Wow! $113 from an old insurance company! Thanks! 😁
I did a search on your “Missing Money” link and found my husband about $58! Nothing for me (rats), but still great for my husband. Thank you!!! – Barbara
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My friends and I have shared various online chats since 2001, but we didn't discover Slack wasn't until 2015. It's now a program I couldn't live without. Goofing off and sharing links throughout the day with each other is so easy, even as we're spread across the globe.
A while back, one of the Slack rooms lit when a buddy of mine found an old link on Reddit about free unclaimed money. The following conversation ensued:
We laughed and my buddy proceeded to call his dad to walk him through claiming his $113. It was only later that it struck me. If one of my good friends didn't know about this page on HIF detailing how to search for unclaimed money, then I bet a ton of readers who haven't been with HIF since Day 1 don't know about it either!
So I decided to dust off this old post and republish it in the hopes that more Hiffers could find some free cash!
Wait, Free Money? What's the Catch?
Long story short, there are a few websites where you can search your name for unclaimed money you're entitled to. This could be money from bank errors, back pay from past jobs or employers, money from stocks, or from a myriad of other ways for money to be owed to you.
And this is serious money we're talking about here. Collectively, all the states hold over $40 billion in unclaimed money, assets, and property! California holds over $9 billion and New York holds over $16 billion. Even little old Connecticut holds close to $876 million.
So where does all this money come from? Well, for starters, the government is a big source. If the government owes you money and you do not collect it, then it's unclaimed. They're not allowed to just keep it! This also applies to private companies. State laws demand companies that owe you or your business money to turn it over to the state after a certain amount of time. This includes banks, credit unions, utilities, employers, and more. It also includes investments like pensions, bonds, or stocks, among other sources.
Many sources of unclaimed money come from deaths as well. It's not uncommon for wills to be outdated, leaving assets to distant relatives with a new names. It's also common for money to be left in you
As you can see, my buddy found $100 for his dad from a tax rebate he was owed from the mid-90s. The most I've ever found for myself was an $8 check from Verizon. But hey, it was something! I know of people who discovered unclaimed property from bank accounts, safe deposit boxes, stock dividends, literal unpaid wages!, tax rebates, insurance payouts, and so many other ways.
Find Unclaimed Money
State Unclaimed Money Forms
All 50 states, plus DC, have a dedicated state website with an official search form. So that should clearly be your first step in searching for unclaimed money and property! I highly recommend searching your last name and business name in every state you've ever lived or worked in. Below are direct links to each state's search form and you can learn more from the National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators.
- Alabama Unclaimed Property
- Alaska Unclaimed Property
- Arizona Unclaimed Property
- Arkansas Unclaimed Property
- California Unclaimed Property
- Colorado Unclaimed Property
- Connecticut Unclaimed Property
- District of Columbia Unclaimed Property
- Delaware Unclaimed Property
- Florida Unclaimed Property
- Georgia Unclaimed Property
- Hawaii Unclaimed Property
- Idaho Unclaimed Property
- Illinois Unclaimed Property
- Indiana Unclaimed Property
- Iowa Unclaimed Property
- Kansas Unclaimed Property
- Kentucky Unclaimed Property
- Louisiana Unclaimed Property
- Maine Unclaimed Property
- Maryland Unclaimed Property
- Massachusetts Unclaimed Property
- Michigan Unclaimed Property
- Minnesota Unclaimed Property
- Mississippi Unclaimed Property
- Missouri Unclaimed Property
- Montana Unclaimed Property
- Nebraska Unclaimed Property
- Nevada Unclaimed Property
- New Hampshire Unclaimed Property
- New Jersey Unclaimed Property
- New Mexico Unclaimed Property
- New York Unclaimed Property
- North Carolina Unclaimed Property
- North Dakota Unclaimed Property
- Ohio Unclaimed Property
- Oklahoma Unclaimed Property
- Oregon Unclaimed Property
- Pennsylvania Unclaimed Property
- Rhode Island Unclaimed Property
- South Carolina Unclaimed Property
- South Dakota Unclaimed Property
- Tennessee Unclaimed Property
- Texas Unclaimed Property
- Utah Unclaimed Property
- Vermont Unclaimed Property
- Virginia Unclaimed Property
- Washington Unclaimed Property
- West Virginia Unclaimed Property
- Wisconsin Unclaimed Property
- Wyoming Unclaimed Property
Your next stop should be this US Government official unclaimed money guide. They breakdown all of the individual sites you can search for unclaimed money.
While the government doesn't have a central website for locating unclaimed money, they do have specific areas to look based on where the money is coming from.
Unclaimed Back Wages
- Unpaid Wages – If you think you may be owed back wages from your employer, search the Wage and Hour Division's (WHD's) database of workers for whom it has money waiting to be claimed. WHD is a part of the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL).
- VA Life Insurance Funds – Search the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) for unclaimed insurance funds that are owed to certain current or former policyholders or their beneficiaries. Note: This does not include funds from Servicemembers' Group Life Insurance (SGLI) or Veterans' Group Life Insurance (VGLI) policies from 1965 to the present.
- Pensions from Former Employers – Search for unclaimed pension money from companies that went out of business or ended a defined plan.
- Tax Refunds – The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) may owe you money if your refund was unclaimed or undelivered.
Banking, Investments, and Currency
- Bank Failures – Search the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) for unclaimed funds from failed financial institutions.
- Credit Union Failures – Find unclaimed deposits from credit unions.
- SEC Claims Funds – The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) lists enforcement cases where a company or person owes investors money.
- FHA-Insurance Refunds – If you had an FHA-insured mortgage, you may be eligible for a refund from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). To search the HUD database, you will need your FHA case number (three digits, a dash, and the next six digits—for example, 051-456789).
- Foreign Claims – U.S. nationals can find money owed to them from foreign governments after loss of property.
Beware Unclaimed Money Scams
Finally, watch out fir people who pretend to be the government and offer to send you unclaimed money for a fee. These scammers use a variety of tricks to get your attention, but their goal is the same: to get you to send them money. Government agencies will not call you about unclaimed money or assets.
- The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) provides tips on how you can avoid government imposter scams.
Just remember: if somebody asks you to pay for “free” money, then it's not free!
With those tips, hopefully some Hiffers can find some free cash floating around out there. Get started with the links above and good luck!