PENNSYLVANIA (WHTM) — “Where did that money come from?” — that’s what some Pennsylvanians are asking after receiving unexpected money labeled “PA Refund” in their bank accounts.
Some people were concerned this was a scam, but it’s not. It’s a one-time bonus rebate from the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue that affects more than 400,000 Pennsylvanians.
Last week, the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue started issuing direct deposit bonus rebates. The recipients were approved for a rebate on property taxes or rent paid in 2021. That rebate program, which has been around since the early ’70s, benefits eligible Pennsylvanians ages 65 and older, widows and widowers ages 50 and older, and people with disabilities ages 18 and older.
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This one-time bonus rebate will be 70% of the recipients’ original rebate. For example, the Department of Revenue says the maximum standard rebate for a lot of people is $650, so those people would get an additional $455 this year.
So why are people getting this bonus rebate? Gov. Tom Wolf proposed using $140 million in funding from the American Rescue Plan Act.
“This is, in fact, legitimate. The government is making these payments. It’s meant to provide extra relief to people who are still recovering from the pandemic,” said Pennsylvania Department of Revenue Spokesperson Jeffrey Johnson.
Those who qualify for the rent or property tax rebates can still apply — the deadline has been extended to Dec. 31. The best way to apply is online on the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue’s website.
Individuals who already received their original rebates will automatically receive this one-time bonus payment; no new application is required.
The bonus rebates are also being issued by check for those who received their original rebate by check.
The Pennsylvania Department of Revenue is sending claimants letters in the mail to explain that they will be receiving the one-time bonus rebates. The letters will break down their original rebate amount plus the amount of the bonus rebate.