Can I file an appeal for the Homestead Rebate?


Q. I have questions about the New Jersey Homestead rebate. My wife went on Social Security disability in 2013. I advised my accountant, however he didn’t check off the “disabled” box on the state tax return. Last year I filed the Homestead rebate for 2015. Can I file an appeal for 2013 and 2014?
— Confused

A. Here’s how the Homestead rebate works.

The program provides property tax relief to eligible homeowners.

To qualify you must meet all of the following eligibility requirements, said Gerard Papetti, a certified financial planner and certified public accountant with U.S. Financial Services in Fairfield.

You must be a New Jersey resident, and you must have owned and occupied a home in New Jersey that was your principal residence on Oct. 1, 2015.

Property taxes must have been paid on the home, and you must meet the income requirements, not earning more than $150,000 for homeowners age 65 or older or blind or disabled on Dec. 31, or $75,000 for homeowners under age 65 not blind or disabled on Dec. 31, Papetti said.

“These income limits apply to a single individual, married/civil unions partners living in the same residence or maintaining separate residences,” he said. “Also, do not include non-taxable income such as Social Security or unemployment compensation when calculating your income.”

As for filing an appeal for 2013 and 2014 when your accountant did not properly indicate that your wife was disabled, you can file and appeal to receive your rebate, Papetti said.

The process is as follows:
1. Contact the Homestead Benefit Department at (877) 658-2972 and follow the prompts to speak with a representative. Select option #3. The recording will then provide another number called the Rebate Hotline but do not dial that – just hold on. The office opens at 8:30 a.m.
2. The next recording will ask the purpose for your call and again select Option #3.
3. Once the representative answers, explain that you need to file an appeal for 2013 and 2014 as your accountant failed to indicate your wife was disabled.
4. The representative will then explain that they will mail you forms to file for 2013 and 2014. When you receive the forms, you need to complete them and file them. You will receive a “Denial Letter.”
5. When you receive the Denial Letter it will explain the process for filing an appeal which you will have to provide support of your wife’s disability to have the appeal approved.

Good luck to you!

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