The Government Might Owe You Money, Claim It Now Online!

Okay, this one came out of nowhere.  Did you know that in the United States, if a person, organization, or agency owes you money but they are unable to find you, the U.S. government will take that payment and put it in a nice little piggy bank for you?  I sure didn’t, but I found out I had $50 in there, which after a few web clicks, is now on its way to my wallet where it belongs!  I’m serious, everyone; although this might sound a bit far-fetched, this is FOR REAL.  This is not a scam!

Anyway, After going through the process, I figured you groovyReaders would probably want to know about the hidden treasure site.  As mentioned above, I had $50 sitting out there waiting for me!

What is Unclaimed Property?

According to the US Government, Unclaimed Property is:

  • Bank accounts
  • Insurance proceeds
  • Stocks, bonds and mutual funds
  • Safe deposit box contents
  • Utility and phone company deposits
  • Uncashed checks, such as payroll, insurance payments, or travelers checks

Unclaimed property does not include real estate, vehicles, and most other physical property.

So now that we know WHAT unclaimed property is, let’s find out if you have any!

How to Search for and Receive Unclaimed Property in Your Name

Step 1 – Find Your State’s Unclaimed Property Administration Website

In your internet browser, go to and Select your State.  I guess it also works for some Canadian provinces and even Puerto Rico.

naupa unclaimed property administration

For me, here in WA, it was  Depending on what state you are in, the websites can vary, and the interface may be different; this step-by-step how-to is just to walk you through and give you a general idea of how it works. unclaimed property

Step 2 – Enter Your Name

On the first page you visit, you should be prompted for your First and Last Name, or Business Name, or Reference Number.  If you have more than one of these you’ll need to do each one separately, but to keep it simple, we’ll go over using a First and Last name.  Once entered, Click Search.

search for unclaimed property

Step 3 – Look for Claim Packages

On the side menu Click Your Claim Packages. Once that page loads, Click Look for More.

find unclaimed property packages

Step 4 – Find Claim Packages

If the system finds a claim package in the system for you, it will ask you to truthfully answer a questionnaire.  The questionnaire for me was only one question, so it was rather simple.  Answer the question and then Click Next.

answer the unclaimed property questionnaire

Step 5 – Provide Proof

The system will ask you to provide proof that you are who you say you are.  There are 2 options here.  First, you can electronically provide proof by attaching the file, document, or PDF that contains the proof.  Secondly, you can just snail mail it to them.  Of course, being the groovy geek that I am, I didn’t bother with the snail mail option; electronically, it is!  All I did was attach my Property Tax form that I had to fill out every year as the owner of the property.

file your property claim electronically

Step 6 – Print or Save Your Proof Submission Receipt

As soon as you submit your proof, you’ll be brought to a page that gives you a reference number and is basically a receipt for your submission.  It is a really good idea to print or save this page for your records; you never know if someone at the Unclaimed Property Administration will *accidentally* lose your information.

reference number for unclaimed property

Step 7 – Enter Your Mailing Address

Your State’s Unclaimed Property organization will mail you a check, but they need to know where to send it.  Enter your mailing address and Click Next.

enter your address where you would like to recieve your chcek

Step 8 – Print or Save Confirmation Your Claim Package Was Received

After you finish submitting all of the required information, your claim status will change to Received.  Again, when you see this page, it is a good idea to print or save this page for your own personal records.

print confirmation page

All Done!

Now you need to wait 60 days for processing –it sure feels a lot like a mail-in-rebate, eh?  After the claim has been processed, they will either mail you a check or contact you, but I say you should keep an eye on it in case they get sloppy.  I submitted my request in early August, and I’m STILL waiting.  I will keep you updated when I get it!

How much cash does the government owe you?  Post your “winnings” below!  I would love to know how much cash is waiting out there for all you groovyReaders to claim!



  1. I'm-a-Taco

    August 30, 2010 at 6:35 am

    None for me, but I put my mother’s name in there and she has $150+ sitting around, now I just need to get her to read this.

    • shockersh

      August 30, 2010 at 8:02 am

      Still reading article…

  2. Tod Meckel

    June 14, 2011 at 11:47 pm

    As I have stated, this is a organization tool. It’s not just a miracle apparatus. It could without difficulty turn into yet another expense if you don’t put the effort and time into learning how to take advantage of it.

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