If a business, government office, or other source owes you money that you don’t collect, it's considered unclaimed.
The federal government doesn’t have a central website for finding unclaimed money. But you don’t need to hire a company to find unclaimed money for you. You can find it on your own for free, using official databases.
1. Search For Unclaimed Money in Your State
Businesses send money to state-run unclaimed property offices when they can’t locate the owner. The unclaimed funds held by the state are often from bank accounts, insurance policies, or your state government.
2. Search for Money from Employers
Unpaid Wages – The Department of Labor (DOL) may recover back wages for you if your employer broke labor laws. If you think you may be owed back wages from your employer:
Pensions from Former Employers – Search for unclaimed pensions from companies that either:
3. Search for Money from Insurance
VA Life Insurance Funds – Search the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) database for unclaimed insurance funds.
FHA-Insurance Refunds – If you had an FHA-insured mortgage, you may be eligible for a refund. FHA insurance refunds are issued by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).
Search the HUD database with your FHA case number. Case numbers have three digits, a dash, and the next six digits—for example, 051-456789.
4. Search for Money from Tax Refunds
5. Search for Money from Banking and Investments
6. Search for Unclaimed Money from a Bankruptcy
A bankruptcy creditor is someone who is owed money by a person or business which declares bankruptcy. Sometimes, the money owed to creditors remains undistributed by the bankruptcy court for a variety of reasons.
7. International Unclaimed Money
Foreign Claims – U.S. nationals can find money owed to them from foreign governments after the loss of property.
Undelivered and Unclaimed Federal Tax Refund Checks
Every year, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has millions of dollars in tax refunds that go undelivered or unclaimed.
Undelivered Federal Tax Refund Checks
Refund checks are mailed to your last known address. If you move without notifying the IRS or the U.S. Postal Service (USPS), your refund check may be returned to the IRS.
If you were expecting a federal tax refund and did not receive it, check the IRS' Where’s My Refund page. You'll need to enter your Social Security number, filing status, and the exact whole dollar amount of your refund. You may be prompted to change your address online.
You can also call the IRS to check on the status of your refund. Wait times to speak with a representative can be long. But, you can avoid waiting by using the automated phone system. Follow the message prompts when you call.
If you move, submit a Change of Address - Form 8822 to the IRS; you should also submit a Change of Address to the USPS.
Unclaimed Federal Tax Refunds
If you are eligible for a federal tax refund and don’t file a return, then your refund will go unclaimed. Even if you aren't required to file a return, it might benefit you to file if:
You may not have filed a tax return because your wages were below the filing requirement. But you can still file a return within three years of the filing deadline to get your refund.
State Refund Checks
For information about your state tax refund check, contact your state revenue department.