Will I get a Homestead Rebate?

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Q. I own my home with my husband. We moved Nov. 4, 2017. My husband is 74 and I am 64 and on Social Security disability benefits since 2015. When will we get the Homestead Rebate?
— Senior

A. Your question is not clear – are you a new homeowner asking about the benefit for your current home, or are you asking about the benefit for a home you sold?

It makes a difference.

First, the basics.

The Homestead Rebate, how to qualify and when benefits are paid has been a source of confusion for years.

The benefit works as a credit on the property tax bills – if you qualify, said Bill Connington of Connington Wealth Management in Fairfield.

He said the average benefit has shrunk to a $473 tax bill credit.

The eligibility criteria are strict.

“You need to be a state resident, your home needs to be the primary residence and you must have paid property taxes on that residence,” Connington said.

Then, the income limits: earnings of $150,000 or less for homeowners who are 65 or over, or blind or disabled, or earnings of $75,000 or less for those under age 65 and not blind or disabled.

Connington said applying is relatively easy as the application is part of the New Jersey 1040 income tax form, or you can file online.

Part of the confusion is over when the rebate is paid out.

You can see the state’s schedule of payments here.

If you sold your home and you’re looking for the benefit attached to that home, here’s what the Division of Taxation has to say:

“If you sell your home before filing your Homestead Benefit application (or you plan to close on the sale before November 30, 2018), you should answer “No” to the question asking whether you still own the property when you file your application (question 7 on the paper application). We will issue your Homestead Benefit by check (or direct deposit).”

We recommend you contact the state to go over your specific situation. You can do that here. 

Email your questions to moc.p1603881985leHye1603881985noMJN1603881985@ksA1603881985.