note below);
  • not be in receipt of any other allowance under the Social Security Allowance Scheme or assistance under the Comprehensive Social Security Assistance Scheme;
  • continue to reside in Hong Kong during receipt of payment;
  • not be detained in legal custody or admitted to a penal institution; and
  • not have monthly income and assets exceeding the prescribed limits as set out below:
  Single person Married couple
Total income per month $10,710 $16,330
Total assets value $401,000 $608,000


“Income” includes:

  • wages from employment;
  • income from handiwork, business, etc. (including salaries, wages, monthly commissions or bonuses, and monthly income from self-employment);
  • retirement benefits/pensions;
  • net income from rentals collected; and
  • payout from the annuity scheme(s).

Contributions from family members, relatives or friends, and monthly payments received under the Reverse Mortgage Programme (RMP) (only applicable to the RMP where the property as collateral is an owner-occupied property) and the Policy Reverse Mortgage Programme are excluded, but any unspent and accumulated savings/cash in hand is treated as part of the applicant’s “assets”.


“Assets” include:

  • land and other non-owner occupied properties;
  • cash in hand;
  • bank savings;
  • investments in shares and stocks (including bonds, trust funds and accrued retirement benefits);
  • vehicles for commercial use/investment (e.g. taxi or public light bus) and their business licences, and
  • gold bars, gold coins, etc.

Owner-occupied property, a columbarium niche for self-use in future, and the cash value of insurance schemes are excluded. However, only the value of one residential property which is the applicant’s principal place of residence in Hong Kong is disregarded. Other properties separately or jointly owned by the applicant and/or his spouse are regarded as “non-owner occupied properties” and are taken into account in the assessment of “assets”.

Assets in Hong Kong, Macau, the Mainland and overseas are included.


Continuously means not having resided outside Hong Kong for more than 90 days during that one-year period.

Consideration can be given to disregarding absences arising from paid work or medical treatment outside Hong Kong during the one-year period, subject to the availability of sufficient documentary proof and a valid reason.


How can I apply for the Old Age Living Allowance?

  • The applicant or his/her relative/friend can make an application for the Old Age Living Allowance directly to a social security field unit near to his/her place of residence by phone, by fax, by e-mail, by post, by online form or in person.
  • An application may also be made through a referral to the Social Welfare Department by another government department or a non-governmental organisation.
  • The applicant can also download the “Social Security Allowance Application Form” and “Application for Social Security Allowance Guidance Notes” and return the completed application form together with photocopies of relevant supporting documents to the social security field unit by post or in person.
  • As soon as the application is received, an officer of the Social Welfare Department will make arrangements for an interview with the applicant.



For enquiries, please contact one of the following: