Disabled Individuals Can Save Money on Property Taxes
Did you know that in Ohio people who are disabled can obtain a reduction in their property taxes? Indeed, elderly and disabled Ohio residents may be able to reduce their property taxes through the homestead exemption. Essentially, the homestead exemption allows eligible individuals to reduce the market of value of their home for tax purposes.
As detailed by the Ohio Department of Taxation, the homestead exemption allows qualifying individuals to remove a maximum of $25,000 from the market value of their property in the form of a tax credit. For example, consider a disabled person with a $75,000 home. If that disabled person qualified for the homestead exemption, he or she could reduce the property value to $50,000 for tax purposes.
Given that the homestead exemption is tied to property value, it is difficult to estimate the exact savings for each person. The amount of savings will depend upon that individual’s situation and the value of the property. However, the Ohio Department of Taxation estimates that homestead exemptions saved homeowners an average of $435 in 2011.
Not everyone is automatically entitled to receive this benefit, though. Certain eligibility requirements exist for those seeking a homestead property tax exemption.
Eligibility for the Homestead Property Tax Exemption in Ohio
In order to qualify for the homestead exemption, Ohio residents must fall below a certain income threshold as well as meet eligibility and residency requirements.
From an income standpoint, the applicant must fall below a threshold to qualify. This threshold changes every year to adjust for rising costs and inflation. As outlined by the Ohio Department of Taxation:
- The 2015 income threshold was $31,000.
- The 2016 income threshold was $31,500.
- The 2017 income threshold was $31,800.
From an eligibility standpoint, the applicant must fall into one of three categories. As explained by the Ohio Department of Taxation, only the following types of applicants qualify for the homestead exemption:
- People who have reached the age of 65
- Disabled individuals, as determined by a doctor or state or federal agency
- Surviving spouses of those who previously qualified for and claimed the homestead exemption
From a residency standpoint, the applicant must demonstrate ownership and occupancy of the property as of January 1 of that year. If a person owns several homes, he or she may only qualify for the homestead exemption at the home where he or she is registered for voting and tax purposes.
Applying for the Homestead Property Tax Exemption in Ohio
Individuals who wish to qualify for the homestead exemption must complete an official application, also referred to as Form DTE 105A – Homestead Exemption Application Form for Senior Citizens, Disabled Persons, and Surviving Spouses.
The due date for applications depends on the type of property. For real property, the due date is December 31 of that year. For other types of property, the due date is in June of the previous year.
At this point, it is not possible to file the application electronically. An applicant must complete, sign, and return the form in the county where the property is located. The relevant county auditor receives applications for the homestead exemption. An original signature – not a copy – is required for proper processing of applications for the homestead exemption.
Who Is Considered Disabled?
If you are receiving either Social Security Disability benefits or Permanent Total Disability benefits, you may be eligible for the homestead tax exemption.
Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits are part of a national program to provide compensation to disabled individuals. SSD benefits are available to individuals in any of the U.S. states under the same requirements. There are two major SSD programs available to disabled individuals:
- Under the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) program, disabled individuals may receive monthly benefits. However, SSDI is only available for certain qualifying disabilities. Additionally, SSDI is only available to those who have paid a sufficient amount of Social Security taxes through past employment.
- Disabled people who are not eligible for SSDI benefits may qualify for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits. The SSI program provides monthly benefits to disabled people who do not have enough work history to qualify for SSDI.
Permanent Total Disability (PTD) benefits are available to injured employees under the doctrine of workers’ compensation. Essentially, PTD applies to workers who suffered a permanent and total disability, as determined by the Industrial Commission of Ohio. This means that the worker is incapable of resuming previous job functions and unable to engage in other meaningful work.
Do You Need Legal Help from a Skilled Disability Attorney?
In order to obtain benefits for any disability or a reduction in property taxes, you must adhere to a complex web of policies and procedures. Given the strict regulations concerning disability and compensation, there is no room for error. That is why it is highly advisable to seek legal help from a skilled disability attorney.
The attorneys at Heller, Maas, Moro & Magill Co., L.P.A., have longstanding legal experience serving the communities of Northeastern Ohio, including Youngstown, Akron, Warren, Salem, Ravenna, Kent and Alliance. If you need legal help, please do not hesitate to contact us for a free case evaluation. Our attorneys will walk through your case and help you plan for the road ahead.