Feb 21, 2023 - News

How to check if Ohio owes you money

Illustration of a spotlight moving over a dollar sign in the dark.

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

👋 Alissa here with a tip that hopefully makes some of you a few bucks.

Driving the news: I know that if it sounds too good to be true, it usually is — but lots of Ohioans truly have free money waiting to be reclaimed.

  • Recently, I learned I'm one of them, and will soon be $28 richer.

How it works: The Ohio Department of Commerce's Division of Unclaimed Funds is holding over $3 billion that's lost or forgotten.

  • The money comes from inactive financial accounts, as well as uncashed last paychecks, cashier's checks, stocks or bonds that banks and businesses report to the state.

Context: February is Unclaimed Funds Month and the state is trying to spread the word.

Be smart: Go to missingmoney.com, a state-endorsed website, and search your name to see if you're owed anything. Don't forget to also check your old addresses and last names.

  • All states but California, Georgia, Hawaii and Kansas participate — so if you've lived there, search those states' websites directly.
  • Ohio says its average claim last year was worth a whopping $4,000.

Pro tip: Also try searching for friends and family and brighten their day with some good news!

  • My father-in-law went down this rabbit hole recently and called me with a fun surprise.

Details: If you're able to claim any funds, the state emails you a form to print, fill out and mail downtown for review. It specifies exactly how much you're owed.

  • It was a quick process. I just needed to include a scanned copy of my driver's license and social security card.

Yes, but: Don't get too excited. Many unclaimed properties are just a few cents, as some of my family members unfortunately learned — meaning they're not worth more than the stamp you need to buy to send in a claim.

🤑 What's next: A review can take four months, but I'll update you when I receive my big check!

📬 Let us know if you're also in line to get unexpectedly richer! Email [email protected].


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