Seniors need to be wary of rent rebate letters
October 23, 2013 10:45 AM

Senior citizens in Pennsylvania have once again received solicitation letters from a company offering to prepare property tax/rent rebate applications for a $39 fee.

While there is nothing illegal about this offer, state Rep. Sam Smith, R-Punxsutawney, reminds those that have received these letters that it is not necessary to pay a private entity to fill out an application.

Assistance in applying for this rebate is available, at no cost, through the Area Agency on Aging. Smith’s offices in Punxsutawney and Brookville have a good supply of applications for those who have not yet applied. The deadline for submitting the application is Dec. 31.

Unfortunately, the solicitation letter may have prompted some people to repeat the application process thinking that new money is available under the 2012 program. This is not the case. Seniors who received the letter and have already applied for and received a rebate check this year should understand that no new money is forthcoming.

Anyone who has already applied and not yet received a rebate can check the status of the application on the Department of Revenue’s website at www.revenue.state. Once on the site, applicants will need to submit their social security number, claim year and date of birth.

Smith encourages those who may be eligible for this program and have not yet applied to do so. Rebates benefit Pennsylvanians age 65 and older, widows and widowers age 50 and older and people with disabilities age 18 and over. The income limit is $35,000 a year for homeowners and $15,000 annually for renters, and half of Social Security income is excluded. The maximum standard rebate is $650, however supplemental rebates for qualifying homeowners can increase rebates to $975. The application contains all eligibility guidelines.

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