Learn How to Check for Unclaimed Paychecks – You Could Be Missing Money!

Learn How to Check for Unclaimed Paychecks – You Could Be Missing Money!

One of the best surprises is discovering you have an unclaimed paycheck. While it may not seem like a common occurrence, there are a number of situations where you may have an unclaimed paycheck. 

Employees are usually vigilant about tracking their payments, but there are various bonuses or other payments that are easy to miss. In some cases, an employer might make a payment error and have to issue a secondary paycheck. 

It is also possible a check that was meant to be deposited did not properly go into a bank account, making it unclaimed. You may also be owed money from the government or another source that never reached your address. 

In any of these situations, your state government may be required to hold onto the money until you claim it.

Finding your Unclaimed Assets

There are several websites where you can search to see if there are any unclaimed assets in your name. The first website you should consult is your government website. Each state manages a website to search for unclaimed assets. All you usually need to do is enter your name in and see if there are any hits. 

While your government website is the most official way to search for assets, it is not always the fastest. Employers are generally allowed to hold onto your paycheck for anywhere between one to five years (this varies by state) before handing it over to the government. 

Even when a check is deposited, it sometimes takes several months for the government to update their website.

There are several third party websites that also search for any unclaimed assets in your name. There are both paid and unpaid versions of these websites available. 

As with any paid website, make sure you look up reviews and ensure it is a legitimate business and not a scam. Paid websites typically provide a much greater in-depth search, but you are required to pay whether they discover unclaimed assets or not. 

Claiming your Assets

Once you discover you have unclaimed assets, the next step is to file paperwork to get them returned to you. Each state uses a slightly different process, which is typically detailed on your government’s website. 

However, there are a few common guidelines. First, you must be able to prove your identity. There are several documents you may need, including:

  • A driver’s license or state ID
  • Social Security card
  • Recent tax forms
  • Pay stubs

In most states, you can file a claim online. You may be required to scan copies of your documents to present as proof. Other states might have a mail-in option. If this is not available, you may need to file your claim in person.

Once a claim is filed, it usually takes anywhere from 30 to 180 days to process.