Scarnati, who supported the legislation, explained that House Bill 1067 was signed into law and will ensure that income increases due solely to Social Security cost-of-living adjustments (COLAs) will no longer disqualify claimants from receiving rebates.
“Over the last four decades the Property Tax Rent Rebate Program has helped Pennsylvanians on a limited income by making housing costs more affordable,” Scarnati said. “I am pleased that this recent change will ensure individuals who have a need are not disqualified simply because of a Social Security COLA.”
Scarnati explained that any homeowner with an annual income of up to $35,298 last year, who collects Social Security and received a property tax rebate in 2013 for claim year 2012 is encouraged to apply for a rebate for claim year 2013.
Renters with an annual income of up to $15,128 last year, who collect Social Security and received a rent rebate in 2013 for claim year 2012 are also encouraged to apply.
Scarnati said the Department of Revenue is automatically reviewing previously denied claim year 2013 applications where the rebate was denied for income in excess of $35,000 for homeowners and $15,000 for renters. In cases where the overage is due only to Social Security COLAs, the Department will reopen, process and pay these claims.
For those who have not yet submitted applications, the deadline to apply for 2013 rebates is December 31, 2014.
The program is open to state residents age 65 or older; widows and widowers age 50 or older; and 100 percent disabled people 18 or older. The income limit is $35,000 a year for homeowners and $15,000 annually for renters, with half of Social Security income excluded, and all of a Social Security COLA excluded. Property Tax/Rent Rebate claim forms and related information are available online at www.revenue.state.pa.us or by calling, toll-free, 1-888-222-9190.