Discover and Claim What’s Yours Thanks to the Illinois Treasurer’s I-Cash Program
Disclosure: I was compensated for the creation and sharing of this post by the Illinois Treasurer’s I-Cash program, but all opinions are my own.
Who doesn’t like finding spare change in the couch or a forgotten $20 in your winter jacket from last year? I sure do! It’s one of the best feelings in the world when I find cash that I forgot I had. The Illinois Treasurer’s I-Cash program is like that, except cooler. The Illinois Treasurer’s Office secures unclaimed property from banks, insurance companies, utilities, and other institutions across the country that have been unable to return it to their rightful owners. Under the law, the Illinois Treasurer is legally required to hold property until it is claimed by the owner or heir, no matter how long that takes!
When the Illinois Treasurer’s Office asked me to talk about the program on my blog I was naturally curious to find out if I had any unclaimed items held by the state. The first thing I did was search my name at IllinoisTreasurer.gov/ICASH. It turns out I didn’t have anything, but my curiosity was not about to give up that easily. It’s easy to look up unclaimed property or accounts for family and friends as well. It turns out that my wife had an old reimbursement check from work that was never cashed! Though it wasn’t a big check, about $70, it’s extra discretionary money that our family didn’t have before! Once we get it back in the mail we plan to go out for a nice family meal. Deep dish pizza sounds great to me.
1 in 4 Illinois adults discovers property to claim when they search at http://www.IllinoisTreasurer.gov/ICASH
What kind of things can be claimed? Some of the more common examples of unclaimed property include: inactive bank accounts, unclaimed life insurance benefits, utility refunds, stocks, matured CD’s and other investments. The Illinois Treasurer’s I-Cash database includes 17 million properties, including $2.5 billion in cash, 28 million shares of stock and mutual funds, and the contents of thousands of safe deposit boxes.
Most unclaimed property belongs to individuals, but the Illinois Treasurer’s Office also returns millions of dollars each year to nonprofits, small businesses, corporations and government entities. That means you shouldn’t just search for yourself or friends & family. Search the names of your businesses, the non-profits where you volunteer or even your school. I found several unclaimed items for my college (College of DuPage) in both the under and over $100 categories from various vendors for the school.
Recent claims throughout Illinois.
The Illinois Treasurer is currently safeguarding $2.5 billion in recovered cash belonging to millions of Illinois residents, and he wants to return it. The average paid claim is $2,900, and most individuals receive a check within about four weeks of submitting their signed claim form and authentication of ownership. The whole process is simple. Search your name at IllinoisTreasurer.gov/ICASH and claim what’s yours. You’ll get a PDF via email to print, sign and mail out with a form of ID. You’ll then get a check in the mail in about a month.
The State Treasurer’s office safeguards property for as long as it takes for the rightful owner or their heir to come forward. That means you should also check for family members who might not be around anymore. The Illinois Treasurer’s Office adds thousands of new claims every year so it’s a great idea to check the site at least every 6 months or so.