How to search for unclaimed money in 3 easy steps


It’s nice to stumble upon a bit of extra cash every now and again, especially when unexpected. Interestingly enough, the government (and in some cases, other organizations) actually hold on to “lost cash” for a long time. But how do you find out if you are actually entitled to unclaimed money?

Using information search sites can make this process fairly easy. Simply enter your name or any other identifying information and you can find out whether you have funds owed. In addition, there are a few other resources you should check. Here are three to help you with your search.

Check with the IRS

State and Federal taxes go towards improvements in roads, schools, parks, and more. While most individuals get taxes deducted from their paychecks, there are situations in which people end up overpaying. Sometimes this can be the result of deductions, or if your income has changed from what it used to be. Additionally, you may find that you overpaid if you happen to reside in one state while working in the other or if you relocated at some point in the year. If you have moved between states or believe you may have overpaid your state or federal taxes for one reason or another, the IRS may still be holding on to funds you are owed. By using information-search sites, you’ll have a higher chance of finding out whether you are owed money in the form of overpaid taxes.

Unpaid wages

A previous place of employment might also be a place to check for unclaimed funds. In some cases, you’ll want to look into Unpaid Wages through the U.S. Department of Labor if you assume that a previous employer may have broken a labor law. If someone you have worked for has done so, then this department holds onto unpaid wages for up to three years. You might also want to look into pension plans. In the event that a former employer has since gone out of business or if their pension plan has failed, the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) website should be able to help you. If there is a possibility that a position you previously held had an insured pension, you might be able to receive a sum from it. Perhaps not the full amount, but some is better than none. 

unclaimed money
There are a plethora of reasons why an old bank account might have unclaimed properties leftover; anything from utility account deposits to escrow accounts.

Old bank account

There are a plethora of reasons why an old bank account might have unclaimed properties leftover; anything from utility account deposits to escrow accounts. You should look into banks that have failed, credit unions that have gone under, and you can check the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to see if there is a company or person that owes you money. Finally, you might want to check out Life Insurance Policies. Whether a family member has passed away or a company in which you have had life insurance has ‘demutualized’, it’s possible that you’re owed money or stock. 

When it comes to searching for lost or unclaimed properties, there are a few key places where you should search. Whether it’s directly from the government, a previous job, an insurance policy, or perhaps even old bank accounts, there is a probability that you have money waiting for you somewhere out there. Checking with these organizations through their website, by visiting them, or even with a phone call can help you determine if they owe you money. Additionally, by using information search sites like Go Look Up, you can sort through different databases and find any money that is owed to you.

Last Updated on February 3, 2021.


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