Tips on Finding Unclaimed Money DC Is Holding
One homeless 80-year-old woman got paid $100,000 by the federal government after years of living on the street. She was approached by a social worker who informed her that there was unclaimed money in her name. The money came from the Social Security Administration that had made a mistake and didn’t pay her, which was one of the reasons she ended up on the street.
This news story may seem too good to be true, but Washington DC does hold large sums of unclaimed money. In 2019, DC returned around $24 million to its rightful owners.
Sometimes it’s due to an agency or a financial institution’s slip up, but more often than not, money becomes unclaimed because people don’t know they have it.
Even if you think you have cashed every check and picked up every paycheck, unclaimed money is worth looking into. Every tenth U.S. citizen uncovers about $100 in unclaimed funds.
Why Is There Lost Money in Washington DC?
The term unclaimed money may be misleading. It is not discarded money that anyone can claim, but the money that has an owner whom the bank or other institution couldn’t track down.
When bank accounts become inactive, or someone doesn’t collect insurance money, these funds get turned over to the Office of the Chief Financial Officer. The time before the funds become unclaimed is called the dormancy period. In DC, it’s usually one to five years, depending on the property. You can check out the detailed overview of dormancy periods in DC on the National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators website.
Types of Unclaimed Money in Washington DC
Not every abandoned or forgotten asset can turn into unclaimed money. Check out what assets can or cannot qualify as unclaimed property. Perhaps some of them will jog your memory.
|Can Be Unclaimed Money||Cannot Be Unclaimed Money|
When Can I Claim My Unclaimed Money in the District of Columbia?
If the property holders attempt to contact the owners and fail, DC’s Office of Finance takes hold of the assets. Once money becomes unclaimed, there is no deadline to claim it. It will remain in the Office’s custody until you collect it, as stated by DC’s Unclaimed Property Law.
How To Search for Washington DC Unclaimed Money
Washington, DC has an Unclaimed Property Unit run by the Office of the Chief Financial Officer. You can search for your unclaimed money in DC on the Unit’s website or schedule an appointment and get assistance from the staff.
To make an appointment, call (202) 442-8181. Once you schedule it, you can come to the Office located at 1101 4th St. SW, Ste. 800 W.
If you prefer to comb through the website on your own, do the following:
- Visit the Unclaimed Property Unit website
- Click on Get Started
- Enter your first and last name
- Type in your city and ZIP code
- Tap on Search
- Check the results and select the assets you believe are yours
- Click on View Claimed Properties
- Follow the prompts and hit Submit
- Fill out the Claim Form by entering your details and contact information
If at any moment you need help or additional information, you can contact the Office and the staff will assist you. After you submit the claim, the Office will contact you to ask for additional documentation, such as your Social Security number, a copy of your ID, or other proof to verify your identity.
You can send all documents:
- Via Email to firstname.lastname@example.org
- By mail at:
Unclaimed Property Office
1101 4th St. SW
Ste. 800 W
Washington, DC 20024
DoNotPay Is the Fastest Route to Your Unclaimed Funds
You don’t have to bother following so many steps and scheduling appointments when you can find your unclaimed money in a few clicks with DoNotPay. The best part about DoNotPay is that you can automatically search through all the unclaimed money databases across the U.S. If you’ve moved a lot or you have relatives all over the country, our useful feature will save you a lot of time.
Follow these steps and get ahold of your money in no time:
- Access DoNotPay from your web browser
- Navigate to the Missing Money feature
- Enter contact details, all your previous addresses, and your middle name
- Click on Claim My Property if you spot any unclaimed money under your name
Once done, you can rely on us to ensure your lost or forgotten funds come to you.
Steer Clear of Unclaimed Money Scams
Unclaimed money scams are quite common and successful. The scammers typically send text messages to people asking them to follow a link to claim their money. In most cases, fraudsters also request a fee or a percentage of your earnings.
You should know that The Office of the Chief Financial Officer tries to find the unclaimed money owners through newspaper ads and online search services, but it never reaches out to potential owners via text.
If a person asks for money before allegedly searching for your property, it's a tell-tale sign of a scam. Official government agencies do not ask for a fee or take a portion of your unclaimed funds.
To avoid falling prey to scammers, stick to the following advice:
- Don’t disclose your personal or bank information to strangers
- Ignore text messages claiming to come from official institutions
- Search for unclaimed money on reliable sources such as DoNotPay and DC Unclaimed Property Office
How To Prevent Your Money From Becoming Unclaimed
To ensure your money does not go missing, you should practice the following:
- Update your contact information
- Cash your checks so that you don’t lose them
- Keep track of your paychecks and insurance policies
- Check on all your bank accounts to keep them active
- Inform the financial institutions handling your money if you move, get married, or change your name
DoNotPay Helps You Cut Through Red Tape
To make sure you stay safe from unclaimed money scammers, read DoNotPay’s unclaimed money reviews. If fraudsters are bothering you in other ways, we will show you how to report Yahoo phishing emails and Roblox email scams, deal with robocall scams, and use an email spam blocker effectively.
DoNotPay has plenty more tricks up its sleeve! Feel free to lean on us when you need financial or administrative assistance. All you have to do is open DoNotPay in any web browser and rely on us to help you with:
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