Ohio, do you know where your money is?
If you’ve ever lived in Ohio, you’ll want to keep reading. Your state might owe you some money.
More than two billion dollars are sitting around in the state’s coffers, the Ohio Department of Commerce Division of Unclaimed Funds announced this week.
Unclaimed Funds Are More Common Than You Think
Don’t worry: Ohio hasn’t been keeping your money from you maliciously.
Unclaimed funds are common, and states tend to have an office that takes care of this business of returning money to its residents. As the end of the year approaches, state governments want to unload this unclaimed dough so all the paperwork can look pretty at the end of the year.
“Unclaimed” funds usually result from security deposits that were never retrieved, or uncashed checks that have long expired.
The average claim in Ohio is $2,100, according to the Associated Press. Last year, the state returned $76 million to its its rightful owners. This year, so far $34.4 million has been returned to Ohio residents.
If there’s money waiting for you, it’s probably because you forgot to take care of your personal finances the first time around.
Now’s your chance to fix up your fiscal forgetfulness. (Yes, we did just say that.)
How to Get Your Money From Ohio (Or Anywhere Else You Might Live)
Finding out if your state owes you money is easy and free.
For Ohioans, visit the Ohio Department of Commerce’s Unclaimed Funds website and type your first and last name into the “Missing Money” box.
I tested it out with the name of a former coworker who grew up in Ohio. Turns out, an insurance company — like from a health insurance gained through a job many years ago — owes her a bit of cash. If she wants her $100 or so back, she’s just got to fill out a claim at MissingMoney.com.
Missing Money is the national hub for states to help residents figure out if they’re owed unclaimed funds — and then get it back!
I searched my own name and all the states where I’ve lived to no avail. But it’s a relief to know I’m not “missing” any cash.
Your Turn: Do you have any unclaimed money waiting for you?
Lisa Rowan is a writer, editor and podcaster living in Washington, D.C., which sadly does not owe her any of her own money back.