Have you ever asked yourself or your friend how to find out if the government owes you money? Well, you are at the perfect place to find the answer to such a question.
If you owe the federal government money, they will come after your very soul with the full force of the law and will get that money even if you’re no longer alive to pay it.
If the situation is reversed, they’re not likely to inform you and you’ll have to wait.
So, how to find out if the government owes you money? In order to find out if the federal government owes you money, begin with going to the website for The Bureau of Fiscal Service, which falls under the U.S. Department of the Treasury. If you can’t find it there, they have a list of resources and agencies for you to check with next.
According to the Bureau of the Fiscal Service, “There is no government-wide, centralized information service or database on how unclaimed government assets may be obtained.
Each individual federal agency maintains its own records.”
In other words, if you think the government owes you money, you’re going to have to do some legwork.
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Where Do You Go To Start Looking?
To find out if the government owes you money, or when and where you can go about obtaining that money, you first need to have a good idea of what type of system you are owed money through.
Is it the IRS, missing COVID-19 stimulus funds, HUD benefits, or unclaimed bankruptcy funds? Where it’s supposed to come from matters because it will guide you towards the correct agency that you need to contact:
- Treasury Direct
- Housing and Urban Development
- National Credit Union Administration
- National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators
- United States Courts
One of the best places to go to find is Unclaimed.org. From here, you can choose your state, or a state that you previously lived in—where you think the original claim came from—and you’ll be directed to the official website for that state where you can search for your unclaimed money.
Unclaimed is a conglomeration of all fifty states so that you have immediate access to trusted, verifiable resources from the state in question.
If there’s money owed to you through old state income tax returns, old employment paychecks, overpaid bills, and just about everything else you can imagine, you may find it here.
Treasury Direct is a good place to start looking if you think that there may be some unclaimed treasury bonds, notes, or savings bonds.
Considering the fact that it’s a government website, it’s not too difficult to navigate, despite its dated appearance.
Under the resources section of the U.S. Department of Urban Housing and Development, you will find all of the resources you need if there is HUD money available that you haven’t received, or the funds were mistakenly appropriated.
The National Credit Union Administration is the place to go if you’ve ever had funds deposited at a credit union and the credit union was liquidated.
Those funds are not lost and the government is legally obligated to return them to their original owner.
Since credit unions and banks insure your money through the federal government up to $250,000, that insurance still holds, even if the credit union no longer exists.
At the point that it was shut down and its assets liquidated, whatever money you had should be returned to you.
The National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators is the same place that you will go to start a state-by-state check to find out if there are any funds sitting out there that are legally owed to you.
Lastly, the United States Courts may be holding funds that are owed to you through situations of bankruptcy, an inheritance that never reached you, uncashed distribution checks, or the death of next of kin who had assets that should be transferred to you.
Other Trusted Sites For Unclaimed Funds
MissingMoney.com is another verified and trusted site that you can visit if you want to start a search for any unclaimed funds that may be owed to you.
Simply scroll to the bottom of the page and click on the map of North America. From the next page, you can choose your state, which includes all fifty and even some provinces in Canada.
You can also scroll down below the interactive map, find your state, and link directly to the primary unclaimed fund’s search engine for that state.
Each state and province beneath the interactive map is loaded with information upfront for you to take note of, including the phone numbers for that agency, email, and full address if you need to contact them by mail or utilize that mail for any future interactions.
It’s important to take all of this information and write it down as you conduct your search.
You may find bits and pieces of potentially unclaimed money here and there and you’ll want to be able to reference any notes you take as you go along.
Missing Money also has a page full of hyperlinks for every government agency that may be able to help you in your search.
They even include some departments outside of the United States, such as Canadian Bank Accounts, Swiss Bank Accounts, Australia Unclaimed Property, and Kenya Unclaimed Property.
What If You Can’t Find The Money You’re Owed?
If you know that there is unclaimed money out there and it has your name on it, one of the above agencies should be able to find something out there for you.
There is always the possibility that it went unrecorded, slipped through the cracks, or was wrongfully claimed.
It’s always important to keep a long record history when it comes to any kind of financial transactions, especially when you’re dealing with auto insurance, banking institutions, credit unions, accounts held through an employer, retirement accounts, and military benefits.
The ones we just listed are the tip of the iceberg.
It’s often difficult to keep an accurate record in our day-to-day lives, especially as the years roll on, addresses change, financial status changes, employment changes, and other life changes.
However, keeping records can save you a lot of headaches in the future.
How To Know If Unclaimed Benefit Notices Are Legitimate
Most companies will never contact you via email or text message without your express permission. The IRS will only talk to you directly over the phone or via email.
If you authorize the IRS—or other government institutions—to send you notifications through email, they will do that.
However, they’ll only send notifications. The IRS will never directly discuss your account information, direct payments, or ask you for money over the phone, via text, or through email.
If you receive a letter stating that you have unclaimed benefits, it’s important that you verify such a statement through the proper channels, meaning state or federal institutions.
Never reply to an unfamiliar solicitation and absolutely never send money in any form in return for some unsubstantiated claim.
The above links and resources are pretty solid methods for finding any information that you need concerning unclaimed funds that are owed to you.
If you find that there is money out there that is unclaimed and, in your name, be sure to follow the instructions for whichever state you are applying through.
Ultimately, you never know if there is money out there with your name on it.
So even if you don’t think anything is owed to you, feel free to check it out. It’s one of those cases where you quite literally have nothing to lose and potentially something worthwhile to gain.
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