Monday, April 8, 2024

See If The Government Owes You Money

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How to Claim “Free” Money the Government Owes You! (No Joke)

Some companies are in the business of helping people get unclaimed money. They charge a fee for their service.

Here’s how they help: They use the Freedom of Information Act to get information on checks that government agencies issue that have not been cashed. If they can match a check in the list they get through FOIA to you, they try to find you and offer to try to collect the money from the agency for you. You pay them a “finder’s fee” for helping you.

Search For Unclaimed Money Held By States

There is no central repository for unclaimed funds, nor is there any true national unclaimed property database. Each state administers its own lost money trust fund.

You must search for unclaimed money in each state where family members have lived or worked, as well as popular corporate domiciles like Delaware.

Check all variations of your name, including maiden and previous married names, middle names, initials, even nicknames and common misspellings. Do the same for deceased family members you may be entitled to an unclaimed inheritance.

Unclaimed property databases online contain only a fraction of accounts actually available for claim, and certain types of unclaimed funds are excluded entirely, including many government checks and refunds.

Unclaimed money owed by federal agencies is not included in state unclaimed property databases. Claims are paid by the issuer.

Last year 2.5 million citizens successfully claimed over $2 billion. The record payout: $6.1 million Act now!

Search To Find Unclaimed Money

Finding out if you are entitled to any unclaimed money really isnt that difficult to do. The truth is that anyone can go online to each state and agency holding funds and search by name to see if they have any unclaimed property out there that belongs to them.

There is complexity because any state you have ever lived in could be holding your money or any agency you have ever done business with could be holding money. And their search tools are often clunky. That is why Inlife Claims has aggregated data across multiple states and has a more intuitive and powerful search engine to help you find unclaimed money. Nonetheless, finding out that you have unclaimed money is the easy part, but retrieving any unclaimed money gets a little more in-depth though.

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How To Find Find Unclaimed Property


You can search for unclaimed property online through the Unclaimed Property Divisions database.

1. In the search form, enter the following:

Your name


You will see if any property matches your information.

2. If you find property that belongs to you, select the entry and click Start Claim.

3. Enter the information requested and submit your claim.

To find unclaimed property by phone, call the Unclaimed Property Division of the Treasurers Office and ask for help conducting your search. You can contact us at the number below:


Claiming The Earned Income Tax Credit

The government owes you money on your tax returns

A deduction is helpful for reducing the taxes you owe, but a tax credit is even better. It subtracts directly from the tax balance you owe, dollar for dollar, whereas a deduction simply reduces the total amount of income that’s subject to tax.

If you are in a low-income household, the Earned Income Credit can help you by paying back some of the tax you already paid, or paying you even though you don’t owe taxes. Whether or not you qualify for this credit is based on your filing status, household income, and the number of child dependents you have.

The maximum credit for filing taxes in 2021 is $6,728. This amount is refundable, which means the IRS will send you the money if you don’t owe taxes or if you owe less than this threshold.

You could be shortchanging yourself out of a sizeable tax refund if you’re eligible and don’t file a return to claim it.

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What Is Unclaimed Money From The Government

Sometimes the government is supposed to send you money. However, for some reason, you dont receive it. For example, if youve moved and your mail wasnt forwarded properly. Or if you failed to pay attention to a notice because you didnt realize that it was about money you were legitimately owed. This becomes unclaimed money. It still rightfully belongs to you. You just have to claim it.

When Is The Deadline To Claim My Money

Most states including Florida, Illinois, New York and Texas do not have a deadline for you to claim your money or property. However, for some items, such as jewelry, coins and stamps or the contents of a safe deposit box, states may auction off the property and then hold the proceeds for the rightful owner to claim. Check with your state to find out if you have a deadline to claim your property and if the state will auction off items after a period of time.

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Alert For Students Who Applied For Canada Emergency Response Benefit

The government introduced proposed measures in the 2021 Fall Economic Statement to provide partial debt relief to students who received, but were not eligible for, the Canada Emergency Response Benefit or the Employment Insurance Emergency Response Benefit . Details will be provided as more information becomes available. No action is required at this time.

Get help with your payment obligations. Find out what to do if you have debt with the Canada Revenue Agency .

Why Are States Able To Hold Onto Unclaimed Money

Yes, The Government Might Owe You âMissing Moneyâ

A business or government office is usually required by state law to attempt to contact the rightful owner of money or property its holding. When theyre unable to locate the rightful owner after a period of time, theyre required to send the unclaimed item to a state-run unclaimed property office. Some states may say the property has been escheated, meaning the item has been transferred to the state. The state office will hold these items until their owner claims them.

In most US states, finding out if you have any unclaimed property is free and easy. Claiming is also free but can be a bit more work, depending on which documents you need to collect and then send to the state to prove that youre the rightful owner.

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Why Does The Government Hold Unclaimed Money

The government must hold onto this unclaimed money for a certain number of years. The money could eventually become part of individual states or the federal budget if certain lawmakers get their way. The way it would work is, the unclaimed money remains in an account for a certain number of years before it is absorbed by the government to use as it wants. With billions of dollars in unclaimed money, you can see how attractive that would be to lawmakers who want to see an end to the unclaimed money problem. The thinking is logical, of course. The money would be much more useful in the hands of Americans who could use the money to help pay bills or to put food on the table.

This is why it is imperative for every American to conduct a free search using This is a search that takes but a moment, but one that could turn out to be quite lucrative for one in eight Americans.

How To Find Out If Your State Owes You Money Or Property

Unclaimed property typically refers to money that has not been claimed for at least a year. This might include unclaimed tax refunds money you have at a financial institution, such as a savings account or money owed to you by a company, such as a deposit on your utility account. Each state has an unclaimed property law that gives instructions about turning forgotten money over to an unclaimed property office. The majority of states will hold onto the funds until the owner is found. In the case of physical property, most states will hold an auction and then hold the proceeds of the sales to be claimed by the owner.

Make a list of all names the property could be registered under. This might include your current first and last names, your first and last names with your full middle name, your first and last names with your middle initial, and, if a woman, your maiden name. Add to the list spelling variations of your first and last names. For instance, if you opened an account over the phone, the person taking the information might have heard Susan instead of Susanne. If your first and last names could both be first names, such as Steven Robert, your first and last name might be transposed.


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How To See If You Have Back Pay To Claim From The Federal Government

There’s a quick and easy process for finding out if there are any unpaid wages you have a right to claim.

1.Head to the DOL’s Workers Owed Wages search tool.

2.In the Search Employer by Name field, enter the company name that may owe you back wages and tap the WOW Search button.

3. If the search tool finds a match, it displays the company name in the results field. Select the company and tap Next.

4.In the next window, enter your first initial and last name and tap Submit. If the tool finds the division is holding unclaimed wages, it will direct you to a DOL office that can verify your information and then send a check for the back pay.

Use Caution When Collecting Unclaimed Money


While its definitely a positive if you can locate and claim money that you had no idea you had, use caution during your search. Help ensure that the experience is as positive as possible by using government and nonprofit websites. Private recovery agencies exist that may offer to assist you in finding cash you didnt know you had, for a price. That price could eat into any money that you manage to collect.

Keep in mind that legitimate recovery websites are free. If someone asks you to pay for the service that is an indication that the company may not be legitimate. You can easily discover how to find money left to you without paying anyone for assistance.

Discovering money that you never knew you had can be a gratifying experience. Armed with the right information and using a little legwork, you may be able to find funds that can help you take care of debt or fill up your emergency savings account. Either way, finding unclaimed money is an exciting and potentially financially fulfilling undertaking.

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What Are Unclaimed Funds

Unclaimed funds are any amount of money or assets that a government office, business or other entity owes that you haven’t collected.You could have unclaimed money from a bankruptcy filing, an old job or even from paying taxes. Examples of unclaimed property include things like cash, checks, security deposits, money orders and the contents of safe deposit boxes.

Typically after you fail to claim your funds, they enter what’s known as a dormancy period, which is the duration of time from when a financial institution reports an unclaimed asset to when the government decides that asset is abandoned.

In most states, the dormancy period lasts five years, and it’s important to claim your funds before that period expires. When this period expires, the state claims ownership of your property. From there, you’ll have to go through a process to claim your funds from your state.

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Claiming the money is straightforward. You just need to prove that the money is yours, and your state will cut you a check. Each state has its own rules about how to prove your identity and claim that money, so make sure you read any rules on the site.

You should be able to claim this money for free and on your own. If someone is asking you to pay a fee for it, proceed with caution. If you do need to go through a third-party service, make sure that you dont pay upfront and dont pay more than 10% to 20% in fees.

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How To Find Unclaimed Money That May Be Owed To You

With more than 26 million people out of work in the past month, a lot of Americans are looking for any extra cash they can find right now. Fortunately, theres an easy way to search for any unclaimed money thats owed to you.

What does it mean to have unclaimed money? When a business or government office owes you money for example, when you have credit at a store that closes, or youre owed a utility deposit that money eventually goes to state-run unclaimed property offices. The money goes unclaimed because no one tells you its there thats why you should periodically search for it. Heres how to check if theres âfreeâ money you can put back in your pocket.

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Other Types Of Lost Money

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Other types of lost money include:

  • old bank, credit union, building society or friendly society accounts,
  • money from de-registered companies,
  • money from compulsory share acquisitions, and
  • unclaimed life insurance policies.

To search for and claim these amounts, contact the Australian Securities & Investments Commission via their MoneySmart website or by calling 1300 300 630.

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File A Complaint With The Us Postal Service

Do you have a complaint, compliment, or suggestion for the U.S. Postal Service ? Maybe youre looking for more information about USPSs services. There are several ways to let them know:

  • Use the USPS websites Email Us form. Select an inquiry type that most closely relates to the complaint or question that you have. On the website, you can also file a claim or request a refund for shipping.

  • Speak to the station manager at a local post office.

  • Contact the district the postal consumer and industry affairs office that handles questions for your district. Find your district consumer office.

  • or write to the U.S. Postal Services Headquarters Consumer Advocate office at:

United States Postal Service

Office of the Consumer Advocate

475 L Enfant Plaza, SW

Washington, D.C. 20260-0004

How Long Does It Take To Process A Claim With My State

Dont expect the claim to be processed quickly. The office of the New York State Comptroller said it can take 90 days to process a claim. Floridas Department of Financial Services also said to expect 90 days for its Division of Unclaimed Property to process a claim. The office of the California State Controller said it may take up to 180 days to return property.

Most states dont have a deadline to claim property or money.

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We Return Unused Funds To The Agencies

We, the Bureau of the Fiscal Service, issue payments on behalf of many federal agencies.

When the Treasury center that issued the payment learns that the payment can’t be delivered or isn’t cashed in the allotted time or is returned for another reason, we cancel the payment and return the money to the relevant agency.

If you are missing a payment, you must go to the agency to have them tell us to issue it again.

How To Check If Government Owes Me Money

How To See If Government Owes You Money

Does your state collect unwanted money that never made it to your mailbox? Heres how to learn.

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About a month ago, I searched my state treasurers office for unwanted money under my name. In every state, you can look up your bad debt on the state treasurers or governors website.

I didnt see the money this time, even though I claimed $13 once. However, you never know how much is out there. Just ask my cousin, Jim.

After exploring Missouri, I traveled to Illinois, where I grew up, and where many of my family members still live. I saw an under $100 result from a credit card company for my deceased grandmother. I then looked at Jim and found five claims, two of which were listed as over $100.

When Jim was at my moms house for dinner one night, we went over his results again and filed the claims. The next day, we got the results and the total in the mail: $3,400. Most of the money came from a retirement plan he had when he worked as a sales manager 15 years ago, before moving to Tennessee for a few years.

National Association Of Unclaimed Property Administrators

That money sat in the state treasurers office for more than a decade as Jim struggled to pay his bills.

If youre lucky, like Jim, you can have money from stocks, and money from three jobs, and money twenty years ago. You will never know until you check. And why dont you? Its easy.

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Unclaimed And Forgotten Funds Are Everywhere

Thomas J Catalano is a CFP and Registered Investment Adviser with the state of South Carolina. He is a CFP, registered investment advisor, and he owns his own financial advisory firm. Thomas experience gives him expertise in a variety of areas including investments, retirement, insurance, and financial planning.

Across the U.S., millions of dollars wait in old bank accounts, forgotten retirement and pension plans, and tax refunds for their legal owners to claim them. Most frequently, money goes unclaimed because of misaddressed mail or checks, or notifications werent forwarded after recipients moved.

Once you know where to look, you also can apply some basic methods for finding missing money and getting that money back. Below, well share 8 places you can look.

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