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You May Be Owed Money...

- How to find out if there are unclaimed funds in your name


New York State is holding billions of dollars in unclaimed money. Is some of it yours? By law, insurance companies, banks, telephone and utility companies, investment companies and many other businesses in New York State are required to surrender their inactive accounts to the the Office of the New York State Comptroller. If you do a search on their online site and can prove that you are rightfully entitled to this money, the state will return it to you, all without any charges.

There are many cases where money may be owed to you but the bank or other business may not have been able to find you. If you moved without getting back your deposit from your telephone or utility company, if you once opened a savings account but later forgot about it, if you've forgotten to cash a health insurance check, or in many other cases, by law, this money eventually had to be turned over to the New York State Comptroller's Office.

Up until the time that someone claims the money that is theirs, New York State's General Funds uses this money to serve the state's taxpayers. Note: there is no time limit or fee for you to claim the money that is rightfully yours. The New York State Comptroller acts as a custodian of the money. The state does not own this money and holds it until it is claimed.

You may have money owed to you without realizing it, and it's easy and free to find out by going to the Office of Unclaimed funds Online Claiming Program. This is how you can discover whether there's unclaimed money that's rightfully yours:

  • Go to www.osc.state.ny.us/ouf, the Office of the New York State Comptroller - Office of Unclaimed Funds and click on "Search Now."

  • Type in your first and last name and click on "Search." (If you have a business, type in the company name and then click on "Search.") To narrow your search results, you can add your middle initial and/or the city where you live on the search results page.

  • If you see your name or business, click on it. You'll be required to fill out a form and send it in online or to have it notarized and mailed in to the address listed.

  • Before you send in the claim form, carefully read the information listed on the right hand side of the results page under "Item Details." Make sure that it's your name and that the address listed is where you currently reside or have lived in the past. Note that by law, the state will not tell you the dollar amount of what is owed to you until they receive proof that you are the person entitled to this money.

  • You will be asked to fill out personal information, including your social security number. In some cases, you can submit your claim form online. In other cases, you will be required to download a form, fill it out, include requested documentation and have it notarized. Note: you will be given a confirmation number which you should keep in a safe, accessible place.
  • Depending on your case, you may receive a check within days or it may take months.

    For a lengthy FAQ about claiming lost money, please go to http://www.osc.state.ny.us/ouf/index.htm and click on "Frequently Asked Questions. You may also call the Comptroller's Communication Center at (800) 221-9311, Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. or e-mail them at nysouf@osc.state.ny.us

    Note: if you want to find unclaimed funds in other states, please go to the National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators at www.unclaimed.org.

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