Tax credit and renters benefit would help elderly or disabled

Elderly and disabled homeowners and renters who meet income guidelines may qualify for state programs aimed at reducing their housing cost.

Elderly or disabled homeowners with gross adjusted incomes of less than $45,100 for couples, or $37,000 for singles, qualify for tax credits on their town property taxes. The deadline to apply for this program is May 15.

Applicants must be 65 years of age or older by Dec. 31, 2029, to qualify.

There is no age limit for “totally disabled” homeowners — but they must show a “Social Security award letter.”

People who are presently receiving the homeowners benefit do not need to reapply this year, according to Assessor Al Garzi’s office. Homeowners already in the program will automatically qualify (using the same income as submitted on their prior application) for the benefit in the July 2020 to June 2021 fiscal year.

For more information or applications the assessor’s office may be reached at 203-431-2706.

Elderly and disabled renters who meet the same income guidelines — gross adjusted incomes of less than $45,100 for couples, and $37,000 for singles — may qualify for the state’s elderly and disabled renters program.

This program provides elderly and disabled renters with a once-a-year check designed to reflect a portion of their housing cost, similar to the way the tax credit program helps homeowners, since as renters they don’t pay property taxes and would not get a tax credit.

The age and income guidelines are similar, but the renter program this year requires that applicants have turned 65 by Dec. 31 2019.

Applicants have to show proof of the rent, electric, gas and fuel payments, as well as income for the calendar year 2019.

Applicants also must have lived in Connecticut at least a year before filing a claim.

To qualify disabled renters must be under 65, and be on Social Security Disability, a federal, state or local government retirement or disability plan, the Railroad Retirement Act, or Government Teachers Retirement plan that has been determined to be comparable by the state Office of Policy and Management.

The filing period for the retner program ends Oct. 1, 2020.