Disabled Exemption

NYS Disabled Exemption Form

Property owners with disabilities and with limited incomes may be eligible for the Disabled Exemption when they can document evidence of their disability. The amount of the exemption varies by municipality and income level of the applicant. The income of all the owners of a property are included in the calculation of income (with the exception of husband and wife where only one spouse is disabled) and the exemption amount is further defined on a sliding scale basis. In Cayuga County those that have income below $25,000 annually are allowed at least a 20% reduction on the county portion of their taxes. In addition, all of the school districts allow the exemption on school taxes according to their own income limits. As this exemption is allowed as a local option, some municipalities, like the town of Summerhill, have opted out of offering it altogether. Since there are so many different income limits in the various taxing jurisdictions and variations the amount of the exemption due to the sliding scale, please call your town assessor or the county office of Real Property Services to confirm the income limits for your municipality.

Income, for the purpose of qualifying for this exemption, includes all Social Security payments, salary and wages, interest income, dividends, profit from business, income from estates, capital gains, payments from governmental or private retirement or pension plans, annuity payments, alimony, unemployment insurance payments, disability insurance payments, workman’s compensation payments. Income does NOT include Supplemental Security Income, welfare payments, gifts or inheritances, distributions from Individual Retirement Accounts, etc. Also, municipalities have the option to permit the applicant to reduce their income by the amount spent on un-reimbursed medical and prescription drug expenses. It is important to note that this exemption can be received in addition to the Star exemption. This exemption cannot be combined with the Senior Exemption, however.

Eligibility for the disabled exemption includes any physical or mental impairment that substantially limits that person’s ability to engage in one or more major life activities. Proof of disability includes an award letter from the Social Security Administration or an award letter from the Railroad Retirement Board or a certificate from the State Commission for the Blind or an award letter from the U.S. Postal Service. If the award letter states that the disability is permanent, future renewals are not necessary. All property owners must be disabled to receive the exemption unless owned by a husband and wife.

Because this exemption is income based, the exemption must be renewed annually. Proof of income usually includes the prior year’s tax return. The application form (RP459c) can be obtained from your local assessor, the county office of real property services or from New York State Office of Real Property Services. Before filing the form with your town assessor it is prudent to save a copy of the application for your own records. If there are any questions, taxpayers are encouraged to call the county office of Real Property Services at 315-253-1270.