EDWARDSVILLE — A change made in 2012 is causing some low-income seniors to pay more to renew their license plates.
Changes made in the Circuit Breaker program in 2012 eliminated the Illinois Cares Rx and Circuit Breaker property tax relief program because of funding issues. Some benefits continued, including free transit rides and discounted license plates for eligible seniors. The problem — seniors have to apply for these through the Benefit Access Program through the Department of Aging.
“Most seniors are not aware of the change until they try to renew their license plates and are told their benefits have expired,” Edwardsville Township Supervisor Frank Miles said. “This means paying $101 to renew their plates versus the $24 they had been paying.”
Since 2007, Edwardsville Township has been assisting seniors with applications for the Circuit Breaker and now the Benefit Access Program.
“It’s another great service we provide to residents of the township,” Miles said.
To qualify, a person must live in Illinois and be 65 or older or 16 or older and totally disabled. A single person’s income must be less than $27,610 a year to qualify for discounted plates and less than $36,635 for a couple. Benefits are good for two years.
Applications are made by appointment only and the following documentation is required — income statement from the previous year (1040, SSA-1099) and a Medicare card. Appointments can be made by calling (618) 656-0292. Questions about the program can be directed to Christine Doty, community outreach representative at Edwardsville Township.
Edwardsville Township includes the city of Edwardsville, village of Glen Carbon and unincorporated areas just outside of these two municipalities. The Township Supervisor’s office is located at 300 West Park in Edwardsville and is open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Monday and Friday and 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.
For information, visit www.edwardsvilletownship.com or contact the Township Offices at (618) 656-0292.