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Lifeline provides eligible customers with a discount on their basic local telephone service for their primary home phone line even if it's a cell phone.  Link-Up  pays for up to half of the installation/connection charge for new telephone service (with a $30 cap).  You may ask for a year to pay off the other half of the connection charge, without interest.  Both federal programs are available throughout the U.S.  Money for both programs comes from a surcharge on the phone bills of all consumers, except those receiving Lifeline and Link-Up.  If you receive one or more of the following you are eligible for these programs:  Medicaid, Food Stamps, SSI, Federal Public Housing Assistance, LIHEAP, TANF, or National School Lunch Program Free Lunch.  Apply with your local phone company.  For more information about the program you may click on their link www.lifelinesupport.org or you may call 888-CALL-FCC.

All Kids is a complete healthcare program fro every uninsured child in Illinois, regardless of medical conditions or income.  For more information on All Kids, visit the website, www.allkids.com , or call their hotline 1-866-ALL-KIDS, TTY: 1-877-204-1012

FamilyCare offers healthcare coverage to parents living with their children 18 years old or younger. To find out if you are eligible for FamilyCare benefits visit the website, www.familycareillinois.com, or call their hotline at 1-866-ALL-KIDS, TTY 1-877-204-1012

Social Security is an income benefit, usually collected by retirees, for individuals aged 62 and older who have attained at least 40 credits from the Social Security Administration while they were employed. Disability and survivor's benefits are available for people younger than age 62. In 2011, Social Security benefits will not increase. 

The information provided here and more may be found at www.ssa.gov. Local social security offices are listed for you by clicking on "Social Security Offices" in the menu to the left. 

Earnings Limitations-- Survivors and retirement benefits may be affected for working people ...

  • Working people receiving Social Security survivors or retirement benefits and who are between ages 62 and the Full Retirement Age (see the "Full Retirement Age" chart below) can earn up to $14,160 in 2011 without penalty. After earning this amount, $1 is withheld from benefits for every $2 earned.
  • Working people who reach Full Retirement Age (see the "Full Retirement Age" chart below) during 2011 can earn up to $37,680 without penalty. After earning this amount prior to the month that their Full Retirement Age is attained, $1 is withheld for every $3 earned. Income earned in and after the month that the Full Retirement Age is attained this year is earned without penalty.
  • Working people who have attained Full Retirement Age (see the "Full Retirement Age" chart below) prior to the start of the year receive their benefits with no amount withheld no matter how much they earn in wages.

Early retirement can still begin as early as age 62, but your benefit amount will be reduced. The amount of the reduction is based on when you were born and how early you start your retirement.

Full Retirement is the age of retirement when you receive full Social Security retirement benefits. This age will gradually increase in steps from age 65 to age 67 for new retirees (note that Full Retirement Age to receive survivor's benefits is slightly different from this chart). Use the chart below to determine Full Retirement Age for retirees--

Year of Your Birth Your Full Retirement Age
1937 or earlier 65
1938 65 and 2 months
1939 65 and 4 months
1940 65 and 6 months
1941 65 and 8 months
1942 65 and 10 months
1943-1954 66
1955 66 and 2 months
1956 66 and 4 months
1957 66 and 6 months
1958 66 and 8 months
1959 66 and 10 months
1960 and later 67

Increased retirement benefits are obtained if you work past your Full Retirement Age as described above.

Before choosing your retirement date you should contact the Social Security Administration about 3 months prior to the date you would like to retire to make sure you understand the options that are available and to determine the best month to start collecting benefits.  To apply for retirement benefits, you'll need your Social Security number; birth certificate, date, and place of birth; most recent year's W-2 forms, name of last employer, and amount earned this year; the name of your bank or other financial institution and your checking account number in order to start the direct deposit of retirement benefits into your account; and the beginning and ending dates for any U.S. military service. Other documents will be needed for non-citizens and to receive survivor's benefits.

Medicare Part A  -  Hospitalization insurance for people aged 65 and older and individuals of any age who receive Social Security Disability Insurance benefits for two or more years. Coverage includes inpatient hospitalization, critical access hospitalization, skilled nursing facility care (but not long-term nursing home care), home health care, and hospice.

Most people should apply for Medicare at age 65 even if they decide to delay their retirement date (unless they are covered by their employer's group health insurance). Most people do not pay a monthly Part A premium (see "Part A premium buy-in" below for those who did not work enough to earn the required 40 credits of Medicare coverage).

Hospital deductible - in 2011 you pay:
$1,132 per illness for days 1-60
$283 per day for days 61-90
$566 per day for days 91-150
You pay all costs for each day beyond 150 days.

Skilled nursing facility (This is not the same as long-term nursing home care. You must be hospitalized under Part A coverage for at least three consecutive days for the same illness prior to admission to the Medicare-approved SNF) - in 2011 you pay:
$0 for days 1-20
$141.50 per day for days 21-100
You pay all costs for each day beyond 100 days.

Home health care - is free, if approved, limited to medically necessary part-time skilled care of a homebound individual.

Hospice - is free but you pay $5 for outpatient drugs and 5% of the Medicare-approved amount for inpatient respite care.

Blood - obtained while hospitalized is free after you pay for the first 3 pints.

Inpatient Mental Health Care-- in 2011 you pay:
A total of $1,132 for days 1-60 for each "benefit period"
$283 per day for days 61-90
$566 per day for days 91-150 (these 60 "reserve days" may only be used once in your lifetime)
You pay all costs for each day beyond 150 days for each "benefit period" and all costs after 190 days of inpatient care in your lifetime.
A "benefit period" begins when the patient is hospitalized and ends when the patient has been discharged out of such facility for 60 consecutive days.
There is no limit to the number of benefit periods that Medicare will cover in a general hospital. There is a lifetime maximum benefit of 190 days that Medicare will pay for stays in a specialty psychiatric hospital. After 190 days in a specialty psychiatric hospital, many patients choose to receive treatment in the "psychiatric ward" of a general hospital that is covered by Medicare.

Part A premium buy-in. Most retirees & their spouses (about 99 percent) do not pay a monthly Part A premium. However, for people who did not work enough to earn 40 credits of Medicare coverage, there is a Part A buy-in premium. The Part A buy-in premium for people with 30-39 credits of Medicare coverage is $248 per month, and for people with less than 30 credits the premium is $450 per month.

Medicare Part B - Medical insurance for people aged 65 and older and individuals of any age who receive Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits for two or more years. Coverage includes physician care, out-patient hospital care, some services of home health care that Part A doesn't cover, physical & occupational therapy, preventative services, durable medical equipment, laboratory tests and x-rays, mental health services, ambulance services, and blood.

Most people should apply for Medicare at age 65 even if they decide to delay their retirement date (unless they are covered by their employer's group health insurance). If someone fails to apply for Medicare at age 65 (there is a 7-month window to apply for the first time), they can enroll in Part B only during the open enrollment period each year, from January 1 to March 31 and in some instances, the monthly Part B premiums may be more than the amount shown below.

Part B premium depends on the beneficiaries' income (see chart below).
 

Part B Monthly Premiums in 2011
  If Your Yearly Income is
You Pay Single Married Couple
$96.40 if had premium withheld from Social Security check prior to 2010.
$110.50 if new to Medicare in 2010 and had premium withheld from Social Security check.
$115.40 if new to Medicare in 2011.
$85,000 or less $170,000 or less
$161.50 $85,001-$107,000 $170,001-$214,000
$230.70 $107,001-$160,000 $214,001-$320,000
$299.90 $160,001-$214,000 $320,001-$428,000
$369.10 Above $214,000 Above $428,000

Part B deductible is $162 in 2011.

Part B copayment is 20% of approved charges after the deductible is met. You may pay more if your doctor or medical supplier doesn't accept assignment or Medicare doesn't find the procedure to be medically necessary. Ask first!

Durable Medical Equipment - There is a 20% copayment for the approved amount. You may pay more if the medical supplier doesn't accept assignment or Medicare doesn't find the procedure to be medically necessary. Ask first!

Laboratory services - are free for approved amounts.

Outpatient hospital services - You pay a set co-payment amount depending on the service.

Outpatient mental illness claims - you pay 50% of the approved amount.

Blood - you pay for the first 3 pints, then 20% of the approved amount for additional pints of blood after meeting the deductible.

These figures may change in 2012.
 

Prevention Care * May have to pay 20% of the doctor's office visit for all of these (plus the Part B deductible).
Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm Screening Need a referral as a result of the one-time "Welcome to Medicare" physical exam. There is no cost for the screening* if the doctor accepts assignment.
Bone Mass Measurement Every 24-months. There is no cost for the screening* if the doctor accepts assignment.
Breast Cancer Screening (Mammogram) Every 12-months. There is no cost for the screening* if the doctor accepts assignment.
Cardiovascular Screening Every 5-years. Tests cholesterol, lipid, and triglyceride. There is no cost for the screening* if the doctor accepts assignment.
Colon Cancer Screening (Colorectal) Colonoscopy every 10-years unless high-risk. There is no cost for the screening* if the doctor accepts assignment. Other colon cancer tests also available depending on risk factors.
Diabetes Screening There is no cost for the screening* if the doctor accepts assignment.
Diabetes Self-Management Training With a doctors order, you pay 20% of Medicare-approved amount.
Flu Shots Once per season. There is no cost for the screening* if the doctor accepts assignment.
Hepatitis B Shots There is no cost for the screening* if the doctor accepts assignment.
Glaucoma Test Every 12-months if high risk. You pay 20% of Medicare-approved amount.
HIV Screening Every 12-months. There is no cost for the screening* if the doctor accepts assignment.
Medical Nutrition Therapy Services There is no cost for the screening* if the doctor accepts assignment.
PAP Test & Pelvic Exam There is no cost for the screening* if the doctor accepts assignment.
Pneumonia Shot Generally just one time. There is no cost for the screening* if the doctor accepts assignment.
Prostate Cancer Screening Every 12-months. You pay 20% of Medicare-approved amount.
Smoking Cessation Counseling to stop smoking. There is no cost for the counseling sessions* if the counselor accepts assignment.
Welcome to Medicare Physical Exam Within first 12-months of enrolling in Medicare. There is no cost for the screening* if the doctor accepts assignment.
Yearly Wellness Exam Every 12-months. There is no cost for the screening* if the doctor accepts assignment.

Medicare Part C - Medicare Advantage Plans are available for anyone with Medicare, regardless of income or age. There are many different plans available in Illinois. These plans are approved by Medicare, but administered by private companies.

When you join a Medicare Advantage Plan, you are still in Medicare. Medicare Advantage Plans provide all of your Part A (hospital) and Part B (medical) coverage and must cover medically-necessary services. They generally offer extra benefits, and many include Part D drug coverage. These plans often have networks, which means you may have to see doctors who belong to the plan or go to certain hospitals to get covered services.

Medicare Advantage Plans include Preferred Provider Organization (PPO), Health Maintenance Organization (HMO), Private Fee-for-Service (PFFS), and Medical Savings Account (MSA) plans.

Medicare Part D - Medicare prescription drug plans are available for anyone with Medicare, regardless of income or age. There are many different drug plans available in Illinois. These drug plans are approved by Medicare, but administered by private companies.

When you join a Medicare prescription drug plan, you are still in Medicare. Prescription drug plans provide assistance with some or all of your medication needs, depending on the plan that you choose.

Qualified Medicare Beneficiary or QMB - QMB pays for Medicare Part A & B premiums, deductibles, and coinsurance charges for all Medicare covered services. The applicant must be enrolled in at least Medicare Part A. If a Medicare beneficiary is approved for QMB, their Social Security check will not have the Part B premium amount deducted. There is no estate recovery in Illinois.

1 person household, $933 income per month, $8,180 of countable assets (includes an additional $1,500 in prepaid burial funds).
2 person household, $1,276 income per month, $13,020 of countable assets (includes an additional $3,000 in prepaid burial funds).
Add $319 for each additional person in a household.

The monthly income limits are 100% of the poverty level plus $25 ($50 for 2 persons), which is exempt income in Illinois. Exempt income may not be used in other states.

Specified Low-Income Medicare Beneficiary or SLMB or SLIB - SLMB or SLIB pays the Medicare Part B premium for people with income higher than the QMB program. There is no estate recovery in Illinois.

1 person household, between $933 and $1,114 income per month, $8,180 of countable assets includes an additional $1,500 in prepaid burial funds).
2 person household, between $1,276 and $1,521 income per month, $13,020 of countable assets (includes an additional $3,000 in prepaid burial funds).
Add $382 for each additional person in a household.

The monthly income limits are 120% of the poverty level plus $25 ($50 for 2 persons), which is disregarded income in Illinois. Exempt income may not be used in other states.

Qualifying Individual or QI program - The QI program pays for the Medicare Part B premium for people with income higher than the SLMB / SLIB program. There is no estate recovery in Illinois.

1 person household, between $1,114 and $1,251 income per month, $8,180 of countable assets (includes an additional $1,500 in prepaid burial funds).
2 person household, between $1,521 and $1,705 income per month, $13,020 of countable assets (includes an additional $3,000 in prepaid burial funds).
Add $430 for each additional person in a household.

The monthly income limits are between 120% and 135% of the poverty level plus $25 ($50 for couples), which is disregarded income (other than SSI income) in Illinois. Exempt income may not be used in other states.

Qualified Disabled Working Individual or QDWI - QDWI pays Medicare Part A monthly premium (but not coinsurance or deductible) for working disabled people. To be eligible, the beneficiary must be a disabled individual who lost Medicare Part A benefits due to a returned to work and not otherwise eligible for Medicaid benefits. No estate recovery in Illinois. Apply at a local Department of Human Services office. You can find this location by going to www.dhs.state.il.us    Local social security offices are listed for you by clicking on "Social Security Offices" in the menu to the left. 

1 person household, $1,835 income per month, $8,180 of countable assets (includes an additional $1,500 in prepaid burial funds).
2 person household, $2,492 income per month, $13,020 of countable assets (includes an additional $3,000 in prepaid burial funds).
Add $637 for each additional person in a household.

The monthly income limits are 200% of the poverty level plus $20 of earned wages ($40 earned income for couples), which is disregarded earned income in Illinois.

Poverty Level - Many programs use these figures (or a multiplied percentage of these figures) in determining eligibility including the food stamps or SNAP program, QMB, SLMB, QI, QDWI, Medicaid, energy assistance or LIHEAP, and Weatherization programs. The income guidelines for the programs listed on this Web page will be changed when each program publishes its own income guidelines. In general, that the public cash assistance programs, such as TANF or Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, SSI or Supplemental Security Income, and the Earned Income Tax Credit program, do NOT use these figures in determining eligibility.

1 person household, $10,890 annual income ($908 per month).
2 person household, $14,710 annual income ($1,226 per month).
Add $3,820 for each additional person in a household.

Medicaid -  Aid to the Aged, Blind & Disabled or AABD  - Medical assistance for the older adults (aged 65 or older), the blind, or the disabled. This program is often used to finance nursing home care after an individual's life savings have been exhausted. All SSI income is disregarded. Any non-SSI income over the limits will be counted as a spend-down amount (spend-down is the amount you have to pay before you receive help each month). You may apply at your county Department of Human Services (DHS) office or apply online by clicking here.  Local DHS offices are listed for you by clicking on "DHS Offices" in the menu to the left. 

1 person household, limit are $933 income per month, $2,000 countable assets. 2 person household, limits are $1,276 income per month, $3,000 countable assets. Add $319 for each additional person.

The monthly income limits are 100% of the poverty level plus $25 ($50 for couples), which is disregarded income in Illinois.

For more information go to the Illinois DHS website at www.dhs.state.il.us

Prevention of Spousal Impoverishment - The amount of monthly income and assets that a person can keep when their spouse enters a long term care nursing home or needs the services of the Illinois Community Care Program (CCP) and federal financial assistance is used to help pay for these services. Illinois imposes estate recovery (liens and estate claims) to recover medical and cash assistance provided on behalf of recipients. More information about this may be found by clicking here.  The spouse living at-home (or not receiving CCP services) keeps up to $2,739 income per month and up to $109,560 of countable assets in their name.

The spouse in a nursing home keeps $30 income per month and can have $2,000 of countable assetsin their name.
The spouse receiving the Community Care Program services can have $2,000 of countable assets in their name.

Supplemental Security Income or SSI - Supplemental income for older adults (aged 65 or older), the blind, and the disabled. The benefit amount is the amount that brings these individual's total income up to $674 for individuals and up to $1,011 for couples for those who have less income than these amounts. Apply at a local Social Security office.  Local social security offices are listed for you by clicking on "Social Security Offices" in the menu to the left. 

1 person household, $674 income per month, $2,000 countable assets.
2 person household, $1,011 income per month, $3,000 countable assets. 

Please note that an additional $20 or more may be is disregarded, depending on the source of the income.

Energy Assistance or LIHEAP - Helps pay for heating bills. First two months of program (Sept. 1 through Oct. 30) are set aside for eligible people aged 60 or older and the disabled. Need proof of household gross income for last 30 days, current energy bills, Social Security cards for everyone in household, TANF medical card for anyone receiving benefits, and either proof of home ownership and insurance or rental agreement or receipt that shows the amount of rent. The benefit amount is based on the eligible household's last 30-days income, amount of utility bills, and type of heating source. The average benefit amount is approximately $400-500 per household.

1 person household, $1,354 income per month.
2 person household, $1,821 income per month.
Add $468 for each additional person in the household.

The monthly income limits are 150% of the poverty level.  WADI operates this program in the Southeastern Illinois counties of Edwards, Gallatin, Hamilton, Saline, Wabash, Wayne and White.  Call your local WADI office to make an appointment:  WADI office contact information may be found by Edwards County and Grayville 618-445-2379, Gallatin County and Eldorado 618-269-3486, Hamilton County 618-643-2161, Saline County (except Eldorado) 618-252-2680, Wabash County 618-262-4151, Wayne County 618-842-2962, White County 618-384-5541.

Weatherization Program - Helps to reduce utility costs by making home improvements such as insulation, sealing cracks, clean and turn heating system (repair or replace if necessary, repair or replacement of windows or doors.  

1 person household, $21,660 income per year.
2 person household, $29,140 income per year.
Add $7,480 per for each additional person in the household.

The yearly income limits are 200% of the poverty level. 

WADI operates this program in the Southeastern Illinois counties of Edwards, Gallatin, Hamilton, Saline, Wabash, Wayne and White.  Call your local WADI office to make an appointment:  Edwards County and Grayville 618-445-2379, Gallatin County and Eldorado 618-269-3486, Hamilton County 618-643-2161, Saline County (except Eldorado) 618-252-2680, Wabash County 618-262-4151, Wayne County 618-842-2962, White County 618-384-5541.

Senior Employment Assistance - Helps senior adults, aged 55 and over, find employment.  The state website has information about this program.

1 person household, $1,134 income per month.
2 person household, $1,532 income per month.
Add $398 for each additional person in a household.

The monthly income limits are 125% of the poverty level.  Contact your local Area Agency on Agency for more information.  Those serving our Southeastern Illinois counties are listed below:

Southeastern Illinois Area Agency on Aging, Inc., 516 Market St, Mt Carmel IL  62863, Phone:  618-262-2306. Website:  www.seiaoa.com   Email:  seiaoa@frontier.com  (Serves Crawford, Edwards, Hamilton, Jasper, Lawrence, Richland, Wabash, Wayne and White counties)

Egyptian Area Agency on Aging, Inc., 200 E Plaza Dr, Carterville IL  62918, Phone:  888-895-3306. Website: www.egyptianaaa.org   Email:  egyptianaaa@midamer.net  (Serves Alexander, Franklin, Gallatin, Hardin, Jackson, Johnson, Massac, Perry, Pope, Pulaski, Saline, Union, and Williamson counties)

Circuit Breaker & Illinois Cares Rx programs are for Illinois residents who meet the guidelines below. Benefits include property tax grants (if paid Illinois property tax, or paid rent or lived in a nursing facility that paid these taxes), reduced cost for one set of Illinois auto license plates (cost is $24, a rebate is available if you are eligible and already paid the normal cost), and help with prescription drugs. Apply with the Illinois Department on Aging or local senior center.   Local senior centers are listed for you by clicking on "Senior Centers" listed on the left.

Eligible people are those aged 65 & older, widow or widower who turned 63 before their spouse's death who was eligible, and disabled individuals aged 16 or older. Applicants can apply in the calendar year they turn age 65.

  1. For people with Medicare and age 16 and over, the income eligibility limits are $27,610 for a one person household, $36,635 for a two-person household, and $45,657 for three or more. Pharmaceutical assistance includes all drugs on their Medicare Part D plan formulary.
  2. For people without Medicare age 65 and over, the income eligibility limits are $27,066 for a one person household or $36,560 for two or more. Pharmaceutical assistance includes only certain conditions, not all drugs. These conditions are Alzheimer's, heart disease and related conditions, arthritis, lung disease and smoking-related illnesses, cancer, multiple sclerosis, diabetes, osteoporosis, glaucoma, and Parkinson's.

Pharmaceutical assistance, or Illinois Cares Rx, is a financial supplement to Medicare Part D prescription drug coverage. Illinois Cares Rx pays the Part D plan monthly premium for Medicare beneficiaries, and some of the copayment amounts for prescription drugs when the beneficiary is enrolled in a drug plan that coordinates with Illinois Cares Rx. There is a 20% copayment on prescription drugs after Illinois Cares Rx has paid $1,750 for the beneficiary's drugs during a calendar year.

Applicant's income from the previous year (or current estimated income if lower) is used to determine eligibility.

Community Care Program - Adult Day Services, Choices for Care (alternatives to nursing home placement), Community Care for Residential Services, Homemaker, and Senior Companion services for people aged 60 or older (use this link for Office of Rehab if under age 60 and disabled). Apply with the Illinois Dept. on Aging by calling the Senior HelpLine at 1.800.252.8966. WADI operates this program in the Southeastern Illinois counties of Crawford, Edwards, Hamilton, Jasper, Lawrence, Richland, Wabash, Wayne and White.  If you live in one of those counties call 618-963-2551 for more information or to apply.

Eligible persons may have up to $17,500 ($35,000 for couples if both eligible) in countable assets unless Prevention of Spousal Impoverishment applies.

Many agencies offer private pay homemaker services to anyone regardless of their income or assets.

There is no longer a copayment amount.
 

Health Benefits for Workers with Disabilities or HBWD  -  Health Benefits for Workers with Disabilities (HBWD) is a Medicaid Program that has allowed many individuals with disabilities in Illinois to become employed without losing critical affordable healthcare. Enrollees in HBWD pay a monthly premium depending on income and family size. In order to qualify for HBWD, an individual must be at least 16 years of age and under 65, meet the Social Security definition of disability, except that the ability to work and earn more than the Substantial Gainful activity amount shall not be part of the disability determination process, and be employed, which is defined as proof of payment of FICA, IMRF, or the equivalent. Apply by calling the hotline at 1.800.226.0768 or you may download the application by clicking here.

1 person household, $3,177 income per month, $25,000 countable assets.
2 person household, $4,291 income per month, $25,000 countable assets.
 
The monthly income limits are 350% of the poverty level.

Homestead Exemptions & Real Estate Tax Payment Deferral - Apply for the following homestead exemptions at your county tax assessor's office to help with county property taxes. In our Southeastern Illinois area those offices are listed below:

Edwards County Assessment Office, Edwards County Courthouse, 50 E Main St, Albion IL  62806, Phone: 618-445-3591. 

Gallatin County Assessment Office, Gallatin County Courthouse, 484 N Lincoln Blvd W, PO Box 721, Shawneetown IL  62984, Phone:  618-269-3791.  Email:  assessor@shawneelink.net

Hamilton County Assessment Office, Hamilton County Courthouse, 100 S Jackson, 3rd Flr, McLeansboro IL  62859, Phone: 618-643-3971

Saline County Assessment Office, Saline County Courthouse, 10 E Poplar St, Suite 23, Harrisburg IL  62946, Phone: 618-252-0691, Email:  assessor@yourclearwave.com

Wabash County Assessment Office, 401 Market St, Mt Carmel IL  62863, Phone:  618-262-4463.

Wayne County Assessment Office, 301 E Main St, Fairfield IL  62837, Phone:  618-842-2582

The Senior Citizen Homestead Exemption is a $4,000 reduction of the assessed value of the home you own and live in Illinois if you are aged 65 or older.

The General Homestead Exemption is in addition to the exemption above and allows a reduction of up to $6,000 in the assessed value of your home you own and live in Illinois (for taxpayers of any age).

The Senior Citizens Assessment Freeze Homestead Exemption freezes the assessed value of your homestead property, not the taxes you owe. You must be aged 65 or older or disabled, own and live in your home in Illinois, and pay taxes on the property. Your total household income must be no more than $55,000 per year. This exemption must be renewed annually.

Senior Citizens Real Estate Tax Deferral Act defers the payment of all or part of your Illinois property taxes. A lien is placed against your home (up to 80% of your equity interest) and your property taxes must be paid, with 6% interest, when your property is sold from your or your spouse's estate upon death or when you no longer qualify for this program. You must be aged 65 or older with an income of no more than $50,000 per year. Apply at the county clerk's office.

Reduction of Mobile Home Taxes by 20 percent for individuals aged 65 and older or disabled, who reside in the mobile home, and who hold title to the mobile home under the Illinois Vehicle Code. Apply at the county clerk or local tax assessor's office.

Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program or SNAP (Food Stamps obtained with IL LINK card) - Financial assistance with food purchases. Apply at a county office listed below for our Southeastern Illinois counties or visit the Illinois Dept. of Human Services website for more information.  Local DHS offices are listed for you by clicking on the words "DHS Offices" to the left.

Age 60+, 1 person household, up to $1,815 income per month, $2,000 countable assets ($3,000 if age 60 or older).
Age 60+, 2 person household, up to $2,452 income per month, $2,000 countable assets ($3,000 if at least 1 household member is age 60 or older).
Add $637 for each additional person age 60+ in the household.

The monthly income limits are 200% of the poverty level.

Household income may be higher for certain elderly disabled people. Some people may only be subject to specified "net" income guidelines.  

Illinois Volunteer Money Management Program - For senior adults who need help managing their finances and paying their bills. Tasks include opening and organizing mail, setting up a household budget, balancing a checkbook, paying bills, and/or serving as a Social Security representative payee. Volunteers are bonded and supervised. Call 1.800.642.7773 in Southern Illinois or 1.800.252.8966 elsewhere in Illinois.

1 person household, $24,837 annual income, $30,000 assets.
2 person household, $35,144 annual income, $30,000 assets.
Notes: If a minor child is living in a household, you may add $4,680 to the income limit. If a developmentally disabled adult child lives in the household, you may deduct $7,236 from the household income.

For victims of documented elder abuse, eligibility limits are listed below.
1 person household, $28,475 annual income, $35,000 assets.
2 person household, $38,217 annual income, $35,000 assets.

Many areas of the state, including Southern Illinois, offer this service for a small fee to individuals who have incomes above these limits.

Veteran's Care - This program provides comprehensive and affordable healthcare coverage to uninsured Illinois veterans. Covers doctor and clinic visits, hospital inpatient and outpatient care, lab tests, x-rays, prescription drugs, vision care, physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, mental health, and emergency medical transportation. It does not cover nursing home stays or transportation for medical care that is not for an emergency.

Must be:
  • a veteran of the U.S. Armed Forces, have been honorably discharged, and a resident of Illinois aged 19 through age 64, and
  • uninsured for at least the last six months prior to application, do not qualify for VA healthcare, do not qualify for any other Illinois healthcare program.
Apply at www.illinoisveteranscare.com
or call 1-877-4VETSRX. 
 

Seniors & People With Disabilities Ride Free - Senior adults and people with disabilities can designated ride mass transit programs for free in Illinois. This program requires mass transit agencies to allow eligible senior citizens, aged 65 and older, and people with disabilities who meet income guidelines for the Circuit Breaker program (see above) to use main line and fixed route public transit service free. Starting in August 2011, senior adults will be required to meet the income guidelines of the Circuit Breaker program in order to receive a Ride Free card. 

Income guidelines
1 - $27,610
2 - $36,635
3 - $45,657

You may click here for more information about this program.  In Southeastern Illinois contact RIDES Mass Transit on their website or by calling their local offices (listed below):

RIDES Hamilton County, 618-643-2475. 

RIDES Gallatin & Saline counties, 618-252-4662

RIDES Edwards, Wabash & White counties, 618-382-3980

RIDES Wayne County, 618-842-7188

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