CHICAGO (CBS) — Millions of dollars in property tax refunds will soon be delivered to thousands of Cook County homeowners, because of recent increases in tax benefits.

The Cook County Treasurer’s office said it is issuing a total of $19.5 million in refunds to 53,000 homeowners, due to changes in property tax exemptions that affected bills due this month.

New legislation passed by state lawmakers last year increased existing tax benefits for homeowners and senior citizens, according to the treasurer’s office. For some homeowners, that not only eliminated the taxes they were supposed to pay by Aug. 1, but resulted in a refund of their first installment payments made earlier this year.

Approximately 36,000 homeowners who paid by check or online will get a credit on their bank or credit card accounts by Aug. 15.

Another 15,000 homeowners who paid through a mortgage or escrow account will get a refund check in the mail by Oct. 15.

For 2,000 homeowners who paid their tax bill in cash, a refund application will go out in the mail by Aug. 15 to make sure they can get their refund.

All homeowners entitled to a refund should get a letter from the treasurer’s office by Aug. 9.

To find out if you’re eligible for a refund, enter your address or Property Index Number at the treasurer’s website, under the section “Your Property Overview.”