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What are the eligibility criteria of Disability Allowance? What is the amount of assistance payable?

Social Welfare Department

The Disability Allowance can be divided into Normal Disability Allowance and Higher Disability Allowance.  It is a monthly allowance provided by Social Welfare Department (SWD) to the severely disabled Hong Kong residents to meet special needs arising from disability.  The Scheme is non-contributory and the allowances paid under the Scheme are non-means-tested. From 1 February 2023 onwards, the amount of assistance payable per month of Normal Disability Allowance and Higher Disability Allowance is HK$2,005 and HK$4,010 respectively.

Besides, a monthly Transport Supplement of $325 is payable to eligible Normal Disability Allowance or Higher Disability Allowance applicants and in the age group of 12 to 64.  The supplement is meant to encourage them to participate more in activities away from home, thereby enhancing their integration into society.  It is paid at a flat rate together with the allowance to eligible Disability Allowance applicants.

An applicant is eligible for the Disability Allowance if he/she: 

  1. meets the following residence requirements:
    1. has been a Hong Kong resident for at least seven years; and 
    2. has resided in Hong Kong continuously for at least one year immediately before the date of application (absence from Hong Kong up to a maximum of 90 days during the one-year period is treated as residence in Hong Kong).


  • Persons whose presence in Hong Kong is unlawful or persons who are permitted to stay in Hong Kong for a purpose other than residence (for example, imported workers or visitors) are excluded from the Scheme.
  • Hong Kong residents aged below 18 applying for Disability Allowance are exempted from the residence requirements in (a) and (b) above.
  • In considering the residence requirement in (b) above, consideration can be given to disregarding absences arising from full-time study or paid work outside Hong Kong during the one-year period, subject to there being sufficient documentary proof.
  1. continues to reside in Hong Kong during receipt of Disability Allowance( Please click here for information on the permissible limit of absence from Hong Kong).
  2. is not receiving Old Age Allowance or Comprehensive Social Security Assistance (CSSA); 
  3. is not under detention or imprisonment; and 
  4. meets the criteria of the particular allowance as below
    • Normal Disability Allowance
      1. is certified by the Director of Health or the Chief Executive, Hospital Authority (see Note 1) to be severely disabled(Please click here for the definition of ‘severely disabled’); and 
      2. his/her disabling condition will persist for at least 6 months.
    • Higher Disability Allowance
      1. in addition to meeting all the criteria for Normal Disability Allowance above, Higher Disability Allowance applicant must be certified by the Director of Health or the Chief Executive, Hospital Authority (see Note 1) to be in need of constant attendance from others in his/her daily life; and 
      2. is not receiving care in residential institutions subsidized by the government (including subsidized places in subvented/ contract homes and residential care homes under various bought place schemes) or all public hospitals and institutions under the Hospital Authority, or boarding in special schools under the Education Bureau (see Note 2).

Note 1: A Disability Allowance applicant staying in a private hospital might be considered by his/her attending registered medical practitioner unsuitable to be brought to any of the public hospitals/clinics for medical assessment.  Under this exceptional circumstance, the Social Welfare Department can accept the medical assessment made by the attending registered medical practitioner of the private hospital subject to meeting other prescribed conditions.  For details, please contact the social security field unit concerned.

Note 2: If a Higher Disability Allowance applicant has been admitted into the above residential institutions/public hospitals and institutions for receiving care or special schools under the Education Bureau for boarding service at the time of application, he/she will only be given Normal Disability Allowance.  As for existing Higher Disability Allowance recipient, his/her allowance will be adjusted to Normal Disability Allowance if he/she has been admitted into residential institutions/public hospitals and institutions for receiving care or special schools under the Education Bureau for boarding service for more than 29 days.

Please click here for the application procedures of Disability Allowance.

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Last update: 4 Sep 2023
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