A whopping $58 billion from forgotten payments, funds, or lottery winnings goes unclaimed every year! Here are easy ways to find unclaimed money you may be due from…
The Federal Government
Over $1 billion in tax refunds from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) goes unclaimed annually. Some never made it to taxpayers due to errors, like an incorrect mailing address. Others are from years when folks simply forgot to file a return.
To find out if any of it is yours, visit IRS.gov/refunds, advises IRS spokesperson Stacy Engle. Missing a “stimulus” payment? Log on to IRS.gov/coronavirus/get-my-payment. Input your information into the secure site and you’ll be alerted if you’re due a payment and how to get it.
Scour your home, car, and purse for old lottery games you may have forgotten about. Yours could be a winner of one of the nearly $3 billion in prizes that have gone unclaimed — some of them worth millions.
“To find out if your lottery ticket won, visit your state’s lottery website, head to a lottery ticket-selling location or download your state’s lottery app and scan the ticket,” advises Gretchen Corbin, president of the North American Association of State and Provincial Lotteries. But act fast: You usually have six months to one year from the date of the drawing to claim your prize.
Your State Treasury
“If the owner of forgotten bank accounts, safe deposit boxes, life insurance payouts, and utility deposits can’t be found, any money is transferred to the state treasury until it’s claimed,” says Dave Young of the National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators.
Visit Unclaimed.org to see if any may be yours. Input your current name and state, as well as variations, like your maiden name and other places you’ve lived, since many states hold on to funds for years. If funds are found, you’ll be given a link to forms to retrieve them.
Class Action Lawsuits
You could be due a check if you paid for a product or service (like insurance, cereal or an appliance) involved in a class action lawsuit. These are filed on behalf of consumers when there’s a problem, such as a misleading ad. Once the company reaches a settlement, they’re ordered to pay their customers back. Sometimes you’ll be notified via email or mail. But most times you have to hunt down these payments.
To find them, search the database at ClassAction.org/settlements. If you spot an item on the list that you’ve bought, follow the instructions for getting your check.
A version of this article originally appeared in our print magazine, Woman’s World.