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AARP AARP States New Jersey

Resources to Assist with Property Taxes, Rent, Utility Bills and Health Care Coverage!

The better you budget, the more you save

We know many residents are struggling with New Jersey’s high cost of living. That's why AARP New Jersey fought to expand and establish state programs to help bring financial relief to thousands of residents.

Also, if you get your health insurance through NJ FamilyCare/Medicaid, we want to ensure you stay covered as you will have to renew your coverage.

Below, you'll find resources to save money on property taxes, rent and utility bills, as well as information to keep your health care coverage.

PROPERTY TAXES

ANCHOR
AARP NJ fought for property tax relief, and now, New Jersey’s ANCHOR and Senior Freeze property tax relief programs have expanded!

New Jersey’s ANCHOR program (Affordable New Jersey Communities for Homeowners and Renters) will provide property tax relief to New Jersey residents who owned or rented their principal residence (main home) on October 1, 2020 and met the 2020 gross income limits (Homeowners $250,000 and Renters/Tenants $150,000).

In its first year of operation (for tax year 2019), ANCHOR provided property tax relief to more than 1.5 million homeowners and tenants, including more than 500,000 New Jerseyans 65 and older.

Now there are changes to New Jersey’s ANCHOR property tax relief program (for tax year 2020), including more relief for residents 65 and older. Under the new law, eligible senior homeowners can now receive up to $1,750, a more than 16% increase from last year, and eligible senior renters can receive up to $700, a more than 50% increase from last year.

For eligible homeowners and renters of all ages, there is also a change in the application process. Homeowners and renters who previously qualified and received a benefit (for tax year 2019) will automatically be enrolled for tax year 2020. You should have received an “ANCHOR Benefit Confirmation Letter” from the state in August of 2023. If the information in your confirmation letter remains the same as your prior filing, no further action is required on your part. Automatic enrollees should receive their benefit in Fall 2023.

However, if you previously received a benefit, but need to make a change to any information, you must file an updated application by September 30, 2023.

If you are a new ANCHOR applicant, the deadline to file your application is December 29, 2023.

If you did not receive a green filing packet with an Identification Number and PIN, you must apply by mail.

Learn more about ANCHOR here.


Senior Freeze Property Tax Reimbursement
The Senior Freeze Program reimburses eligible senior citizens and disabled persons for property tax or mobile home park site fee increases on their principal residence (main home). To qualify, you must meet all the eligibility requirements for each year from the base year through the application year.

The filing deadline for 2022 applications is October 31, 2023.

There are important changes coming next year. Beginning with the 2023 filing season, a new law increases the income limit to $150,000 and eliminates the requirement that an applicant must be a New Jersey resident for 10 consecutive years. By increasing the income eligibility and modifying home ownership requirements, the program will be open to about 58,000 additional older and disabled residents.

Learn more about the Senior Freeze here.


UTILITIES

New Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP)
The ACP provides eligible New Jerseyans a discount of up to $30 per month for high speed internet. It also includes a one-time discount of up to $100 for a laptop, desktop computer or tablet purchased through a participating provider. Learn more about the ACP here, call 1-833-511-0311, or text INTERNET to 22777.

Universal Service Fund (USF)
In the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, the NJ Board of Public Utilities has expanded the state’s Universal Service Fund, which helps make energy bills more affordable for low- and moderate-income customers. To be eligible, a household gross income must be at or below 400% of the Federal Poverty Level, and pay more than 2% of its annual income for electric, or more than 2% for natural gas. If a household has electric heat, it must spend more than 4% of its annual income on electricity. Learn more about the Universal Service Fund here or call the toll-free hotline at 1-800-510-3102.

Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)
LIHEAP is designed to help low-income families and individuals meet home heating and medically necessary cooling costs. To apply for LIHEAP, you can apply online or contact an authorized local community action agency or community-based organization in your county for assistance. For people 60 or older, or who are disabled, applications may be received and returned by mail. Other households may apply by mail at the discretion of the local agency. Learn more about LIHEAP here or call 1-800-510-3102. The 2024 Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program will reopen on October 1.

Lifeline Credit Program
This program is for people who meet Pharmaceutical Assistance to the Aged and Disabled (PAAD) eligibility requirements or who receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI). It provides a $225 annual benefit in the form of a credit on electric and gas utility bills. The program includes utility customers as well as tenants whose utility bills are included in their rent. Learn more about the Lifeline Credit Program here or call the toll-free hotline at 1-800-792-9745.


NJ FAMILYCARE/MEDICAID

NJ FamilyCare/Medicaid Renewal
Are you covered by NJ FamilyCare – New Jersey's publicly-funded health insurance program that includes Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) – through Aetna, Amerigroup, Horizon, WellCare or UnitedHealthcare? If so, you will have to renew your health care coverage!

Learn more about NJ FamilyCare here and learn more about the renewal process here.

From April 1, 2023 through June 1, 2024, NJ FamilyCare is mailing all Medicaid recipients renewal packets, which you will have to fill out to keep your health care coverage.

New Jersey is resuming its NJ FamilyCare/Medicaid’s annual review process that determines if enrollees meet the income requirements for continued coverage. Keep your eye out for an envelope from NJ FamilyCare that says, “Renewal Enclosed.” Please open it and follow the instructions right away.

Learn more about NJ FamilyCare here and learn more about the renewal process here. If you are unsure whether the state has your current address, call the NJ FamilyCare help line at 1-800-701-0710.


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About AARP New Jersey
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