Senate Bill No. 1179

Public Act No. 99-134

An Act Concerning the Eligibility of Elderly and Totally Disabled Renters who Receive Cash Assistance from the Department of Social Services for a Partial Rebate of Rent and Utility Expenses.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Assembly convened:

Section 1. Subsection (a) of section 12-170d of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

(a) Beginning with the calendar year 1973 and for each calendar year thereafter any renter of real property, or of a mobile manufactured home, as defined in section 12-63a, which he occupies as his home, who meets the qualifications set forth in this section, shall be entitled to receive in the following year in the form of direct payment from the state, a grant in refund of utility and rent bills actually paid by or for him on such real property or mobile manufactured home to the extent set forth in section 12-170e. Such grant by the state shall be made upon receipt by the state of a certificate of grant with a copy of the application therefor attached, as provided in section 12-170f, provided such application shall be made within one year from the close of the calendar year for which the grant is requested. If the rental quarters are occupied by more than one person, it shall be assumed for the purposes of this section and sections 12-170e and 12-170f that each of such persons pays his proportionate share of the rental and utility expenses levied thereon and grants shall be calculated on that portion of utility and rent bills paid that are applicable to the person making application for grant under said sections. For purposes of this section and said sections 12-170e and 12-170f a husband and wife shall constitute one tenant, and a resident of cooperative housing shall be a renter. To qualify for such payment by the state, the renter shall meet qualification requirements in accordance with each of the following subdivisions: (1) (A) At the close of the calendar year for which a grant is claimed be sixty-five years of age or over, or his spouse who is residing with him shall be sixty-five years of age or over, at the close of such year, or be fifty years of age or over and the surviving spouse of a renter who at the time of his death had qualified and was entitled to tax relief under this chapter, provided such spouse was domiciled with such renter at the time of his death or (B) at the close of the calendar year for which a grant is claimed be under age sixty-five and eligible in accordance with applicable federal regulations, to receive permanent total disability benefits under Social Security, or if he has not been engaged in employment covered by Social Security and accordingly has not qualified for benefits thereunder but has become qualified for permanent total disability benefits under any federal, state or local government retirement or disability plan, including the Railroad Retirement Act and any government-related teacher's retirement plan, determined by the Secretary of the Office of Policy and Management to contain requirements in respect to qualification for such permanent total disability benefits which are comparable to such requirements under Social Security; (2) shall reside within this state and shall have resided within this state for at least one year or his spouse who is domiciled with him shall have resided within this state for at least one year and shall reside within this state at the time of filing the claim and shall have resided within this state for the period for which claim is made; (3) shall have taxable and nontaxable income, the total of which shall hereinafter be called "qualifying income", during the calendar year preceding the filing of his claim in an amount of not more than twenty thousand dollars, jointly with spouse, if married, and not more than sixteen thousand two hundred dollars if unmarried, provided such maximum amounts of qualifying income shall be subject to adjustment in accordance with subdivision (2) of subsection (a) of section 12-170e, and provided the amount of any Medicaid payments made on behalf of the renter or the spouse of the renter shall not constitute income; and (4) shall not have received financial aid or subsidy from federal, state, county or municipal funds, excluding Social Security receipts, emergency energy assistance under any state program, emergency energy assistance under any federal program, emergency energy assistance under any local program, payments received under the federal Supplemental Security Income Program, payments derived from previous employment, veterans and veterans disability benefits and subsidized housing accommodations, during the calendar year for which a grant is claimed, for payment, directly or indirectly, of rent, electricity, gas, water and fuel applicable to the rented residence. Notwithstanding the provisions of subdivision (4) of this subsection, a renter who receives cash assistance from the Department of Social Services in the calendar year prior to that in which such renter files an application for a grant may be entitled to receive such grant provided the amount of the cash assistance received shall be deducted from the amount of such grant and the difference between the amount of the cash assistance and the amount of the grant is equal to or greater than ten dollars. Funds attributable to such reductions shall be transferred annually from the appropriation to the Office of Policy and Management, for Tax Relief for Elderly Renters, to the Department of Social Services, to the appropriate accounts, following the issuance of such grants. Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (b) of section 12-170aa, the owner of a mobile manufactured home may elect to receive benefits under section 12-170e in lieu of benefits under said section 12-170aa.

Sec. 2. This act shall take effect January 1, 2000.

Approved June 8, 1999

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