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How To Claim Unclaimed Money – A new official website makes it easier to report and claim lost property. Sponsored by the Washington State Department of Revenue.
One in two Washingtonians have unclaimed property held by the state. Defined as money or tangible property held by an organization that has lost contact with the owners, unclaimed property is now easier than ever to claim with the State Department of Revenue’s new UCP system. Washington called Claim Your Cash.
How To Claim Unclaimed Money
Patti Wilson from Revenue’s Unclaimed Property Program joins New Day NW to share details on how the system works.
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You may have unclaimed property without even realizing it. In fact, Washington state currently holds over $1.3 billion in unclaimed property.
“Not only does Washington state have an unclaimed property program, but every state in the United States has an unclaimed property program,” said Patti Wilson of the Washington State Department of Revenue. “So if we don’t have money for you, if you’ve lived in another state, you’ll want to check in those states where you’ve lived to see if there’s any unclaimed property.”
Unclaimed property can be things like a final paycheck you forgot to collect, a utility deposit, stock shares or the contents of a safe deposit box. These are reported to the state of the last known residence of the owner after the business has lost contact with that person.
Washington state has returned more than $1.1 billion to rightful owners so far, with the average claim being $250. The Department of Revenue’s new website provides a quick and easy way to find out if you have unclaimed property and then file a claim.
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The new expedited process automatically approves claims that meet certain criteria, allowing most expedited checks to be received in five days or less. The Department of Revenue paid more than 6,000 people who qualified for the expedited process more than $400,000.
“It’s a fun job to have, especially working in the Department of Revenue, people don’t always want to hear from us,” Wilson said. “But our small unit is the place where we make people happy to return their money to them.”
To learn more and find out if you have unclaimed property in Washington state, visit claimyourcash.org.
Segment producer Suzie Wiley. Watch New Day Northwest 11 AM weekdays on KING 5 and live streaming on . Contact the New Day. If you’ve ever been in line at the DMV, you know how ineffective the government’s management of things can be.
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Now, it’s estimated that there are billions of dollars in unclaimed funds across the country, according to the National Association of Unclaimed Money Administrators.
Some of this money could be yours! And just think, with this money, you can pay off expensive credit card debt or finance an important expense.
Most people don’t even know the government owes them money—and even if they do, they’re not sure how to claim it.
There is no central government “unclaimed money” website and anyone who says otherwise is probably trying to scam you.
Unclaimed Money. Here’s How To Claim Money Owed To You
In this helpful guide, we’ll show you exactly what you need to do to find out if there’s unclaimed money or property waiting for you, and how to claim it.
We’ll also give you tips on how to spot a scam involving unclaimed funds so you can protect yourself or your loved ones.
Fortunately, even if you have tried to get rid of unclaimed funds in the past and were unsuccessful, there are now newer and faster ways to get your money back in your hands.
The first step to finding out if you have unclaimed money is to start the location. This means a state-by-state search on Unclaimed.org – a site administered by the National Association of Administrators of Unclaimed Property (NAUPA).
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You must search in the state in which you currently live, as well as in all the states you have lived in before.
You may also want to try searching with your first initial and last name – it doesn’t say how your name appears in different government databases, so it’s a good idea to try several variations of the search.
It is worth noting that some states accept copies of the mentioned documents, while others require the originals, so be sure to check with the specific requirements of your state when submitting your application.
If you are claiming the property on behalf of someone who is still alive but unable to file the claim themselves, you will need documents that prove your authority over them – such as a letter of guardianship or a document that means a proxy.
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If the owner of the unclaimed funds is a minor, you will need a copy of their birth certificate.
If there is more than one claimant to the funds, everyone must provide proof of their respective identity.
If your name has changed from the name listed with the claim, you will need proof of the name change, such as a marriage certificate.
Submitting online may mean you receive your unclaimed funds faster, but even if you complete the forms online, you may still be asked to print and mail them along with proof of your identity.
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The process doesn’t take long, but waiting for the details could take anywhere from two weeks to six months
After submitting or submitting your application form and the required identity verification documents online, the last step is to wait.
It could take as little as two weeks from the time you make your request to receive your money, or it could take up to six months.
You will need a copy of the death certificate if you want to claim unclaimed funds for someone who has died
How To Find State Unclaimed Funds
If the original owner of the funds is deceased, you will need a copy of the death certificate, as well as one of the following items:
If the domain is currently on trial. You need a copy of the certified Letter of Administration or Letters Testamentary.
If the estate has been probated, but the estate itself has been closed. You need a certified copy of the will. All heirs named in the will must submit the application.
You want to provide addresses for all listed heirs. Or if you claim for them, a notarized written disclaimer that gives you permission to claim on their behalf.
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If the estate was not probated, but the deceased person had a will. You will need a copy of the will and may need to complete the Small Estate Affidavit form, depending on the state in which you live.
The Unclaimed.org and MissingMoney.org sites are only intended as a starting point to help you find unclaimed funds.
Fortunately, there are many other places where you can look for other types of unclaimed money. Here are the best places to see:
In the event that your IRS tax refund was delayed or not delivered, the IRS may owe you money.
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To see when and why tax returns are marked undelivered and how to fix that problem, and to see if there are any unclaimed refunds, visit the IRS.gov website.
Although you are not required to file a return, it may be in your best interest to do so if federal taxes were withheld from your paycheck and you qualify for the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC ).
If your salary was below the minimum filing requirement, you may still be able to claim a federal tax refund if you file a return within three years of the original due date.
If you believe that the state in which you live (or have lived before) may have tax refund money that belongs to you, contact your state tax department.
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The United States Government has a specific agency dedicated to pensions – the PBGC or Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation.
If a company goes out of business or terminates a default pension plan, you can search for unclaimed funds for these situations here as well.
The United States Government maintains a site called “Treasury Hunt” that will allow you to search for bonds issued since 1974 that have matured and stopped earning interest.
Although this service is no longer available, clicking on the link above will provide you with the appropriate form and link to file a claim for lost, stolen or destroyed links.
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Conversely, if you want to find the value of your paper savings bond, you can do that too.
You can search the U.S. Department of Labor’s database of workers comp if you believe you are owed back wages by your employer.
The United States Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) maintains a database of unclaimed insurance funds that are or are owed to certain current or former policyholders or their beneficiaries.
However, this does not include funds from SGLI – Service Members’ Group Life Insurance VGLI – Veterans’ Group Insurance Policies from 1965 to present.
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The FDIC (Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation) maintains a database of unclaimed funds from failed banking and financial institutions that you can search.
Like the FDIC for banks, the NCUA or National Credit Union Administration maintains a database of unclaimed deposits from credit union failures.
If a company or individual owes money to investors, the SEC (Securities and Exchange Commission) lists enforcement cases for those funds.
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