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Senior citizens and disabled residents will be getting property tax and rent rebates earlier than expected this year.

While rebates typically begin issuing starting July 1, Gov. Tom Wolf and state Treasurer Joe Torsella authorized the state to begin distributing rebates starting Wednesday, according to a news release.

"This commonsense solution gives thousands of our older and vulnerable residents their rebates early when they need it,” Wolf said. 

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The Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program benefits eligible Pennsylvanians age 65 and older; widows and widowers age 50 and older; and people with disabilities age 18 and older, according to the state Department of Revenue's website

The maximum standard rebate is $650, but supplemental rebates for certain qualifying homeowners can boost rebates to $975.

The time to apply for the rebate program has also been extended this year, with the deadline on Dec. 31. Eligible residents can apply by either calling 1-888-222-9190 or by filling out the necessary paperwork from the state revenue department's website.

Rebates will be processed and distributed on a first-in-first-out basis, meaning some claimants will receive their rebates earlier than others, the release states. 

Eligible residents can check the status of their rebate at the "Where’s My PA Property Tax/Rent Rebate?" tool, also located at the Department of Revenue's website. Alternatively, residents can call 1-888-PATAXES to find out the status. 

More than $255 million in property tax and rent rebates were sent to almost 532,000 homeowners and renters across the state for property taxes and rent paid in 2017, the release states.

— Reach Tina Locurto at tlocurto@yorkdispatch.com or on Twitter at @tina_locurto.

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