Is the state of Ohio holding your money — possibly thousands of dollars — and you don't know about it?
Here's how you check if you have any of the billions in missing money, and if you do, how to claim them.
What are unclaimed funds?
Unclaimed funds are lost or forgotten money that businesses and banks report to the Ohio Department of Commerce’s Division of Unclaimed Funds after accounts become inactive, typically 3-5 years. The money comes from inactive checking and savings accounts, refund/credit balances, uncashed cashier’s checks, stocks and bonds, forgotten utility deposits or last paychecks.
The state of Ohio tries to return funds to their rightful owners through a variety of means.
The division currently safeguards more than $3.9 billion in unclaimed funds, and the average claim is $4,000, according to the division.
How do I check to see if the state has missing money belonging to me?
A page on the Ohio Department of Commerce's Division of Unclaimed Funds website explains how you can search to see if you have unclaimed funds, claim them and submit a formal claim form to obtain the funds.
Residents can go to missingmoney.com to search if they have any unclaimed funds.
The division also posts legal ads annually in newspapers across the state listing the names of people, businesses and entities in those publications' circulation areas who have unclaimed funds.
In addition, the division also sets up kiosks at various events across the state, such as the Ohio State Fair, where people can stop by and receive help to see if they have unclaimed funds.
I have unclaimed funds. How do I get them?
First, you will need to fill out a claim form. Depending on the type of funds that the state is holding, you may be required to provide proof of address, proof of identification, a social security number or a W9 tax form. You may also need the claim notarized if it is over $1,000.
People claiming funds can upload their forms on a division webpage to submit the claim form and supporting documents on the division website, or people can also choose to mail them to its Columbus office.
Claims can take up to 120 days for review, and if claims and do not provide the necessary forms, it could delay or potentially stop the process.
You can also check the status of your claim on the division webpage.
This article originally appeared on The Columbus Dispatch: Ohio unclaimed funds: How to check, claim your missing money