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Unclaimed Money from the Government

Find unclaimed funds held by the government that might be owed to you.

Infographic: Four Tips to Find Unclaimed Money

Explore free, official sources to find unclaimed money.

This infographic details free, official sources to find unclaimed money.  View a larger version of the infographic.

This infographic details free, official sources to find unclaimed money.
  • Four Tips to Find Unclaimed Money

    There is no central source to look for unclaimed money from the government that might be owed to you. Sometimes it can be hard to know where to start. With this tool you can access free, official sources of information to help you find your way.

    Compass with a Stack of Gold Coins in the Center

    • Search for unclaimed money and property in states where you have lived.
    • Check for unclaimed funds from bank failures or unclaimed deposits from credit union closures. 
    • Check for unclaimed back wages, pension money, or life insurance funds.
    • Search for unclaimed or undelivered tax refunds. Or, search for a refund from an FHA-insured mortgage.

    Don't fall for scams from people who pretend to be from the government. Never respond to offers that include sending you unclaimed money for a fee. Government agencies will not call you about unclaimed money or assets. 

    Brought to you by USAGov

Find Unclaimed Money

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 in Your State

Businesses send money to state-run unclaimed property offices when they can’t locate the owner. The money in state unclaimed funds is often from bank accounts, insurance policies, or your state government.

  • Start your search for unclaimed money with your state’s unclaimed property office.

  • Use the multi-state database to search for your name, especially if you’ve moved to another state.

  • Verify how to claim your money. Each state has its own rules about how you prove that you’re the owner and claim the money.

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:

    • Search DOL’s database of workers who have money waiting to be claimed. DOL holds unpaid wages for up to three years.  

  • Pensions from Former Employers – Search for unclaimed pensions from companies that went out of business or ended a defined plan.

3. Search for Money from Insurance

  • VA Life Insurance Funds – Search the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) database for unclaimed insurance funds.

    • The VA may owe money to current or former policyholders or their beneficiaries.

    • This database doesn’t include funds from Servicemembers’ Group Life Insurance (SGLI) or Veterans’ Group Life Insurance (VGLI) policies from 1965 to the present. 

  • FHA-Insurance Refunds – If you had an FHA-insured mortgage, you may be eligible for a refund from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

    • Search the HUD database with your FHA case number (three digits, a dash, and the next six digits—for example, 051-456789).

4. Search for Money from Tax Refunds

  • Tax Refunds – The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) may owe you money if your refund was unclaimed or undelivered.

5. Search for Money from Banking and Investments

  • Bank Failures – Search the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) for unclaimed funds from failed financial institutions.

  • Credit Union Failures – Find unclaimed deposits from credit unions.

  • SEC Claims Funds – The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) lists enforcement cases in which a company or person owes investors money.

  • Replace a Savings Bond – Replace a lost, stolen, or destroyed paper savings bond.

6. International

  • 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:

  • Federal taxes were withheld from your pay

and/or

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.

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Last Updated: October 9, 2019

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