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

Social Welfare Department
During the period of receiving Comprehensive Social Security Assistance (CSSA) Scheme, CSSA recipients should live in Hong Kong but they have a permissible limit of absence from Hong Kong. If the number of days of absence does not exceed the permissible limit, the amount of assistance payable will not be affected.

For details, please refer to the “Pamphlet on the Comprehensive Social Security Assistance Scheme and the Social Security Allowance Scheme - Residence requirements for applicants and permissible limits of absence from Hong Kong during receipt of payment” (Sep 2023 version) (PDF).

 

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 who are old or 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. 
    • Consideration can be given to disregarding a recipient’s absence from Hong Kong arising from paid employment outside Hong Kong on condition that there is documentary evidence to prove that working hours per month and earnings per month are no less than the prescribed levels as defined by the SWD.

 

2. 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.
  • If a recipient leaves Hong Kong and returns on the same day, the number of days of absence is zero.

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

If an recipient left Hong Kong at 11:30 p.m. on 10 February and returned at 00:30 a.m. on 11 February, even though he/she left Hong Kong before midnight and returned to Hong Kong after midnight, the number of days of absence is 1 day.

 

 

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

The objective of the PCSSA Scheme is to enable elderly CSSA recipients who meet the prescribed criteria to continue to receive cash assistance under the CSSA Scheme if they choose to retire permanently in Guangdong or Fujian.

In addition to passing the financial tests of the CSSA Scheme, applicants of the PCSSA Scheme must satisfy the following conditions :
  1. be a Hong Kong permanent resident and have lived in Hong Kong for at least 7 years;
  2. be aged 65 or above;
  3. have received CSSA continuously for at least 1 year immediately before the date of application for PCSSA (breaks in payment totalling not more than 10 days within this one-year period are allowed) ;
  4. continues to reside in Guangdong or Fujian during receipt of assistance;
  5. is required to declare the scheduled date of his/her departure from Hong Kong to take up permanent residence in Guangdong or Fujian, which must fall within 3 months of the date of application for PCSSA; and
  6. Applicant who is a Public Rental Housing (PRH) tenant is required to surrender his/her PRH unit or delete his/her name from the tenancy before he/she departs from Hong Kong.

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, or travelling expenses) will be made to a PCSSA recipient.

Applicants who wish to apply for PCSSA can refer to the leaflet of PCSSA Scheme (PDF) or contact the Social Security Field Unit which handles the CSSA case.

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Last update: 9 Jul 2024
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