Archive for October, 2009

Senior Freeze Update

Tuesday, October 20th, 2009

For those of you who read our Summer 2009 issue of Renaissance/Aging Insights, we’ve received confirmation in regard to the revision of the Property Tax Reimbursement Program (Senior Freeze).  Governor Corzine signed the bill on October 1, 2009, changing the eligibility requirement for owning a property from 3 years to 1 year.

Let me explain:

The Property Tax Reimbursement Program, is for seniors or disabled persons who meet all eligibility requirements, the program refunds the difference between the amount of property taxes that were due and paid for the “base year” (the first year that you met all the eligibility requirements) and the amount due and paid for the current year for which you are applying for the reimbursement, provided the amount paid for the current year was greater.

Example:

Amount Paid Base Year

Amount Paid Current Year

Reimbursement

$4000

$5000

$1000

*Example does not reflect actual payments

The eligibility requirements are that you must be age 65 or older or receiving Federal Social Security disability benefits, you have lived in New Jersey continuously for at least the last 10 years, as either a homeowner or a renter, you have owned and lived in your home (or have leased a site in a mobile home park on which you have placed a manufactured or mobile home that you own) for at least the last  year and you have paid the full amount of property taxes (or site fees if you are a mobile home owner) that were due on your home for the base year and for each succeeding year, up to and including the year for which you are claiming the reimbursement. You must also meet the income limits for the base year and for each succeeding year, up to and including the year for which you are claiming the reimbursement. Residents applying for the 2008 reimbursement must have total income for 2007 that is $60,000 or less and for 2008 that is $70,000 or less. These limits apply regardless of marital/civil union status. Residents applying for the 2009 reimbursement must have total income for 2008 that is $70,000 or less and for 2009 that is $80,000 or less. 2008 applications are due by November 2, 2009. Applications for 2009 will not be available until February 2010.

NJFA is very pleased to hear that this legislation, A2195 or S661, revising the eligibility for Senior Freeze has been signed. Many people and groups were advocating for this change, as it now provides the opportunity for seniors to downsize or move out of older, bigger homes without losing the ability to apply for this beneficial program. Thanks to all those who supported this legislation.

If you have questions or want more information call: 1-800-882-6597 or visit http://www.state.nj.us/treasury/taxation/propfrez.shtml

We Want to Hear Your Story

Wednesday, October 7th, 2009

With the release of the New Jersey Elder Economic Security Initiative, we’ve learned that 1 out of 4 New Jersey seniors is living solely on Social Security, which makes it difficult to afford their basic expenses. Information in the Elder Index, indicates that it’s not your fault. If you or a loved one find yourself having a widening gap between your income and your expenses, we’d like to know about it.

The average Social Security benefit is $14,285 per year, while the average expense in New Jersey for a single elder renter is $25,941. 25 % of NJ seniors are renters, here at the Foundation we’ve heard from some of those seniors and the difficulties they face, but we’d like to know more so we can get the word out about this problem.

Please feel free to submit a comment below, or contact us at office@njfoundationforaging.org, so we can help you tell your story. There are public supports that can make a difference, telling your story can help others.

What You Need to Know About H1N1 (Swine Flu)

Tuesday, October 6th, 2009

Swine Flu- What you need to know.

In the Spring of 2009 the swine flu, also known as H1N1, was reported in the United States, including in New Jersey. The symptoms are similar to the seasonal flu and include fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuff nose, body aches, headache, chills, and fatigue. Some who were affected were seriously ill and just as with the seasonal flu. Swine Flu is different from the seasonal flu. It has been reported that people over age 65 are least likely to get sick with H1N1 (Swine flu). However, seniors are encouraged to get their annual Seasonal flu vaccine.

What can you do to protect yourself and others?

  • Stay informed- check the internet for up to date information on the swine flu:

New Jersey Department of Health and Human Services at http://www.state.nj.us/health/flu/h1n1.shtml

Or the CDC at http://www.cdc.gov/h1n1flu/vaccination/ or call (800)-CDC-INFO (232-4636)

  • Take actions to stay healthy: Cover your nose and mouth when sneezing and cough, wash your hands frequently with soap and water or use hand sanitizers, stay home if you are sick
  • Follow public health advice regarding school closures and avoiding crowds

The US Department of Health and Human Services reports that a vaccine for H1N1 will be available by October 2009. Any vaccines ordered on by September 30, 2009, should be delivered by Tuesday, October 06, 2009. The vaccine will continue to be produced and available to order on a regular basis. Please visit http://www.flu.gov/ for more information.

There is a concern that when the vaccine becomes available, there will be a limited supply available, therefore 5 categories of “high- risk” individuals have been targeted, they include: pregnant women, persons who live with or care for infants < 6 months, healthcare and emergencies services workers, children and young adults aged 6 months to 24 years and persons aged 25 to 64 who have medical conditions that put them at higher risk. People age 65 and older are not included in the groups recommended to get the initial doses of 2009 H1N1 vaccine because they are least likely to get sick with this virus, and, there will be limited amounts of vaccine available at first, so the first doses are recommended to go to those who are most likely to get infected and become very ill.

The CDC states that most people how become ill with H1N1 will recover without medical care, however, if you are severely ill or you are at high-risk for complications due to another condition, contact your doctor or seek medical care. Anti-viral drugs are available through your doctor if you become seriously ill from the swine flu.

 Warning signs that you may need to seek medical attention:

  • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
  • Pain or pressure in the chest or abdomen
  • Sudden dizziness
  • Confusion
  • Severe or persistent vomiting
  • Flu-like symptoms improve but then return with fever and worse cough

 It is still important to get vaccinated for the seasonal flu as well, contact your doctor for information about the seasonal flu vaccine.

Welcome

Tuesday, October 6th, 2009

Welcome to the New Jersey Foundation for Aging Blog. We are pleased to present you with our blog as a new way to receive up to date information on aging issues. This blog will be updated bi-weekly, so please visit on a regular basis to see what’s new. Comments, questions and suggestions are always appreciated.

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Tuesday, October 6th, 2009

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