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Senior and Disabled Homeowners and Renters To Apply for Assistance Payments

Eligible seniors and the disabled who qualify for the 2002 Homeowner and Renter Assistance (HRA) program are urged to wait until they receive the 2002 booklets before filing for the 2001 claim year, according to State Controller and chair of the Franchise Tax Board Kathleen Connell.

The new booklets will be mailed beginning June 14 to coincide with the annual HRA filing period, which begins July 1.

“Our elderly and disabled are deserving of these annual payments,” said Controller Connell, “but for accurate processing, they must use the current form. Annual changes made to the program are not included on prior year forms, and if claimants use the wrong form, it will delay their payment.”

The Homeowner and Renter Assistance program provides a once-a-year payment from the state to qualified homeowners and renters based on property taxes directly paid by homeowners and indirectly paid by renters. For the 2002 claim year, eligible homeowners can receive a payment of up to $472.60, while renters can receive up to $347.50.

In addition to having paid property taxes or at least $50 in rent during 2001, eligible claimants must have had a household income of $37,119 or less, or gross income of $67,490 or less, and have been at least 62 years of age or blind or disabled on December 31, 2001.

Eligible households can get the claim form from the FTB's Website at www.ftb.ca.gov, or by calling (800) 338-0505 after June 14.

Budget constraints will prevent staff at FTB field offices from filling out claim forms; however, a statewide volunteer assistance program will provide free claims assistance between July 1-October 15. To locate the nearest volunteer assistance center, visit FTB's website at www.ftb.ca.gov, or call either FTB at (800) 338-0505, your local Senior Citizens Information and Referral Service or your state legislator's office.