DHE/SCHE Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

You are required by law to renew your Senior Citizen Homeowners’ Exemption (SCHE) every two years, and your Disabled Homeowners’ Exemption (DHE) every year. The Department of Finance (DOF) will mail you a renewal reminder notice and application when it is time to renew your exemption.

The renewal process helps the Department of Finance maintain your exemption records and ensures your continued eligibility for the maximum allowable benefit.

If you did not receive your renewal application and it is time to renew, you should download the application from our website, complete it, and mail it with all required documentation to the address on the application. You may also email recertify@finance.nyc.gov or call 311 to request a renewal application.

Yes, you have the option to renew your SCHE or DHE benefits online:

Please note that if you renew online there is no need to complete a paper application, even if you received one in the mail.

Yes, the Department of Finance needs to hear from you or you could lose your property tax exemption. Please complete your application and provide your income, a copy of your spouse or 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 or older to continue to receive SCHE. If the property is shared by siblings and one of the siblings receiving the SCHE benefit has passed away, the surviving sibling must be at least 65 years old to continue to receive the benefit.

If your deceased spouse or sibling was receiving DHE, you may be able to renew the benefit under your name. You will need to submit a renewal application and all of the required documentation for your disability to receive the benefit. If you are 65 or older, you may also apply for the SCHE benefit.

Since the benefits were not granted to you based on your ownership, they will be removed by the Department of Finance. If you think you meet the eligibility requirements for any of our property tax benefits for homeowners, you may submit an application at www.nyc.gov/ownerexemption or call 311 to request that an application be mailed to you.

To apply for the School Tax Relief (STAR) program, you must contact the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance. You can call the STAR helpline at (518) 457-2036 or visit www.tax.ny.gov/star.

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

If you are one of the owners of the property, you will need to complete and sign the application and submit documentation for yourself. If the other owner is a spouse and does not reside at the property due to a legal separation, divorce, or abandonment, please provide legal documentation. Income documentation is required for the spouse, if the spouse is still on the deed.

Since the benefits were not granted to you based on your ownership, they will be removed by the Department of Finance. If you think you meet the eligibility requirements for any of our property tax benefits for homeowners, you may submit an application at www.nyc.gov/ownerexemption or call 311 to request that an application be mailed to you. To apply for the School Tax Relief (STAR) program, you must contact the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance. You can call the STAR helpline at (518) 457-2036 or visit www.tax.ny.gov/star.

If your spouse or sibling co-owner resides in a health care facility, please provide an official letter from the facility stating whether they reside there temporarily or permanently, and the cost of the care. 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.

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 the beneficiary’s continued eligibility.

If you no longer have to file federal or state income taxes, you will need to provide documentation for all sources of income so we can determine benefit. This documentation could include 1099 and Social Security statements.

If you do not file a Schedule A, you need to send us your Form 1040, receipts, and 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. For example, if you are submitting total combined income for all owners and their spouses for 2019, then the unreimbursed medical and prescription drug expenses must also be for 2019.

Distributions from your IRA—in other words, withdrawals from your account—are not included in the calculation of your total combined income. However, the earnings from your IRA are included in the income calculation. You must submit the earnings statement for your IRA account.

Yes, it is very important that you provide an estimate of your income in Section 3 of the renewal application. If you do not provide an estimate of your income, it could delay the processing of your application.

You will not receive your SCHE or DHE benefit in the form of a refund check.

If you own a one, two, or three-family home, the benefit lowers the amount of the property tax you pay by reducing the property's assessed value.

If you own a co-op apartment, by law, managing agents and co-op boards must credit the unit(s) with the benefit amount.

If you have not filed your renewal application or did file a renewal application but did not receive an approval notice by January 5, you will not see the benefit on your NOPV. However, as long as you file your renewal application by the exemption filing deadline, your benefit will be processed and if approved will appear on your property tax bill.