More Than 310,000 Pennsylvanians Receive Rebates Early to Provide Support During COVID-19 Pandemic
July 01, 2020
Governor Tom Wolf and Treasurer Joe Torsella today announced more than 310,000 Pennsylvanians have received their rebates early through the Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program, which provides support to older homeowners, renters and people with disabilities.
Governor Wolf called on the Department of Revenue, the agency that administers the Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program, to work with the Treasury Department to issue rebates before July 1. Today is typically the earliest day that rebates can be issued under Pennsylvania law. However, the signing in May of Act 20 of 2020 allowed rebates on property taxes or rent paid in 2019 to be issued earlier than normal to provide financial support to eligible Pennsylvanians during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“These rebates on property taxes and rent have added importance this year, because they have provided support to our older and vulnerable residents at a time when they may need it most,” said Gov. Wolf. “I thank Treasurer Torsella and the department for distributing the rebates earlier than normal. We will keep that hard work going in the coming weeks so that we continue delivering rebates to older Pennsylvanians and others who benefit from this program.”
“Treasury has worked tirelessly knowing how important each rebate is to so many Pennsylvanians during what is an already difficult time,” said Treasurer Torsella. “Nearly $162 million in payments have been distributed a month and a half ahead of the usual July 1 start date. Treasury is grateful to the General Assembly for the swift action to help this coordinated effort and will continue to work closely with the governor’s administration to process rebate payments making sure those that benefit from the PTRR program receive them quickly.”
Revenue and Treasury officials are also reminding claimants of the Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program that the process for distributing rebates is different than in prior years. Although 311,785 rebates have been issued, there are still claims that are being processed.
The claims will be processed on a first-in-first-out basis, meaning some claimants will receive their rebates earlier than others. This process is different than in prior years, when there was a large distribution of rebates on July 1 that accounted for the vast majority of rebates that were issued in a given claim year.
It’s free to apply for a rebate, and claimants who need help with their application forms should know that free assistance is available at locations across the state, including Department of Revenue district offices, local Area Agencies on Aging, senior centers and state legislators’ offices. Claimants are encouraged to call ahead to make sure that the location they plan to visit has resumed operations. Additionally, the Department of Revenue is asking claimants who plan to visit the department’s district offices to call ahead to make an appointment. Check the department’s COVID-19 information page for updates and contact information.
“We recognize that many people who benefit from this program have been staying at home while the locations where they typically go for assistance with their applications have been closed,” Revenue Secretary Dan Hassell said. “We want claimants to know that we are here to help them file their application forms, whether that is over the phone or at one of our district offices.”
Steps to Follow if You Haven’t Submitted Your Application
For eligible applicants who have yet to file their Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program application, the Department of Revenue is offering help for those who need it. Eligible claimants are encouraged to call 717-772-9236 for guidance. Please keep in mind that department staff will work as quickly as possible to help claimants with their applications.
The Department of Revenue website has the Property Tax/Rent Rebate claim form (PA-1000) and related information.
Tips for Checking the Status of Your Rebate
Applicants who included their bank account information on their Property Tax/Rent Rebate application form (PA-1000) will receive their rebates through direct deposit. Applicants who requested a paper check to be mailed to them should expect to receive their payment in the mail.
The Department of Revenue is encouraging claimants of the Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program to use online tools and other automated resources to check the status of their rebates or ask a question.
- Claimants who already applied for rebates may use the Where’s My PA Property Tax/Rent Rebate? tool to check the status of their rebate. You will need your Social Security number, claim year and date of birth to use this tool.
- Call 1-888-PATAXES to check the status of your rebate. This automated toll-free service is available 24 hours a day. You will need your Social Security number, date of birth and the anticipated amount of your rebate to use this service.
- Claimants who included their phone number on their Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program application form (PA-1000) will receive automated calls from the Department of Revenue updating them on the status of their claim. Claimants should know that these automated phone calls require no further action. They will not be asked to key in any numbers or to provide any additional information.
- Claimants can visit the department’s Online Customer Service Center to find helpful tips and answers to commonly asked questions about the Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program. The Online Customer Service Center also allows you to submit a question to a Department of Revenue representative through a secure process that is similar to sending an email.
About the Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program
The rebate program benefits eligible Pennsylvanians age 65 and older; widows and widowers age 50 and older; and people with disabilities age 18 and older. The income limit is $35,000 a year for homeowners and $15,000 annually for renters, and half of Social Security income is excluded. It is free to apply for a rebate.
The maximum standard rebate is $650, but supplemental rebates for certain qualifying homeowners can boost rebates to $975. The Department of Revenue automatically calculates supplemental rebates for qualifying homeowners.
Since the Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program’s 1971 inception, older and disabled adults have received more than $6.9 billion in property tax and rent relief. The program is funded by the Pennsylvania Lottery and revenue from slots gaming.