SPRINGFIELD – Illinois Department on Aging Director John K. Holton, Ph.D., is reminding Illinois seniors about their last chance to get approved for Circuit Breaker property tax grants before the program ends July 1. The Circuit Breaker program provides grants to eligible seniors and persons with disabilities to help them reduce the costs of property taxes, license plate renewals and rides on public transit. After June 30, property tax grants will no longer be available. The General Assembly did not appropriate funds for Circuit Break property tax grants for fiscal year 2013.
The department mailed more than 120,000 letters notifying people if they apply for Circuit Breaker on or after July 1, only the license plate discount, Seniors Ride Free and Disabled Ride Free benefits will continue to be processed. The property tax grant and Illinois Cares Rx pharmaceutical assistance are no longer available.
“We’re sorry to see the end of the Circuit Breaker program,” said Director Holton. “But we remain committed to working with older adults during these challenging times. Pending applications will continue to be processed for eligibility on a first come basis through June 30, 2012, and, of course, subject to funding for the rest of this current fiscal year.”
Since time is of the essence for seniors to apply for Circuit Breaker to receive property tax grants for use through the 2012 calendar year, seniors and persons with disabilities are urged to apply online because it is the fastest way to get approved. Paper applications take longer, but people who get their applications in the mail – postmarked by June 30 – will have their applications processed.
To be eligible for the Circuit Breaker property tax grant, license plate discount and Ride Free Transit card through the end of the 2012 calendar year, your total income in 2011 must have been less than:
• $27,610 for a household of one
• $36,635 for a household of two, or
• $45,657 for a household of three
People who have already applied by submitting their 2011 Application Form IL-1363, do NOT have to reapply.
For more information about program services to assist older adults in Illinois and their caregivers, call the IDoA Senior HelpLine at 1-800-252-8966 or for TTY (hearing impaired use only) call 1-888-206-1327.