New York Unclaimed Funds: How to Research and Access
What is the likelihood that you have unclaimed funds just sitting and waiting for you to claim? According to the Office of the New York State Comptroller, it’s highly likely. With $13 billion sitting in their possession, you may want to see if any of it belongs to you.
Each year, the State Comptroller’s Office receives a high volume of lost and unclaimed funds, property, and other assets. While it seems odd that so many of these assets are forgotten or go unclaimed, the truth is, most of us aren’t even aware of them.
What are Unclaimed Funds?
The law requires organizations like insurance companies and the courts to attempt to contact you by mail concerning any dormant accounts you may have forgotten. They must also publish the information in newspapers as an additional measure to alert you to their existence.
If you don’t respond, the assets will transfer to the State Comptroller’s Office. At this point, it’s up to you to seek out the funds and claim them.
There are several types of unclaimed fund sources, including:
- Estate proceeds
- Security deposits (e.g., utility deposits)
- Insurance benefits owed to you
- Court-ordered funds or awards
- Stocks, bonds, or dividends
- Final paychecks
- Forgotten checking or savings accounts
How to Research Unclaimed Funds in New York
Ready to find out if you have any unclaimed funds? The Office of the New York State Comptroller website provides a research tool to help you do just that.
Here are steps to follow to get you started on your research quest:
- Go to the Unclaimed Funds section of the New York State Comptroller’s website.
- Click on the Search Now button.
- On the Search for Lost Money page, enter your name or your organization’s name in the provided section.
If nothing comes up on your first try, don’t give up. You may need to refine your search several times to be sure you’ve exhausted every possibility.
For example, if your full name doesn’t bring up any results, try different variations, such as:
- Your full last name and the first initial of your first name
- Any nicknames you go by, such as Bob for Robert
- If you have a hyphenated name, try it with a hyphen, a space, and with no space.
If possible, locate a record for any organization you think might owe you money and see how they spelled your name. If companies often misspell your name, try entering all potential misspellings. You can also use the Advanced Name Search feature to filter results, including by city.
How Do You Claim New York Unclaimed Funds?
Once you’ve found unclaimed funds in your name, the next step is filing a claim for those funds. As an individual, you can make a claim online or by mail.
To make a claim online, first, run your search for unclaimed funds under your name. Next, select the one you wish to claim. The prompts on the website will lead you through a step-by-step process to file your claim.
If you would like to make your claim by mail, you need to complete a Mail Claim Form provided on the website. A notarized signature is required, along with required documentation showing proof of address, proof of name change (if applicable), and proof of ownership of the unclaimed fund.
Once you’ve mailed or submitted your online claim, the Comptroller’s Office will send you a Claim Reference Number via letter or a Confirmation Number in an email. Use this to reference your claim every time you correspond with the State Comptroller’s Office.
If you make your claim online, you should receive a response within a few weeks. The process takes a little longer if you submit your claim through the postal service. You can also track the status of your claim on the Comptroller’s website.
Contact Our Legal Team Today
Every day the state of New York returns $1 million in funds for claims filed through the State Comptroller’s Office. Contact our legal team at O’Connor Law PLLC. Our team we can help determine if any unclaimed funds will affect your Workers’ Compensation or Social Security Disability payments.