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How To Find Unclaimed Money from the Government [Complete Guide]

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Unclaimed Money from the Government

Unclaimed property is money owed by a company, government office, or any other source you don’t collect. Unclaimed property could include cash, checks, money order, security deposits, or contents of safe deposit boxes.

Unclaimed money is not accessible on the main website of the federal government. You can hire a company to locate unclaimed funds for you. It is possible to find it yourself using the official databases.

Find Unclaimed Money in Your State

Businesses send money to state-run unclaimed asset offices when they cannot locate the owner. Unclaimed funds are usually from your state government, bank accounts, and insurance policies.

  • Begin your search for unclaimed funds with your state’s unclaimed property officer.
  • Use a multi-state database to search for unclaimed funds. You can search for unclaimed money using your name, even if you have moved to another state.
  • Check out how you can claim your money. Every state has its own rules for how to prove ownership and claim the money.

Find Money from Employers

  • Unpaid wages – If your employer violates labor laws, the Department of Labor (DOL) may recover your wages. Your employer may owe you wages if you believe it.
    • Search DOL’s database for workers with money that is still available. DOL can hold unpaid wages for up to three years.
  • Pensions From Former Employers Search for unclaimed pensions of companies that either:
    • Leaving business
    • End of a defined-pension plan

Find Money from Insurance

  • VA Life Insurance Funds Search the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs database for unclaimed insurance funds.
    • The VA could owe money to former or current policyholders or beneficiaries.
    • The following funds are not included in this database:
      • Servicemembers’ Group Life Insurance – SGLI
      • Policies of Veterans’ Group Insurance (VGLI), starting in 1965 and continuing through the present
  • FHA Insurance Refunds If you have an FHA mortgage insured, you might be eligible for reimbursement. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development issues FHA insurance refunds.
    • You can search the HUD database using your FHA case number. The case number has three digits and a dash. The next six digits are the same, for example, 051-456789.

Find Money from Tax Refunds

  • The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Tax Refunds may owe money if you have yet to claim your refund or it was not delivered.

Find Money from Banking and Investments

  • Bank Failures Search for unclaimed funds at failed financial institutions. They are listed by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC).
  • Credit Union Failed – Locate unclaimed deposits from credit cooperatives.
  • SEC Claims Funds The Securities and Exchange Commission lists enforcement cases where a person or company owes investors money.
  • Savings Bonds – Use TreasuryHunt.gov for matured savings bonds that have ceased earning interest. Learn how to replace or destroy a savings bond.

Find Unclaimed Money from a Bankruptcy

A bankruptcy creditor is anyone who is owed money from a business or person that declares bankruptcy. For various reasons, sometimes the money owed to creditors is not distributed by the bankruptcy court.

  • Find out more about unclaimed bankruptcy funds.
  • Using the U.S. Courts Unclaimed Funds Locator, you can check to see if money is owed.

International Unclaimed Money

Foreign Claims U.S. citizens can locate money owed to them by foreign governments after the loss or destruction of property.

Federal Tax Refund Checks Not Claimed and Undeliverable

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) receives millions in tax refunds every year and is left with unclaimed or undelivered funds.

Undelivered Federal Tax Refund Checks

Refund checks will be mailed to the last known address. You must notify the IRS and the U.S. before you move. The Postal Service (USPS) could return your refund check to IRS.

If you did not receive a federal tax refund but were expecting it, visit the IRS’ Where is My Refund page. Enter your Social Security number and filing status. Also, enter the exact amount of your refund. You may be asked to update your address online.

To check the status of your refund, you can call IRS. It can take a while to speak with someone. You can save time by calling the automated phone system. When you call, follow the prompts.

You must submit an Address Change – Form 8822 to the IRS. An Address Change should be submitted to the USPS.

Unclaimed Federal Tax Refunds

Your federal tax refund will not be claimed if you don’t file your return if you are eligible. Even though you don’t have to file a tax return, it may be beneficial to do so if:

Your wages may have been below the filing deadline, and you might have yet to file a return. You can still file your return within three years from the deadline to receive your refund.

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