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What is the permissible limit of absence from Hong Kong during receipt of payment for CSSA recipients? How to calculate the number of days of absence? For elderly CSSA recipients, will their CSSA eligibility be affected if they reside in China for a long period?

Social Welfare Department

During the period of receiving CSSA, CSSA recipients should live in Hong Kong but they have a permissible limit of absence from Hong Kong (i.e. travelling to China, Macau or overseas countries/ places). If the number of days of absence does not exceed the permissible limit, the amount of assistance payable will not be affected.

  1. Permissible limit of absence from Hong Kong

A CSSA recipient’s temporary absences from Hong Kong in a payment year (which is counted from 1 July to 30 June of the following year) should not exceed the permissible limit as follows:

  • Recipients aged 60 or above or recipients medically certified to be disabled: 180 days per year
  • Other recipients: 60 days per year (If there are special reasons why these recipients have to leave Hong Kong for more than 60 days in a year, the permissible limit of absence from Hong Kong can be extended up to a maximum of 90 days at the discretion of the Director of Social Welfare).  
  1. Calculation of the number of days of absence:

The number of days of absence is calculated from the date of departure from Hong Kong (including the date of departure), and the day of return to Hong Kong is not counted.

Example: If a recipient left Hong Kong on 10 February 2011 and returned on 20 February 2011, the number of days of absence during this period is 10 days. 

If a recipient leaves Hong Kong and returns on the same day, the number of days of absence is zero.

  1. Portable Comprehensive Social Security Assistance (PCSSA) Scheme for elderly persons retiring to Guangdong and Fujian

For CSSA recipients aged 60 or above who meet the eligibility criteria of the Portable Comprehensive Social Security Assistance (PCSSA) Scheme, they can choose to take up permanent residence in Guangdong or Fujian and continue to receive cash assistance from Social Welfare Department.  In addition to passing the financial tests of CSSA Scheme, applicants of PCSSA Scheme must satisfy the following conditions :

  • be a Hong Kong permanent resident and have lived in Hong Kong for at least 7years;
  • be aged 60 or above;and
  • have received CSSA continuously for at least one year immediately before the date of application for PCSSA (breaks in payment totaling not more than 10 days within this one-year period are allowed).

An applicant eligible for PCSSA will be entitled to the monthly standard rate and the annual long-term supplement. No special grants or other payments (such as rent allowance, special diet allowance, travelling expenses) will be made to a PCSSA recipient.

Applicants who wish to apply for PCSSA can refer to the pamphlet of PCSSA Scheme (PDF, Chinese version only) or contact the social security field unit which handles the CSSA case.

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Last update: 9 Mar 2021
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