The City of Chicago offers a variety of programs designed to address the diverse needs and interests of older Chicagoans, from those who are healthy and active, to those who are frail and homebound. My office is happy to help residents navigate these programs.
SENIOR WELL BEING CHECK
In case of a Heat Warning or a Wind Chill Warning, the City will activate the Extreme Weather Notification System to provide weather information to those with special needs.
Through its Emergency Telephone Notification System (or 911 Callback) the City will contact registered households with a recorded telephone message that will provide:
Weather forecasts and safety tips
City services information (e.g. cooling/warming centers)
How to register for an in-person well-being check
If you know a senior who you believe is in need of a well-being check, please call our office.
DEPARTMENT OF FAMILY
The Chicago Department of Family and Support Services works to provide assistance to Chicago’s residents, particularly those most in need, beginning at birth through the senior years. They provide a variety of resources and services for Chicago residents.
CHICAGO DEPARTMENT ON AGING
The Chicago Department of Family & Support Services links Chicago residents age 60 and better to more than 70 city, state and federal benefits to which they may be entitled.
Link to www.Benefits CheckUp.org to determine eligibility for more than 70 city, state and federal benefits to which you may be entitled. These programs include:
Many Support Services
To use the service, go to www.BenefitsCheckup.org and complete the online application.
If you do not have access to a computer, you may call to make an appointment with an information specialist at one of the Regional Senior Centers nearest your home for assistance. A description of the entitlement and how and where to apply for each program is provided. A separate screening for pharmaceutical assistance is available.
To receive a Benefits Eligibility CheckUp application via post mail or if you have questions about the program, call 312.744.4016, send e-mail to: BenefitsCheckup@cityofchicago.org
For more information visit the City of Chicago Department of Aging Website
SENIOR SEWER EXEMPTION AND REBATE
The City of Chicago provides seniors ages 65 years and older an opportunity to save money on their water bills through the Senior Sewer Exemption and Senior Sewer Rebate programs.
SENIOR SEWER EXEMPTION
The Senior Citizen Sewer Exemption allows seniors aged 65 or over, residing in their own residence with separately metered water service or a separate city water assessment for that residential unit, to an exemption from payment of the sewer service charge for their residents. This exemption can provide seniors with substantial savings.
To be eligible for the sewer service charge exemption, you must meet the following criteria:
You must be 65 years of age or older
You must be the owner of the residential unit
You must occupy the residential unit as your principal place of residence
The residential unit must have a separate water meter or assessed account
If you meet all the above criteria and wish to apply, you must submit a Senior Exemption Application (link below). The form must be completed in its entirety and submitted with all supporting documentation.
If the conditions under which you submit your application change, you are required to make the City aware of these changes to determine if the exemption still applies. If it is determined that this exemption was approved under false pretenses, you may be liable for any previously waived charges as well as any applicable penalties or fines. The City reserves the right to request recertification of the exemption periodically.
SENIOR SEWER REBATE
Persons aged 65 or over who reside in their own residence but do not qualify for the Senior Citizen Sewer Exemption because their residence is a townhouse, condominium unit, or cooperative apartment that does not have a separately metered water service or a separate City water assessment for the residential unit may apply for a refund in lieu of exemption. The amount of the refund is $50 per calendar year. To be eligible for a Senior Sewer Rebate, you must meet the following criteria:
You must be 65 years of age or older as of January 1 of the year you are applying.
You must be the sole owner, an owner in joint tenancy, or tenancy in common of the property.
You must occupy the property as your principal place of residence.
You must own a townhouse, a condominium unit, or a cooperative apartment that shares a common water bill.
You may find additional information on the City of Chicago Utility Charge Website.
Once you have finished filling out the application (linked below), mail it and supporting documentation to:
Alderman James M. Gardiner
5425 W. Lawrence Ave
Chicago, IL 60630
PROPERTY TAX EXEMPTIONS
Property owners ages 65 and older may be able to receive savings on their Cook County property tax bills by applying for the Senior Citizen Exemption and/or the Senior Freeze Exemption. Savings from these exemptions appear as deductions on the second installment property tax bills mailed in the summer.
Seniors must reapply annually for both the Senior Citizen Exemption and the Senior Freeze Exemptions in order to continue to receive deductions on their second installment property tax bills.
Applications for property tax exemptions are available to download on the Cook County Assessor’s website. Applications typically open in January and remain open until mid-March.
SENIOR CITIZENS EXEMPTION
Cook County retirees and other older homeowners may reduce their tax bills by hundreds or even thousands of dollars a year by taking advantage of the Senior Citizen Homestead Exemption.
Exemptions reduce the Equalized Assessed Value (EAV) of your home, which is multiplied by the tax rate to determine your tax bill. The Senior Citizen Homestead Exemption reduces the EAV of your home by $8,000 starting in the previous tax and payable in the current year.
To receive the Senior Citizen Homestead Exemption, the applicant must have owned and occupied the property as of January 1 and must have been 65 years of age or older during the tax year in question.
Once you have received Senior Citizen Homestead Exemption you must re-apply every year.
Seniors can save even more by combining the Senior Citizen and Homeowner exemptions.
Exemptions are reflected on the Second Installment tax bill.
SENIOR FREEZE EXEMPTION
Retirees and other older homeowners on fixed incomes may reduce their tax bill by taking advantage of the Senior Citizen Assessment Freeze Exemption.
Exemptions reduce the Equalized Assessed Value (EAV) of your home, which is multiplied by the tax rate to determine your tax bill. The senior freeze exemption works this way:
Eligible senior citizens automatically receive a reduction of at least $2,000 in the EAV of their homes.
Over time, this program may result in taxes changing minimally or sometimes decreasing as surrounding properties continue to rise in assessed value.
To apply for the senior freeze exemption, the applicant must:
Be a senior citizen with an annual household income of $65,000 or less.
Have owned and occupied the home on January 1, the year prior and January 1, of the current tax year and have been responsible for the previous year's and current year's taxes to be eligible for the current Tax Year (payable in the following year).