How does your disability affect your property taxes?

On Behalf of | Apr 9, 2022 | tax law | 0 comments

If you have a disability, you are far from alone. In fact, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, roughly 41 million Americans have some type of disability. This figure translates to about 13% of the population. Still, knowing you are in good company probably does not make your disability any easier to manage.

Fortunately, having a disability may lower your property tax obligations. That is, Illinois law may allow you to reduce the equalized assessed value of your property by $2,000. This may make a meaningful difference in the amount of property tax you must pay every year.

Who qualifies for the homestead exemption?

Even though Illinois law is friendly to those with disabilities, not everyone who has a disability is eligible for the state’s property tax homestead exemption. To qualify for the homestead exemption for persons with disabilities, each of the following must be true:

  • You must own or have an equitable interest in the property
  • You must have lived on the property since before January 1 of the current tax year
  • You must have a disability under the federal Social Security Act

How do you prove you have a disability?

Luckily, you have some options for proving you are a person who has a disability. If you have one, you can present your Illinois disabled person identification card. Alternatively, you can provide any documentation that shows your approval for Social Security Disability Insurance benefits, including the following:

  • An approval letter
  • A verification letter
  • An annual cost-of-living-adjustment notice

If you intend to qualify for the HEPD because of your Veterans Administration benefits, you can submit your approval paperwork for that program. Evidence your disability benefits through your railroad or civil service typically works too.

Your physician may also be able to complete a tax form that describes your disability. Ultimately, by gathering as much evidence as possible, you are likely to improve your chances of receiving the homestead exemption.