Additional Programs

Benefit Access Program
(formerly known as Circuit Breaker and Pharmaceutical Assistance Claim)

 

ANNOUNCING 2013 BENEFIT CHANGES 
Effective July 1, 2012, Illinois Cares Rx was terminated and the Circuit Breaker Property Tax Relief Grant was eliminated due to the lack of funding.

 

The benefits now available are:

  • Seniors Free Transit Ride

  • The Persons with Disabilities Free Transit Ride

  • Secretary of State License Plate Discount

Do I qualify for the Benefit Access Program?
Note:  Use of the word spouse also includes a civil union partner.
Apply on the Benefit Access Application if you meet the following requirements:

 

Age

  • you must be 65 years of age or older by December 31 of the current year; or 

  • you must be 16 years of age or older and totally disabled before January 1 of this year.

NOTE:  "Person with a disability" means a person unable to engage in any substantial gainful activity by reason of a medically determinable physical or mental impairment which can be expected to result in death or has lasted or can be expected to last for a continuous period of not less than 12 months.  [320 ILCS 25/3.14]

Residency

  • you must live in Illinois at the time you file your application.
     

Income Limit Eligibility for the License Plate discount and/or Ride Free Transit Card:
Your total income last year must be less than

  • $27,610 for a 1 person household (yourself only); or

  • $36,635 for a 2 person household (yourself and your spouse, or yourself and one Qualified Additional Resident); or

  • $45,657 for a 3 person household (yourself, your spouse and one Qualified Additional Resident, or yourself and two Qualified Additional Residents).

NOTE:  You must include your spouse's income if married and living together on December 31 of last year. If your spouse died last year, you would file as single and claim only your income. Do NOT include the income of a Qualified Additional Resident.

*Click here for a list of what is considered income.

Expiration
Eligibility is good for two years under the Benefit Access Program. The two-year period starts at the time your application is approved. You may file again beginning 90 days before your eligibility expires.
 

To be determined eligible for these benefits, you must submit a Benefit Access Application on the Internet. Paper applications are not available.  Please note that current processing times to determine eligibility of your Benefits Access Application is approximately 12 weeks. 

 

Once your application is approved you may print a note of eligibility to take to your local transit authority or Secretary of State Office.

Please wait 10 business days from the date of your approval for your license plate discount to be available.

If you requested the ride free benefit, please contact your local public transit system for further information.

Your local transit system may have additional requirements in order to obtain the free ride. 

 

You can check the Website at anytime to determine your application status here

 

For information or help applying, visit a local office of the following:

Senior Health Assistance Program​​ or Area Agency on Aging

 

Call toll-free:

1-800-252-8966 or 1-888-206-1327 (TTY)

Note: Have your Social Security number ready when you call.

 

E-mail: Aging.ILSenior@illinois.gov

Website: www.cbrx.il.gov

 
Senior Citizens Real Estate Tax Deferral Program

 

What is the Senior Citizens Tax Deferral Program and who qualifies? This program is designed to allow senior citizens to defer payment of part or all of the property taxes on their home. This program functions as a loan, with an annual interest rate of six percent. The Senior Citizens Tax Deferral is a state program that allows qualified senior citizens to defer up to $5,000 per year of the property taxes on their personal residence.

Sample Application for Senior Tax Deferral (PDF)
Sample Senior Tax Deferral Recovery Agreement (PDF)

 

General Information:

  • This is a state loan with a 6% simple interest rate.

  • Repayment must be made upon death, sale of home or refinancing.

  • A lien will be placed on your property.

  • The program may be utilized for multiple years, if you meet the qualifications.

  • Must file a new application between January 1st and March 1st each year.

  • You may apply for other senior tax programs even though you are on the deferral program.

  • If you have a mortgage or reverse mortgage arrangement, you should verify with your lender whether or not your agreement allows you to participate in the tax deferral program.

 

Requirements of Eligibility:

  • Applicant must be 65 years old as of June 1st of the tax year claimed.

  • Total household income $55,000 or less.

  • Maximum shall not exceed $5,000 per taxpayer per year.

  • Proof of house insurance.

  • Property cannot be income producing, such as rental income.

  • Applicant must own and occupy residence.

  • Property taxes must be current at the time of application.

  • The cumulative amount of the deferral plus interest cannot exceed the market value less the value of any liens.

  • Taxes may be paid at any time without affecting the deferral status.

 

* Note: The filing deadline for the program is March 1 of the tax year.

 

Assistance with filling out the form, and further processing of completed forms are available from:

Lake County Treasurer

18 North County Street

Waukegan, Illinois 60085

Please contact the Lake County Treasurer’s Office at 847-377-2323 for a Tax Deferral Application or if you have any questions. 

 
Homestead Exemption for Persons with Disabilities (HEPD)

 

This exemption lowers the equalized assessed value of your property by $2,000 starting in tax year 2007, and may be claimed in addition to the General Homestead Exemption and the Senior Citizen's Homestead Exemptions, if applicable. This exemption cannot be claimed in addition to the Disabled Veterans' Standard Homestead Exemption or the Disabled Veterans' Exemption of $100,000; you can only receive one of these exemptions and, if you are a veteran, you should choose to apply for the one most beneficial to you.

Exemption Amount – $2,000 on the equalized assessed value

 

To qualify and receive this exemption, you must:

  • Own or have a legal or equitable interest in the property

  • Have lived on the property on or before January 1st of the tax year.

  • Be disabled under the Federal Social Security Act and supply either:

    • A copy of your Illinois Disabled Person Identification Card (PDF) stating that you are under a Class 2 disability (for each year you qualify); or

    • Proof of Social Security Administration Social Security Benefits. This proof includes an award letter, verification letter, or annual cost of living adjustment (COLA) - This paperwork must be issued in the tax year for which you are applying. Whichever you supply, it must indicate that the benefits are for disability; or

    • Proof of Veterans Administration disability benefits which would be an award letter showing total 100% disability; or

    • Proof of Railroad or Civil Service disability benefits which would be an award letter showing a total 100% disability.

  • Please note that this exemption requires annual verification of eligibility.
    The Chief County Assessment Office will mail the appropriate forms each year to all disabled persons who received the exemption in the prior year.

  • First-time applicants can obtain forms from the Chief County Assessment Office or your local Township Assessors Office.
     

  • Applications:

  • Your completed application must be returned to:

Antioch Township Assessor's Office

OR

Chief County Assessment Office
18 North County Street
Waukegan, Illinois 60085-4335

 
Current Military Exemption

 

Deferment Information
Military personnel on active duty out-of-state or overseas for extended periods that include the due date for real-estate taxes are eligible to defer payment of their taxes under the provisions of the Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Civil Relief Act and related Illinois statutes.
Instead of the penalties, costs and fees for real-estate taxes normally imposed under Illinois law, the penalties can be waived through 180 days after the return from active duty of the member of the military who owns the real estate in question.

Thisapplication form may be completed by the military service person, his/her adult
dependent or any other individual authorized by the service person to act on his/her
behalf.

Please complete the information below, attach a copy of the military order and
file the form with the Lake County Treasurer’s Office.

Property Tax Relief
Property Tax Relief for Military Personnel (PDF)

 
Standard Homestead Exemption for Veterans with Disabilities (SHEVD)

 

This exemption provides a reduction in equalized assessed value (outlined below) of a primary residence occupied by a veteran with a disability, or the veteran's surviving spouse. This exemption can be claimed in addition to the General Homestead Exemption and the Senior Homestead Exemption. However, it cannot be claimed in addition to the Disabled Veterans Exemption (specially adaptive housing) of $100,000, or the Homestead Exemption for Persons with Disabilities.

* Please note that this exemption must be renewed annually. *

To qualify a veteran must:

  • Be a Lake County, Illinois resident and have served in the United States Armed Forces, The Illinois National Guard, or U.S. Reserve Forces, and have received an honorable discharge.

  • Have at least a 30% service-connected disability certified by the U.S Department of Veterans' Affairs.

  • Have a total equalized assessed value (EAV) of less than $250,000.

  • Have owned and occupied the property as the primary residence on or before January 1st of the tax year.

  • Supply documentation as required by the instructions on the back of the form.

  • An un-remarried surviving spouse of a disabled veteran can continue to receive this exemption on his or her spouse's homestead property or transfer the exemption to a new primary residence.
    To qualify, the surviving spouse must meet the following requirements:

    • Sell the disabled veteran's previous homestead property before transferring this exemption to his or her new primary residence.

    • Own and occupy the property as a primary residence and hold a legal or beneficial title to the property on January 1 of the assessment year.

    • Have a total equalized assessed value (EAV) of less than $250,000.

 

The benefit of the exemption is as follows:

  • A disabled veteran with a 70% or higher service-connected disability will be tax exempt.

  • A disabled veteran with at least 50%, but less than 70% service-connected disability will receive a $5,000 reduction in the property's EAV.

  • A disabled veteran with at least 30%, but less than 50% service-connected disability will receive a $2,500 reduction in property's EAV.

 

This exemption is limited to residential property with an equalized assessed value of less than $250,000.

 

If you are applying for this exemption and the property is held in trust, the law requires that we verify the applicant is a beneficiary of that trust. The exemption cannot be applied without this verification. Please include a copy of that part of the trust agreement which states that the applicant is the beneficiary. This can usually be found on the first few pages of the trust document.

 

First-time applicants can obtain forms from the Chief County Assessment Office or your local township assessor’s office.

 

Please note that this exemption will require annual verification of eligibility. The Chief County Assessment Office will mail the appropriate forms each year to all disabled veterans or their surviving spouses who received the exemption in the prior year.

Applications

Your completed application must be returned to:

Antioch Township Assessor's Office

OR

Chief County Assessment Office

18 North County Street

Waukegan, Illinois 60085-4335

 
Returning Veterans Homestead Exemption

This exemption provides a $5,000 reduction in the equalized assessed value of a veteran’s principal residence upon returning from active duty in an armed conflict involving the armed forces of the United States.


 

The benefit of the exemption is as follows:

  • The exemption is for two consecutive tax years, the tax year that the veteran returns from active duty in an armed conflict involving the armed forces of the United States and the following year. A veteran who acquires a principal residence after January 1 of the year he or she returns home is eligible for the exemption on the principal residence owned and occupied on January 1 of the following tax year.

To qualify, applicants must:

  • be an Illinois resident who has served as a member of the U.S. Armed Forces, Illinois National Guard, or U.S. Reserve Forces,

  • have returned from active duty in an armed conflict involving the armed forces of the U.S.,

  • have owned or had a legal or equitable interest in the land on which a single-family residence is situated and used as your principal place of residence on January 1 of the assessment years, and

  • be liable for the payment of the property taxes.

  • If you were discharged from active duty, Supply a copy of your DD214

  • If you are still on active duty, Supply a copy of your most recent military orders and travel voucher showing the date of your return.

The documents must state that you are returning from an armed conflict involving the U.S Armed Forces within the tax year for which you are requesting the exemption.

If you are applying for this exemption and the property is held in trust, the law requires that we verify the applicant is a beneficiary of that trust. The exemption cannot be applied without this verification. Please include a copy of that part of the trust agreement which states that the applicant is the beneficiary. This can usually be found on the first few pages of the trust document.

Applications

A veteran is eligible to receive the exemption for another tax year in which the veteran returns from active duty. Applicants must file a Form PTAX-341, Application for Returning Veterans’ Homestead Exemption, with the Chief County Assessment Office or your local township assessor’s office.

Your completed application must be returned to:

Chief County Assessment Office

18 North County Street

Waukegan, Illinois 60085-4335