DHE/SCHE Renewal Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

By law, you are required to renew your Senior Citizen Homeowners’ Exemption (SCHE) every two years. If you are receiving Disabled Homeowners’ Exemption (DHE) you are required to renew every year. This renewal process helps the Department of Finance (DOF) maintain your exemption records and ensures your continued eligibility to be granted benefits at the maximum allowable level.

The Department of Finance sent the application early to allow you ample time to prepare the renewal application and to submit all of the required documents. Qualified homeowners are legally required to renew by March 15, 2019. However, we are encouraging applicants to renew early, by December 1, 2018, to ensure that the exemption appears on their annual notice of property value (NOPV) in January 2019 and that there is no delay in granting the exemption before the new tax year.

Your application and all required documents must be postmarked by March 15th.

To continue to qualify for the SCHE and DHE exemption for the 2019-20 tax year, the total combined income for all owners and their spouses must be $58,399 or less.

Because your total combined income was $50,000 or less and you qualified for the full 50% reduction the last time you renewed, we sent you a shortened application to make the renewal process as easy as possible for you. As long as the total combined income for all owners and their spouses is still $50,000 or less, you do not need to include documentation of your income. If your total combined income is now more than $50,000, you will need to provide 2018 income documentation for all owners and their spouses (or 2017 if 2018 income is not available).

The law requires that all SCHE and DHE recipients renew their exemption; every two years for SCHE and every year for DHE. The Department of Finance will mail you a renewal reminder notice and application. We will provide the application early enough to give you ample time to prepare any documents you will need to send us with your application. If you did not receive a renewal application and it is time to renew, you should download a renewal application from our website, fill it out and mail it with all required documentation to the address on the form. You may also call 311 and request that a renewal application be mailed to you.

Yes, the Department of Finance needs to hear from you or your property exemption could be removed. Please fill out the application and provide your income, a copy of your spouse/sibling’s death certificate and proof of ownership. If your deceased spouse was the senior receiving SCHE and you are not age 65, you will need to be at least 62 years of age or older to continue to receive SCHE.

If your deceased spouse/sibling was receiving DHE, you will need to submit all the required documentation of your own disability for you to continue to receive the benefit.

Since the benefits were not granted to you based on your ownership, the exemptions will be removed by DOF. If you think you meet the eligibility requirements for any of our Homeowner Tax Benefits, please complete the current Homeowners Tax Benefits initial application and mail it to the address on the application. The form is available on the Department of Finance’s website, or you may call 311 and request that one be mailed to you.

To apply for New York State School Tax Relief (STAR) you must contact the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance directly. They have a STAR helpline, the number is 1-518- 457-2036 or you can visit their website.

The renewal application is mailed to the person identified on our tax billing system as the addressee.

If you are one of the owners of the property, you will need to fill out and sign the application and submit documentation for yourself. If the other owner does not reside on the property due to a legal separation, divorce or abandonment, please provide a copy of the legal documentation. If the other owner is the spouse, they will also need to submit income documentation.

Since the benefits were not granted to you based on your ownership and eligibility, DOF will remove the exemptions. If you think you meet the eligibility requirements for any of our Homeowner Tax Benefits, please complete and submit the current Homeowner Tax Benefit initial application along with all required documentation to the address provided on the form. The form is available on the Department of Finance’s website, or you may call 311 to have one mailed to you.

To apply for New York State School Tax Relief (STAR) you must contact the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance directly. They have a STAR helpline, the number is 1-518-457-2036 or you can visit their website.

If your spouse/sibling co-owner resides in a health care facility, please provide an official letter from the facility regarding the residency of your spouse/sibling stating whether they are temporary or permanent residents of the facility. This will help us determine if we need to include that owner’s income to establish continued eligibility.

If the co-owner or the owner’s spouse resides on the property alone because the co-owner is residing in a health care facility, the property can continue to receive the exemption provided the eligibility requirements are met. In this case, the co-owner or owner’s spouse should complete the renewal application and submit it to the address provided on the application.

The applications go to our scanning facility which is located in New Jersey.

You may also notice that your application is barcoded. This barcode links your property BBL (Borough –Block- Lot) and enables us to affirm your response and send you an acknowledgement notice.

Any change to a deed will require the Department of Finance to review the deed to determine if you, the senior, retained a life estate on the property. If the deed provides for a life estate for the senior homeowner, then the senior homeowner can complete the application and their income will be used to establish the continuation of the exemption.

You will need to submit a copy of the trust document in order for DOF to determine continued eligibility for the beneficiary of the trust or trustee.

If you no longer have to file Federal or State Income Tax, you will need to provide copies of all sources of income so we can accurately establish what your income was in order to determine the level of benefit you can be granted. The income includes, but not limited to 1099’s, Social Security statements, etc.

If you do not file a Schedule A, you need to send us your 1040, receipts, canceled checks for any out of pocket unreimbursed medical and prescription drug expenses. Proof of unreimbursed medical and prescription drug expenses must be submitted with your application and must be for the same year of the income that you are submitting. For example, if you are submitting total combined income for all owners and their spouses for 2017, then the unreimbursed medical and prescription drug expenses must also be for 2017.

The distribution from your IRA is not included in the calculation of your Total Combined Income. However, the earnings from your IRA is included in the calculation of income. You must submit the 1099-INT for your IRA account.