We are here to help, from public safety to consumer fraud concerns, from county tax issues to federal Medicare and Medicaid programs. Our Ward Service Office will always go beyond city issues to be your local resource for all government services. We work closely with Cook County Commissioners to help guide senior citizens on receiving applicable property tax exemptions. You can find your Cook County Commissioner by accessing the Chicago Board of Elections’ website. You can also download property tax exemption forms on the Cook County Assessor’s website.
SENIOR WELL BEING CHECK
Extreme weather can affect the health and safety of Chicagoans. The City of Chicago’s Extreme Weather Notification System can contact you or a loved one by telephone, to provide notification when the National Weather Service declares a Heat Warning or a Wind Chill Warning. The system will provide a recorded message about extreme temperature forecasts, as well as information about weather-related city services. Moreover, if you know a senior who you believe is in needof a well being check, please call our office.
DEPARTMENT OF FAMILY SUPPORT SERVICES
The Chicago Department of Family and Support Services works to provide assistance to Chicago’s residents, particularly those most in need, beginning at birth through the senior years. They provide a variety of resources and services for Chicago residents.
CHICAGO DEPARTMENT ON AGING
The Chicago Department on Aging uses the Benefits CheckUp to assist Chicago residents’ age 60 and older to determine their eligibility for more than 70 city, state, and federal benefits to which they may be entitled. These programs include taxes, energy assistance, financial assistance, housing, transportation, health, legal, and many support services.
SENIOR SEWER EXEMPTION & REBATE
The City of Chicago provides seniors ages 65 years and older an opportunity to save money on their water bills through the Senior Sewer Exemption and Senior Sewer Rebate programs.
SENIOR SEWER EXEMPTION
The Senior Citizen Sewer Exemption allows seniors aged 65 or over, residing in their own residence with separately metered water service or a separate city water assessment for that residential unit, to an exemption from payment of the sewer service charge for their residents. This exemption can provide seniors with substantial savings.
To be eligible for the sewer service charge exemption, you must meet the following criteria:
You must be 65 years of age or older
You must be the owner of the residential unit
You must occupy the residential unit as your principal place of residence
The residential unit must have a separate water meter or assessed account
If you meet all the above criteria and wish to apply, you must submit a Senior Exemption Application (link below). The form must be completed in its entirety and submitted with all supporting documentation.
If the conditions under which you submit your application change, you are required to make the City aware of these changes to determine if the exemption still applies. If it is determined that this exemption was approved under false pretenses, you may be liable for any previously waived charges as well as any applicable penalties or fines. The City reserves the right to request recertification of the exemption periodically.
SENIOR SEWER REBATE
Persons aged 65 or over who reside in their own residence but do not qualify for the Senior Citizen Sewer Exemption because their residence is a townhouse, condominium unit, or cooperative apartment that does not have a separately metered water service or a separate City water assessment for the residential unit may apply for a refund in lieu of exemption. The amount of the refund is $50 per calendar year. To be eligible for a Senior Sewer Rebate, you must meet the following criteria:
You must be 65 years of age or older as of January 1 of the year you are applying.
You must be the sole owner, an owner in joint tenancy, or tenancy in common of the property.
You must occupy the property as your principal place of residence.
You must own a townhouse, a condominium unit, or a cooperative apartment that shares a common water bill.
The Office of the City Clerk no longer functions as the intake office for receipt of eligible first-time applicants and renewals for the Senior Sewer Rebate program. Instead, the Department of Finance's Utility Billing and Customer Service Division processes the applications.
Current information and application forms can be accessed online at chicago.gov/utilitybill. When you're on the website, make sure to click utility charge exemptions and rebates. Those with questions about the program can email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 312-744-4426.
Seniors can return their application and documentation in an email to email@example.com or by mail to the following address:
Chicago Department of Finance
Utility Billing & Customer Service
P.O. Box 6330
Chicago, IL 60680-6330
PROPERTY TAX EXEMPTIONS
Property owners ages 65 and older may be able to receive savings on their Cook County property tax bills by applying for the Senior Citizen Exemption and/or the Senior Freeze Exemption. Savings from these exemptions appear as deductions on the second installment property tax bills mailed in the summer.
Seniors must reapply annually for both the Senior Citizen Exemption and the Senior Freeze Exemptions in order to continue to receive deductions on their second installment property tax bills.
Applications for property tax exemptions are available to download on the Cook County Assessor’s website. Applications typically open in January and remain open until mid-March.
SENIOR CITIZEN EXEMPTION
To qualify for the Senior Citizen Exemption for Tax Year 2018, the property owner must have:
been born prior to or in the year 1953
owned the property during 2018 or have a lease or contract for 2018 which makes them responsible for the real estate taxes
used the property as her or his principal place of residence in 2018
SENIOR FREEZE EXEMPTION
To qualify for the Senior Freeze Exemption for Tax Year 2018, taxpayers must have:
been born prior to or in the year 1953
a total household income of $65,000 or less for [income] Tax Year 2017
owned the property or had a legal, equitable or leasehold interest in the property on January 1, 2017 and January 1, 2018
used the property as her or his principal place of residence as of January 1, 2017 and January 1, 2018
been liable for payment of 2017 and 2018 property taxes
Those who don’t qualify for the Senior Freeze Exemption because they exceed the income level may still be eligible for the Senior Exemption. The Senior Exemption has no income restrictions.
Seniors receiving the Senior Citizen Exemption will automatically receive the Homeowner Exemption. Seniors receiving the Senior Freeze Exemption automatically receive both the Homeowner and Senior Citizen Exemptions.
Eligible seniors who never applied for the Senior and/or Senior Freeze Exemption in the past may visit the Assessor’s website and download an application or contact the Assessor’s Office at (312) 443-7550 and request a form be mailed to them. Applications for the Homeowner Exemption and additional exemptions are also available online.