City Cast

How to Claim Your Unclaimed Money

Kaela Cote-Stemmermann
Kaela Cote-Stemmermann
Posted on June 5   |   Updated on July 7
Every penny counts! (Israel Sebastian/Getty Images)

Every penny counts! (Israel Sebastian/Getty Images)

You might have some cash lying around you don’t even know about! Unclaimed property is turned over to the state annually from businesses or government offices when they owe you money but can’t get in contact with you. That can include payroll checks, safe deposit boxes, uncashed checks, refunds, or any other form of money that is technically yours, and you just need to claim it.

How do you claim it?

To check if you have unclaimed property, go to the appropriate state's site and enter your name and ZIP code into the search page. You can also search for your family members or a business. Since new properties are added weekly, it’s worth regularly checking. Try different spellings and old addresses as well.

How much money is out there?

A lot! In 2022, D.C. returned $27 million in unclaimed property to its rightful owners. Over the years, Virginia has returned over $1 billion.

How long does it take?

You can seek your unclaimed property even decades after it was turned over to the government. Once you file a claim, it can take anywhere from six weeks to three months to process it.

Anything else?

Check to see if you have unclaimed properties in other states you’ve lived in.

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