What is Unclaimed Money in Ohio
Unclaimed money refers to funds that businesses and financial institutions in Ohio are unable to return to the owner following a period of inactivity. Per Ohio Rev Code §169.01, unclaimed funds include money in dormant savings accounts, unclaimed utility and security deposits, uncashed checks, unclaimed benefits, and insurance policies.
After at least three years of inactivity on these funds, the institutions with custody of the funds are legally required to report the funds as unclaimed money to the Ohio Department of Commerce (Ohio Rev Code §169.03). The Unclaimed Money Division of the agency prepares and regularly publishes a government list of unclaimed money. This list is available online, along with a portal that lets eligible individuals claim unclaimed money in Ohio.
How to Find Unclaimed Money in Ohio
The Ohio Unclaimed Money Divisions recommends and invites interested persons to use the missing money database to find unclaimed money in Ohio. The database supports name-based searches for unclaimed money using the owner’s name (individual or business). In addition to providing a name, the searcher must restrict the search area by selecting “Ohio” from the dropdown selections in the search field.
A search on this database will return a list of unclaimed money associated with that name as well as the owner’s name, last known address, the reporting financial institution, co-owners, and the approximate amount. The searcher may then claim the unclaimed money.
How Do I Find Unclaimed Money for Free?
The Ohio missing money database is free to use. Besides money reported to the Ohio Department of Commerce, federal agencies also report unclaimed money belonging to Ohio residents. Official resources for finding these unclaimed funds for free include the IRS refunds database, Treasury Hunt, and the HUD refunds finder.
How to Claim Unclaimed Money in Ohio
Searchers who find unclaimed money using the missing money resource may file a claim on the website. For starters, click the “Claim” button on the left side of the search result. Doing this creates a shopping cart containing the items selected at the top of the page. Upon selecting the unclaimed funds, click the cart icon to submit a claim. Next, the system prompts the claimant to provide personal information and contact information.
Upon providing these details, the system prepares a claim form that the claimant can download and print. Alternatively, the claimant may choose to have the form emailed immediately or sent via mail. Printing the form or choosing to receive the form via email makes the claim process faster.
The Division of Unclaimed Funds provides additional instructions for completing the claim form. Generally, the claimant must prove ownership of the unclaimed money and attach a copy of a government-issued photo ID, such as a driver’s license, social security card, or US passport. Persons filing on behalf of the rightful owner must provide supporting documentation, such as a death certificate, affidavit, notarized will, or power of attorney.
Make a copy of the forms for personal records - this is important for looking up the claim status later. Claimants must mail the original claim form as well as supporting documentation to the Ohio Division of Unclaimed Funds at:
77 South High Street, 20th Floor
Columbus, OH 43215-6108
Phone: (877) 644-6823 (toll-free)
Fax: (614) 728-9769
How Long Does It Take to Get Unclaimed Money in Ohio
Generally, persons who submit a claim can expect to receive a response from the Division of Unclaimed Funds within ninety (90) days. Most claims, however, take as long as 120 days to process due to a high volume of claims. Persons who wish to check their claim status may use the claim number on their personal copy of the claim form to look up the claim status online. Alternatively, call the agency helpline on (614) 728-9769 or send an inquiry email to the division.
Who Can Claim Unclaimed Money From Deceased Relatives?
Immediate family members, will executors, court-appointed estate administrators, and other authorized individuals are eligible to claim unclaimed money on behalf of deceased persons in Ohio. In addition to completing the claim form, these individuals must provide supporting documentation to prove their relationship to the deceased person or authorization to file the claim.
For immediate family members, such supporting documentation includes certified copies of the deceased relative’s death certificate. State laws require that claimants filing on behalf of deceased ex-spouse's provide divorce records in addition to the death certificate. Meanwhile, documents that third parties must provide include a will, a court order naming the claimant as estate administrator, or a notarized power of attorney.
What Happens to Unclaimed Money if No One Claims It?
Unclaimed money in Ohio remains claimable in perpetuity, i.e., for life. Thus, persons with proof of claim may submit a claim at any time. Note that state laws empower the Department of Commerce to sell tangible unclaimed money, like bonds and valuable unclaimed property, at public auctions after repeated attempts to contact the rightful owner. The Department shall then deposit the funds into a state-managed trust. The value of the unclaimed money and the accrued interest remain claimable in perpetuity.
Can Someone in Ohio Claim Unclaimed Money From Another State?
Yes. Money owned by Ohio residents, but reported in another state, is claimable by that individual. However, the claimant must follow the state’s protocol for claiming unclaimed money.