New York lawmakers approve one-time cash payment to seniors

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Lawmakers in Onondaga County, New York, have passed a resolution to provide a one-time cash payment to certain struggling seniors during a time of high inflation.

The legislation would provide a $200 payment to eligible upstate New York households to elderly residents who meet certain eligibility requirements.

“When we look at the cost of everything else going up, there’s not a lot of flexibility even if they give them a little boost in Social Security,” Democratic lawmaker Peggy Chase told WRVO.

Chase’s resolution, introduced Tuesday in the county legislature, noted that seniors’ fixed income “amid the highest rates of inflation since the 1980s” affects them “disproportionately” in terms of ” ability to maintain a stable and sustainable livelihood within the comfort of their home[.]”

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In order to qualify for the payments, seniors must already be on New York’s enhanced STAR exemption from school property taxes for the next school year. This exemption applies to households earning $60,000 or less, whose owner is at least 65 years old.

The resolution called for $5.5 million to be earmarked for the program.

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Chase Democratic MP Bill Kinne reportedly wanted cash payments to cover low-income families as well. Chase said “it would be nice to give it to everyone”, but “logistically we didn’t figure that out”.

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