November 20, 2017
Unclaimed Money: Nine Ways The Government Might Owe You Cash

The government might have unclaimed money with your name on it. There are nine main ways the government might owe you cash and you may have no idea that you're entitled to it. Over the course of a life, people open bank accounts, purchase insurance policies, pay taxes, get jobs, and pay into retirement programs. When people make life changes such as move, change jobs, or even switch banks, they might be entitled to money that they never claim. A person could leave a trail of unclaimed money over the years.

This is also the case with tax refunds, as some people might file their taxes incorrectly or simply not claim their refund at all. It happens quite frequently and every U.S. citizen should be aware that they might have money out there floating around in the mysterious government universe, and with the correct paperwork and protocol, you can get your unclaimed money back in your pocket where it belongs. Before searching government websites and databases for unclaimed money you might be entitled to, you might want to read the FTC pamphlet "Government Imposter Scams."

Every state has a division of the National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators (NAUPA). NAUPA focuses on property that has yet to be transferred to its rightful owner. You can access the website and begin your search by state or province. Keep in mind that there are many fraudulent scams that want to target people looking for unclaimed money or properties. NAUPA provides numerous resources, as applicable, to warn people nationwide about unclaimed money scams that target states. You can find more information about refund and recovery scams at the Federal Trade Commission's website. Visit the official Missing Money site in order to search through a database of unclaimed money, property, and assets. The Missing Money website is a legitimate resource recommended by NAUPA.
Many people in the United States would work at jobs and regularly contributed to a future pension fund. When people change jobs, they are often owed that money back, but it remains unclaimed. You can search the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) can help you identify any lost and unclaimed money in pensions you might be entitled to.

Unclaimed tax refunds remains one of the most popular ways U.S. citizens lose money each year. In addition to unclaimed refunds, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) sees its fair share of undeliverable refunds as well. If someone moved and the IRS didn't have the correct address, that refund check is classified as undeliverable. You can visit the IRS site and find out if you have unclaimed money waiting to be collected.

The United States Department of Labor (DOL) keeps unpaid and unclaimed back wages for many workers in the United States. If you left a job and believe you are owed money, check with the DOL's Workers Owed Wages search tool.

Those who might have savings bonds they lost track of can search the U.S. Treasury with their Treasury Hunt tool. Treasury Hunt allows you to search for savings bonds issued since 1974. You might even have bonds issued to relatives that you can claim. Check the Treasury and see if you have unclaimed money in the forms of savings bonds.

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs provides an unclaimed funds search for veterans and their spouses who are owed money for various life insurance policies. The funds were often classified as undeliverable and may still be claimed by their rightful owners. You can check the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and see if you are missing money through the search tool provided on the site.

Those who had FHA-insured mortgages during the housing collapse might be owed a refund. You can check the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and see if you have an unclaimed refund waiting to claim.

If you had money deposited in an FDIC bank during the time when financial institutions failed, you might have unclaimed money waiting to be claimed. You'll need the name of the failed bank and the city and state where your money was located. You can access the FDIC search tool for failed institutions and refunds here. You can also search the FDIC for unclaimed property by state.

The National Credit Union Association provides a search tool for those who have unclaimed funds due to the liquidation of credit unions. Sometimes people invest in companies, the companies fail and the investors are owed money. You can search the Securities and Exchange Commission website for unclaimed funds and information regarding any pertinent class action lawsuits.

The U.S. Department of the Treasury's Bureau of Fiscal Service provides a tool for U.S. nationals who might have unclaimed funds due to loss of property overseas. If you believe you are owed money from a foreign government, check with the Bureau of Fiscal Service's search tool.

There are many ways the government might owe you money. Are you going to check these sites for unclaimed funds?

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