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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2021 - 2022 Regular Session


Posted: December 3, 2020 11:03 AM
From: Senator John P. Sabatina, Jr.
To: All Senate members
Subject: Helping Senior Citizens Access Property Tax & Rent Rebate Program by Excluding Social Security COLA Raises
Soon, I intend to introduce legislation to amend the “income” definition under Chapter 13 (Senior Citizens Property Tax and Rent Rebate Assistance) of the Taxpayer Relief Act (2006 Sp. Sess. Act 1) to retain eligibility for households whose income limit is exceeded solely due to a Social Security cost-of-living adjustment. 

Currently, many older Pennsylvanians, living on fixed incomes, depend on the PTRR program to stay in their homes. In my district and across the Commonwealth, many applicants are denied eligibility because they exceed the income limits. Unfortunately, those receiving Social Security income are deemed ineligible because of cost-of-living adjustments (COLA) that leave applicants a few dollars over the income thresholds. 

By excluding these COLA increases from the definition of “income”, under the PTRR program, worthy Seniors across Pennsylvania would become eligible for assistance, once again. 

Similar legislation was passed and was signed into law as Act 156 of 2014, applying a temporary Social Security COLA exclusion. However, that act expired at the end of 2016. This bill would call for a permanent implementation. 

Please join me in co-sponsoring this important legislation to provide our Seniors the added assistance they deserve. 

The prior bill SB597 of 2019 was cosponsored by Senators: FONTANA, BREWSTER, HUGHES, TARTAGLIONE, SANTARSIERO, YUDICHAK, COSTA, 

Introduced as SB493