In today’s First District Connection I have information for you about:
- Open enrollment for health care;
- Philadelphia’s Benefit Centers; and
- Property tax and rent rebate program changes.
Also, I’m pleased to tell you that last week the Senate Democratic Caucus elected me to be their new secretary. It will be an honor to serve on the team and I’m looking forward to helping Gov.-elect Tom Wolf and Lt. Gov.-elect Mike Stack once they take office. The secretary is charged with guiding the executive nominations that come before the Senate for consideration.
Please have a good week and, as always, let me know if you need anything. You can call my district office at 215-952-3121, e-mail me at email@example.com, or visit 1802 S. Broad St., Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Sen. Larry Farnese
Open Enrollment: It’s time
The open enrollment period for 2015 health care coverage has begun and will run through Feb. 15. If you don’t enroll you won’t be able to buy health coverage for 2015 on the marketplace until the next open enrollment period, and you may have to pay a penalty. If you’re enrolled in a 2014 marketplace plan, your benefit year ends this Dec. 31. To continue health coverage in 2015, you can renew your current health plan or choose a new plan.
The Fairmont Primary Care Center is available to help you. Contact one of their certified application counselors at 215-684-5370 to get started.
Apply for LIHEAP
The Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) has begun accepting applications, so apply now. My staff and I are ready to help you fill out your application and this year’s eligibility requirements are as follows:
For each additional person in the home add $6,090.
Call us at 215-952-3121 for more information. You can also call Pennsylvania’s LIHEAP hotline at 866-857-7095 (individuals with hearing impairments can call the TDD number at 1-800-451-5886).
Take Advantage of Philadelphia’s Benefit Centers
The City of Philadelphia’s six BenePhilly Centers can help you access:
- Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP);
- Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF);
- Health insurance like CHIP, Medicaid and Medicare;
- Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP);
- Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC);
- Child Care Tax Credit; and
- State and city property tax credits, including the Homestead Exemption.
The BenePhilly Centers are located:
- Catholic Social Services, Casa Del Carmen, 4400 N. Reese St.;
- People’s Emergency Center, in the Families First building, 3939 Warren St.;
- Philadelphia FIGHT, 1233 Locust St.;
- Project HOME, 1515 Fairmount Ave.;
- Utilities Emergency Services Fund, 1617 JFK Blvd., Suite 840; and
- United Communities Southeast Philadelphia, in the Houston Center, 2029 S. 8th St.
The BenePhilly Centers also provide benefits screenings and referrals for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC), Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Unemployment Insurance (UI).
Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program Income Guidelines Increased
The income eligibility guidelines for Pennsylvania’s Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program have increased. Any homeowner who receives Social Security, was paid a property tax rebate in 2013 for claim year 2012 and had annual income up to $35,298 last year should apply for a rebate for claim year 2013. Also, renters who receive Social Security, were paid a rent rebate in 2013 for claim year 2012, and had annual incomes last year up to $15,128 should apply, too.
The deadline to apply for a rebate on property taxes or rent paid in 2013 is Dec. 31. Property Tax/Rent Rebate claim forms (PA-1000) and related information are available at my district office or at www.revenue.state.pa.us.
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