How to Claim Funds You Didn’t Even Know You Lost

Updated: Aug 08, 2011 11:57
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Turns out he might have been right about something.

This might sound like one of those late-night TV commercials where the guy in the question mark suit just yells at you about how the government owes you money, but it turns out there might actually be some cash floating around out there in the ether that actually belongs to you. In my case, I worked at a Best Buy in college for a whopping 3 weeks before peacing out because they “lost” my time off request and wanted me to come in to work at 4am the day after Thanksgiving and stand there for 12 hours ringing up rednecks with $25 DVD players while Maroon 5 played on a 30 minute loop over the loudspeakers. Obviously, I didn’t make it back after the Turkey coma.

But it turns out they still owed me some minor portion of a paycheck, which I didn’t know about until a couple weeks ago – about 6 years after the fact. The whole process of getting that money back is actually relatively simple (although somewhat hampered by the glacial pace of bureaucracy), all you need to do is head over to and search for your name. I know that URL looks like a joke, but the site is endorsed by all the participating states. If your name returns results with a city you’ve actually lived in in the past, you’ll want to click through to “I can claim” and you’ll be taken to the Unclaimed Property Division of that state’s treasury. From there, you’ll have to print a form and mail or e-mail it in to verify your identity and give them your new address to send the check to. In my case, I’ve got like 35 bucks coming my way from the State of Virginia, but that’s 35 bucks I didn’t have a couple days ago, so I consider this a win. – Search for Unclaimed Property

You might also try which is endorsed by the same national organization.

Question Mark Suit Guy photo via:

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Andrew Dalton - Aggressive Panhandler

Andrew Dalton - Aggressive Panhandler

Andrew is an East Coast transplant from Virginia hamming it up in San Francisco without any intention of leaving. Having worked every typical job from Bike Shop Employee to Bartender to Ad Agency Hotshot, to Dotcom Layoff he now busts his ass covering the "weird things to do" beat for gracious local audiences at and rallies the Western Addy/Lower Haight/Panhandle neighborhoods into action at His work was published in a real, paper magazine one time. One day he might even figure out how to make money from it.


  1. Alexei
    July 16, 2010 at 4:39 am

    This does not cover California, which has its own page:

    • Andrew Dalton - Aggressive Panhandler
      July 16, 2010 at 11:06 am

      The search will eventually lead you to the CA page, assuming you have unclaimed funds there. But you’re right, your link is a more direct way to search CA-only.