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The Pilot Scheme was launched in March 2017 by the Social Welfare Department initially for two years (from 2017 to 2019). By following the principle of “money-follows-the-user”, eligible seniors may select a suitable residential care home operated by non-governmental organisation or the private sector and purchase a place based on their own needs.  Through a co-payment arrangement, the Residential Care Service Voucher Scheme allows both the user and the Government each to shoulder part of the residential fee. The percentage of fee to be borne by voucher holder is determined according to the income and assets level of the user, capped at no more than 75% of the residential fee. 
 
Value of voucher: HKD13,287/per month (adjusted annually according to the monthly cost of EA1 place in urban area.)
 
Eligibility:
•     Applicant must have taken part in the Standardised Care Need Assessment Mechanism for Elderly Services;
•     Must have been assessed to have moderate impairment in the above Assessment;
•     Must have been put on the Central Waiting List for Subsidised Long Term Care Services
•     Applicant is a recipient of the Comprehensive Social Security Assistance Scheme (“CSSA”) and has met the three requirements above.
•     There are no maximum upper limits for income and assets for the Scheme.
 
Application:
•     3000 vouchers will be issued in 5 batches from 2017 to 2019 according to the implementation timetable. 
•     The Social Welfare Department will invite eligible seniors to participate in the Scheme according to the date on which the seniors applied for Subsidised Long Term Care Services, and will inform the applicants of the results in writing.
•      If the number of applications exceeds the quota of that batch, the Social Welfare Department will prioritise the applications according to their position on  the Central Waiting List and their CSSA status.
•     The voucher holders may still benefit from the Social Security Allowance Schemes such as Old Age Living Allowance, Higher Old Age Living Allowance and Disability Allowance, if they are eligible.
 
Implementation timetable:
Phases Date Batches Numbers of Vouchers to be issued
I March – August 2017 1 250
II September 2017 – February 2018 2 500
March – August 2018 3 500
III September 2018 – February 2019 4 500
March – August 2019 5 1,250
 
Usage of vouchers:
•     Each first-time voucher holder is given a 6-month trial period.
•     A case officer is designated by the Social Welfare Department to assist seniors in selecting residential care homes and provide follow-up support.
•     Voucher holders can make top-up payments up to an amount of as much as 75% of the voucher value for the residential home care services, such as additional sessions of physical or occupational therapy, upgraded accommodation, acupuncture, Chinese medication and massage services, etc.

Supportive services provided for voucher holders who are recipients of CSSA include:
-         Remission of public hospital fees;
-         Full sponsorship from Samaritan Fund and Community Care Fund Medical Assistance Programme.
-         Public Private Partnership Programmes (similar benefits for CSSA recipients)
-         Voucher holders may receive Government subsidies for purchasing diapers, special diet and medical consumables if certified by public doctors or private medical practitioners to have such medical needs.
•     Seniors will be “reactivated” on the Central Waiting List if they withdraw from the Scheme during the trial period and have not used the voucher.

Services included in a voucher:
1.     Shared room in a dormitory;
2.     At least 3 meal a day and snacks;
3.     Basic and special care;
4.     24-hour duty staff;
5.     Personal care services;
6.     private or group rehabilitation exercise at twice a week;
7.     Regular visits by registered doctor;
8.     Social and recreational activities;
9.     Laundry services.
 
Social Welfare Department enquiries hotline: 3107 3280 or 3107 3290 email: rcsv@swd.gov.hk
 
Related websites:
Social Welfare Department’s website
Social Welfare Department Elderly Information Website 
Pamphlets of Pilot Scheme on Residential Care Service Voucher for the Elderly