Criminal offences commonly committed by elderly people

Social security fraud

The Comprehensive Social Security Assistance Scheme (CSSA) is a government scheme to provide money for members of the public who need assistance to meet their daily needs. Applications must disclose the assets/income of the applicant, and there are limitations on the maximum amount of assets in order to qualify for CSSA.

What amounts to CSSA fraud?

Application for the CSSA scheme requires the full disclosure of assets, including any property and income of the applicant. There are three general categories the Social Welfare Department will consider:

  • Residence requirements;
  • Financial tests;
  • Criteria for able-bodied adults between 15 to 59 years of age in normal health.

It will amount to a fraud of the CSSA scheme where the applicant purposely does not disclose information or gives false information which would affect his/her application. Any change in the financial circumstances of the applicant also needs to be disclosed, and failure to do so is an offence.

For more information on the CSSA asset limits, please click here.

What is the maximum sentence for this offence?

Cheating on a CSSA application is considered a criminal offence of fraud. The maximum penalty is14 years imprisonment(section 16A of the Theft Ordinance, Cap.210).