Strapped for Cash? Check to See If You’re Owed Unclaimed Money

Strapped for Cash? Check to See If You’re Owed Unclaimed Money

( – Cash is vital for all aspects of life in this day and age. Unfortunately, many lose track of their funds and are owed money they don’t know about. In fact, 1 in 10 people has money just waiting to be claimed. So, how does one know if they’re on the list, and where can this cash be found?

What Exactly is Unclaimed Money?

Even the most money-conscious people can lose track of where their funds are, especially when they have multiple accounts set up. Money held in these accounts can get lost in the system after a period of inactivity. Most institutions, such as banks and credit unions, have what’s called a ‘dormancy period,’ generally one year in length. After this time, these funds become inaccessible as the institution cannot determine who the owner is or if they’re even alive.

What Types of Unclaimed Money Are Out There?

Forgotten accounts are one form of unclaimed money, however, they’re not the only type out there. Unpaid wages, uncashed checks, overpayments, missing tax returns, and insurance benefits also make the list.

How to Claim Your Money

Unfortunately, getting unclaimed cash isn’t always easy. For starters, unclaimed property is reported to the state government where the company that owes the money is located, making it common for these funds to be in several locations. The National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators (NAUPA) has made it much easier to search for missing money though. NAUPA’s website,, provides links to the unclaimed property programs of all 50 states.

The process from there varies a bit from state to state, notably more so for locations an individual no longer resides in, but the basic principle is generally the same. Begin by entering your name, maiden name (if applicable), tax ID, or business name in the search engine of the state where the unclaimed property is suspected to be.

If results show, one must file a claim with the state to access the property. While this too varies from one state to the next, it usually involves providing proof of ownership and identity. This process has restored roughly $3 billion back to its rightful owners.

Even when times are good and the economy isn’t floundering like a dying fish, getting an extra payday of money that should already be in your pocket is nothing to scoff at. After all, money makes the world go round.

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