Over the summer, we had a client ask if there was a place to look for existing accounts or funds they or family members may have accumulated and forgotten about over the years. That sparked Julie’s memory of the New York State Office of Unclaimed Funds (https://ouf.osc.state.ny.us/ouf/?wicket-crypt=8AxvNk1VlCk). You may have noticed the Office puts a kiosk at the NYS Fair every year.
Run by the NY State Comptroller’s Office, the Office of Unclaimed Funds serves as custodian of more than $15 billion in assets. When an entity has money that belongs to someone else and can’t reach that person, they turn the money over to the Office of Unclaimed Funds.
This particular client did not have any funds belonging to the Office of the Comptroller, but it seems like a lot do. A few of us had unclaimed funds, as did family members and friends.
Experiences getting the money back are varied. Some submit online and get paid within three weeks. Ethan had a $175 reimbursement from a Doctor’s visit (the insurance company ended up covering it months after the visit and after I had moved); this took five months to process as the State needed separate confirmations of a previous address and a current address.
When completing the online form, you must submit your Social Security number, and some detailed contact information such as phone number/provider and e-mail. Having the check mailed to the address on your driver’s license can speed up the process.
We encourage everyone to give the search a try. In addition to searching by your first and last name, we have found it useful to search by last name and city. As always, reach out to your advisor with questions.