Mon Jan 04 2021 05:00:00 GMT+0000 (Coordinated Universal Time)

SENIOR RESIDENTS are being urged to take advantage of the extended deadline for the 2019 New Jersey Property Tax Rebate application.

The new application deadline is Feb. 1, 2021.

"With more than 173,000 seniors living in Ocean County, this program provides substantial help to our seniors, many of whom are living solely on monthly Social Security checks," said Ocean County Commissioner Joseph H. Vicari, who serves as Chairman to the Ocean County Office of Senior Services. "The Ocean County Board of Commissioners fought hard to keep this program available and we encourage our residents to apply for reimbursement."

The New Jersey senior freeze program reimburses eligible senior citizens and disabled persons for property tax or mobile home park site fee increases on their principle residence. To qualify, residents must meet all the eligibility requirements for each year from the base year through the application year.

"Our most vulnerable and frailest residents have been greatly impacted by the coronavirus pandemic," said Vicari. "Having the application deadline extended for the 2019 property tax rebate will hopefully provide some relief to them."

According to the Elder Economic Security Standard, the average Social Security benefit provides an elderly person living alone in Ocean County only 54 to 76 percent of the amount needed to cover basic expenses. Moreover, elders in Ocean County living alone on an income equivalent to the federal poverty guideline can cover only 36 to 51 percent of their basic living expenses.

"We know our seniors depend on state programs such as this, which is why they are a necessity to our community," Vicari said.

The 2019 New Jersey senior freeze applications were mailed out last February. Those who did not receive their application book should contact the New Jersey Senior Freeze Property Tax Reimbursement Information Line, 1-800-882-6597 for assistance.

Residents who have questions can also call the Ocean County Office of Senior Services for assistance at 732-929-2091.