How to claim your unclaimed money

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How to claim your unclaimed money

What can you expect after you find unclaimed money? We've broken down the process for you, so you know how to move forward to claim your money.

By Melanie Lockert

You've found unclaimed money — congrats! Feeling a bit richer already? Although you probably feel great right now after finding missing money, you still need to take steps to claim your property from the state and get it into your hands.

Read on to learn exactly what the steps are to claim money in your name. Note that if you are claiming money for your business or a deceased relative, the steps may differ.

Step 1: Go to the right website.

When it comes to claiming unclaimed money, the process can vary by state. In other words, there's no one-size-fits-all solution to getting your money. Even so, the first step to claiming your money is to go to the appropriate website.

The good news is that when you start your search for money using Credit Karma Unclaimed Money, we automatically point you in the right direction. Credit Karma will direct you to the applicable state's treasury or state controller's website, which is where you typically start the claims process to get your unclaimed money back.

For example, if you select California, you'll get referred to the California State Controller's Office's website where you can claim your unclaimed property.

Step 2: Get your documents in order.

If you've found missing money in your name and want to claim it, you'll need to verify your identity.

The requirements may vary by state, but some documents you need may include the following:

  • A state-issued I.D., like a driver's license.
  • Proof of Social Security number, such as a copy of your Social Security card or IRS Form W-2.
  • Proof of the address associated with the property you're claiming, such as a utility bill.
  • Proof of your current address

These documents help verify your full name and address to confirm you're the rightful owner of the missing money. Some states will accept copies of documentation, while other states will require originals.

Step 3: File a claim.

Once you've gone to the right website and have your documents ready, it's time for the fun part: Filing a claim so you can get your missing money.

The first step is to carefully read the claim instructions on your state-specific site. Some states don't allow for electronic submissions, whereas some allow you to file online if you meet certain conditions.

For example, residents of California can file online if the amount is less than $5,000 and they are the sole owner of the missing money. If the unclaimed money is owned by multiple parties, each owner needs to sign a Claim Affirmation Form and the money will be split among the parties.

If you can't file online, you'll need to mail a claim form along with additional documentation to verify your identity.

In some cases, if you're owed more than $1,000 and can't file online, you may need to print the claim form and get it notarized. Pro tip: Check with your bank; they may notarize it for free.

You then need to mail the form to the address specified in your state's claim instructions.

Here's a quick chart on how each state accepts claim forms:

Claims methods by state: Mail or online
Note: If you submit online, you may receive your funds faster. However, not every state allows you to submit a claim online. Even if you can fill out the claim forms online, you may need to send those forms and other documentation by mail.

StateClaims Method
Alabama mail claim form
Alaska accepts online claims
Arizona mail claim form
Californiaaccepts some online claims
Colorado mail claim form
Connecticutmail claim form
Delawareaccepts online claims
Floridamail claim form
Georgiaaccepts online claims
Hawaiimail claim form
Idahoaccepts online claims
Illinoismail claim form
Indianamail claim form
Iowa accepts online claims
Kansasmail claim form
Kentuckymail claim form
Louisianamail claim form
Mainemail claim form
Marylandmail claim form
Massachusettsmail claim form
Michiganmail claim form
Minnesotaaccepts online claims
Mississippimail claim form
Missouriaccepts online claims
Montanaaccepts online claims
Nebraskaaccepts some online claims
Nevadamail claim form
New Hampshiremail claim form
New Jersey accepts online claims
New Mexico mail claim form
New York accepts online claims
North Carolina mail claim form
North Dakota mail claim form
Ohio mail claim form
Oklahomamail claim form
Oregonmail claim form
Pennsylvaniamail claim form
Rhode Islandaccepts online claims
South Carolinamail claim form
South Dakotaaccepts online claims
Tennesseemail claim form
Texasmail claim form
Utahmail claim form
Vermontmail claim form
Virginiamail claim form
Washingtonaccepts online claims
Washington D.C. mail claim form
West Virginiaaccepts online claims
Wisconsinmail claim form
Wyoming mail claim form

Step 4: Wait for your check.

Once you found missing money and submitted your documentation either online or via snail mail, you must now wait for your check to arrive.

Unfortunately, this can vary widely by state. It can take two weeks from the date you filed your claim, or more than six months in some cases. Sometimes, you may not know how much you're getting back.

Amy Oztan, writer at, applied for unclaimed money through New York State and got a pleasant surprise.

"The way the (New York) claims work, I didn't actually know what we were getting until the checks arrived," she says. "I assumed they would be very small, but we got three checks totaling almost $900!"

Oztan says the process was easy. "The claim forms asked some basic questions to prove our identities, and that was pretty much it," she says. "About 10 days later the checks all showed up. It really couldn't have been simpler."

Bottom line

If you are eligible for unclaimed money, be sure to follow the instructions provided by your state and submit relevant documentation. Depending on your claim and the specific state, it may be processed in a short time — or could take a while longer.

Whatever the case may be, it will be good to get your money back from the state — and back in your pocket.

About the Author: Melanie Lockert is a freelance writer and event planner currently living in Los Angeles. She is the author of Dear Debt: A Story About Breaking Up With Debt. She has been featured on Oprah, Huffington Post, Business Insider, The Globe and Mail and more.

Editorial Note: The opinions you read here come from our editorial team. While compensation may affect which companies we write about and products we review, our marketing partners don't review, approve or endorse our editorial content. Our content is accurate (to the best of our knowledge) when we initially post it, but we don't guarantee the accuracy or completeness of the information provided. You can visit the company's website to get complete details about a product. See an error in an article? Use this form to report it to our editorial team. For questions about your Credit Karma account, please submit a help request to our support team.

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All Comments

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1 Contribution
1 Person Helped

Helpful to 1 out of 1 people

Everytime I click on the link for my state it comes up blank. Can't find site anywhere. can you tell me the site so i can just type it in. I am in NC.

1 Contribution
0 People Helped

I saw on my account that I have unclaimed money but when it directed me to the Ga. website it said there is nothing. What is that about?

1 Contribution
0 People Helped

I would encourage everyone to do this. I had 5 properties totaling well over 2,000.00.  A year later there is another property listed. I am patiently waiting as MD doesn't give any up front details.

1 Contribution
0 People Helped

What r the steps or form needed for un-claims money.  Please advise. Thanks GM

1 Contribution
0 People Helped

Be very certain you are at the right site! it should at the end of the URL, and be the official site of your state Controller or Treasurer. You will be entering very sensitive personal identification information - the wrong site will have everything they need to run off with your life for ID Fraud.

2 Contributions
0 People Helped

Helpful to 0 out of 1 people

I saw on my account that I have unclaimed money from Sprint, are you sure, how can I know for sure and claim it?

1 Contribution
0 People Helped

Helpful to 0 out of 2 people

Well thanks for this, turns out Sprint owed me money and mispelled both my name and my address!

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