The Social Welfare Department (SWD) announced today (March 6) that the Fujian (FJ) Scheme under the Social Security Allowance Scheme would be implemented from April 1. Applications will be accepted starting from today to allow sufficient time for elderly persons to submit applications.
An SWD spokesman said, "Making reference to the arrangements for the existing Guangdong (GD) Scheme, the FJ Scheme provides Old Age Allowance (currently at $1,345 per month) to eligible Hong Kong elderly persons aged 65 or above who choose to reside in FJ without the need to return to Hong Kong each year (see Annex). The amount of allowance will be adjusted annually in accordance with the established mechanism.
"Besides, a special one-off arrangement will be put in place in the first year of implementing the FJ Scheme (i.e. from April 1, 2018 to March 31, 2019) to allow elderly persons who have already resided in FJ and satisfy all other eligibility criteria (including age and means test requirements for applicants aged 65 to 69), but fail to meet the requirement of having resided in Hong Kong continuously for at least one year immediately before the date of application, to benefit from the FJ Scheme without having to return to and stay in Hong Kong for one year. However, these applicants must have resided in FJ for at least one year immediately before the date of application (absence from FJ up to a maximum of 56 days during the one-year period is treated as meeting the requirement of residence in FJ), and they have to provide documentary proof of their residential addresses in FJ (such as rental receipts, electricity bills, etc)."
Elderly persons who intend to apply for the FJ Scheme may return the completed application form for the FJ Scheme with copies of supporting documents and two recent photos by post to the Social Security Field Unit (Guangdong Scheme and Fujian Scheme) at Room 2110-2111, 21/F, Landmark North, 39 Lung Sum Avenue, Sheung Shui, New Territories, Hong Kong. Upon receipt of an application, the SWD will make an appointment with the applicant for an interview and to complete the application procedures at the Field Unit in person. Eligible elderly persons will receive the allowance from the date of application, or the date of eligibility, or the implementation date of the FJ Scheme, whichever is the latest.
The spokesman added that the SWD has appointed the International Social Service - Hong Kong Branch as the agent for the FJ Scheme. The agent will assist applicants who are unable to travel to Hong Kong owing to health reasons in completing application procedures, conduct case reviews, handle enquiries, etc.
Application forms for the FJ Scheme and application guidance notes can be downloaded from SWD's FJ Scheme website, and are available at all social security field units in Hong Kong as well as designated venues in FJ (including the Fujian Liaison Unit of the Government's Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office in Guangdong). Applicants may also obtain the application form and guidance notes from the Social Security Field Unit (Guangdong Scheme and Fujian Scheme) by phone or by post.
For enquiries, please visit the FJ Scheme website at www.swd.gov.hk/fjs or call the GD Scheme and FJ Scheme enquiry line at 3105 3266.