Help Available To Ocean County Seniors Applying For State Anchor Program

With information and applications arriving by U.S. mail or email, Ocean County wants to make sure its senior residents have help available in filling out the state ANCHOR program application should they need it.

“Our Office of Senior Services can help seniors at any one of three convenient locations for assistance completing the paperwork for the new ANCHOR program which provides property tax relief to New Jersey residents who owned or rented their principal residence on Oct. 1, 2019 and met certain income limits,” said Ocean County Commissioner Joseph H. Vicari, chairman of the Ocean County Office of Senior Services. “We want to reach out to as many seniors as possible to let them know not only about the program but that we can help with applications and information.”

The office staff can help with information but the application must be filled out by the homeowner or renter.

Seniors can contact any one of the Ocean County Office of Senior Services locations to schedule an appointment for help. The offices are located at the County Connection at the Ocean County Mall, Toms River, at 1027 Hooper Ave., Building 2 Toms River and the Ocean County Southern Service Center, 179 South Main St., Manahawkin. Seniors can also call the office at 732-929-2091.

The Affordable New Jersey Communities for Homeowners and Renters (ANCHOR) Program application deadline is Dec. 30. ANCHOR benefits will be paid by the state starting in the late spring of 2023. The ANCHOR replaces the Homestead Benefit program.

“While this program is open to property owners and renters of all ages, we want to make sure our seniors are not confused by this new program with any other property relief benefit like the Senior Freeze Program they may be receiving,” Vicari said. “We are prepared to answer their questions.”

He also cautioned residents not to throw out the application when it comes in the mail thinking it might be an advertisement.

According to the state, homeowners with incomes of $150,000 or less will receive $1,500 under this program; homeowners with incomes of more than $150,000 and up to $250,000 will receive $1,000 and renters with incomes of $150,000 or less will receive $450 under the program.

Eligible homeowners can apply online, by phone or upload or mail a paper application and necessary attachments using the state’s electronic filing systems. Renters have all the same options to apply accept for by phone.

The state has set up an ANCHOR hotline for assistance: 1-888-238-1233.

“The Ocean County Office of Senior Services staff works tirelessly to help the elderly living in the County,” said Director of the Ocean County Board of Commissioners John P. Kelly. “With 200,000 seniors calling Ocean County home, many are on fixed incomes including just Social Security. We want to make certain they apply for all property tax relief programs available to them.”

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