The Social Welfare Department has again warned private care homes for the elderly not to misuse the bonus payment that went out to welfare recipients last month. The homes should not force residents to use the one-off payment of HK$3,000, which was sent to people entitled to the old-age allowance, to cover housing fees. Letters to that effect were sent to the homes on March 31 and again on June 5, the department said in a Legislative Council paper. Financial Secretary John Tsang Chun-wah announced in the February budget that about 500,000 welfare recipients would get an extra month's payment this year, as well as the one-off grant of HK$3,000 for recipients of the old-age allowance. The bonuses were handed out on June 16. Last year the department handled four complaints over care homes for the elderly using additional welfare payments to pay housing fees. One case was reported to police.