CORNING, N.Y. – If you’re running low on holiday spending money, there may be dollars and cents simply waiting for you.
Both New York and Pennsylvania have programs where any unclaimed money is sent with the hopes of that money being united with its rightful owner. That owner could be you.
“If it’s your money you can claim it and we’re holding it for you until you look it up,” Sheri Owens, the Central New York Regional Director for the New York State’s Comptroller’s Office, said.
That money, being held in your state comptroller’s lost funds accounts.
In New York, the comptroller’s office is holding more than $15 billion in lost money.
That’s over $9.2 million in Chemung County, $8.7 million in Steuben County, and $1.2 million in Schuyler County.
In Pennsylvania, it’s more than $3.2 billion. If you think none of it could be yours, think again.
“I ask a lot of people, ‘have you searched your unclaimed funds?’ and they go, ‘oh no, I don’t have any,'” Owens said. “Well the issue is it’s lost so you wouldn’t know. So just check, it just takes a few minutes.”
To see if you have any unclaimed funds, just go to your corresponding State’s Comptroller’s Office. Under their search bar, just type in your name, hit search and a list of addresses may appear. If any of those addresses look familiar, it may be that you could have some money.
“After that, if you have an address, you click on that. We ask you to fill out some more information,” Owens said. “Primarily we need your social security and a matched address to confirm that claim is yours.”
If you have any deceased relatives, try searching their name and if you can prove you’re an heir, that money could be yours.
“The same process occurs and we’ll ask you to provide a death certificate,” Owens said. “Those take a little bit longer to process but you can claim money that is rightfully yours due to an estate.”
Owens suggests checking the unclaimed funds database every year as new claims can turn up. The holiday season, could be the perfect moment.
“What better time to have a nice surprise. Maybe it’s your own personal gift, maybe you sit down, have a cup of coffee or tea, get on the computer and find out that it’s a family, friend or relative that has some money and it’s a nice surprise or gift you can give them.”
Claims take five to 15 business days to process. To see if you’re owed any money, check out your state’s unclaimed-funds database: