After my husband died, how can I qualify for the Senior Freeze?


Q. My husband passed away in September 2019 and he always handled the finances. I just learned he never added my name to the PTR-1 application forms for the Senior Freeze. He only filed it in his name. My name was added to the deed. Now that he has passed, I’m being told that I do not qualify for the Senior Freeze because of this oversight. Is there any recourse?
— Wife

A. We’re sorry to hear about your husband

The PTR-1 application is for first time filers for the Senior Freeze. The PTR-2 is for those who met the eligibility requirements in a previous year, said Patricia Daquila, a certified financial planner and certified public accountant with Lassus Wherley, a subsidiary of Peapack-Gladstone Bank, in New Providence.

The application was due by Nov. 2, 2020, but now it’s been extended to Dec. 31, 2020.

“The 2019 New Jersey PTR-1 application states that you must have owned and lived in New Jersey continuously since Dec. 31, 2008 as either a homeowner or a renter,” Daquila said. “In addition, you must have owned and lived in your home since Dec. 31, 2015 and still lived in your home on Dec. 31, 2019 in order to qualify.

You stated that your name was added to the deed, but the question is when.

If your name was added to the deed after Dec. 31, 2015 then you would not qualify until you meet the eligibility requirements as to when you owned the home, she said. You would need to wait and file an application for the year that you qualify. Unfortunately, you would start fresh and not be able to continue with the year your husband “froze” his property tax.

If your name was added before Dec. 31, 2015 and you meet all the other requirements, then you should call the Senior Freeze information line at (800) 882-6597 and they would need to help you with your application because you should be filing a PTR-2 application.

“The other requirements for the property tax reimbursement include an income requirement, which including Social Security is $91,505 or less for 2019 and $89,013 or less for 2018,” she said. “You must have been 65 or older as of Dec. 31, 2018 or receiving Social Security disability, and you need to have paid the full amount of your property taxes on the home for 2019 by June 1, 2020 and June 1, 2019 for 2018.”

Once you are able to straighten this out, going forward you should receive the PTR-2 application that is customized to you for the years going forward. The payments for 2019 will be made beginning on Oct. 15, 2020, she said.

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This story was originally published on Oct. 28, 2020. presents certain general financial planning principles and advice, but should never be viewed as a substitute for obtaining advice from a personal professional advisor who understands your unique individual circumstances.