HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — Feb. 1 marks National Unclaimed Property Day, and state officials are reminding you to see if Connecticut has any money that belongs to you so you can start the process to claim it.
You can check the CT Big List to see if your name is on it. Your right to unclaimed money that’s being held by the state never expires.
Unclaimed property can be any asset like savings or checking accounts, uncashed checks, or stocks and bonds you forgot about after losing contact with a business. Connecticut law requires the holders of unclaimed property, such as banks, credit unions, insurance companies, utilities and businesses, to report and remit those assets annually to the state’s treasurer’s office, which holds funds until the rightful owner comes forward and claims it.
More than $973 million has been returned to taxpayers, according to the state’s treasurer’s office.
“We need to make it more efficient to really turn these claims around a lot quicker,” Democratic State Treasurer Erick Russell told News 8.
The new state treasurer has his marching orders from a new law passed by the legislature.
If you are owed less than $2,500, an automatic payment system is now in place to send you the money. You can look up unclaimed property of any value online or by phone. You can also monitor your claim status, waive the notarizing claim, and get fast processing through upgrades.
Russell said more efficiencies are coming.
“The challenging part is, while you know more people are filing claims, we’re still going through the same manual process to get them turned around,” Russell said. “I’m really looking to upgrade our technology.”
Self-proclaimed watchdogs agree technology is key. Missouri pays past due child support by matching cases of owners with unclaimed money. Rhode Island sends checks without requiring claims.
Russell said he hired more staff to handle the bigger claims. Eighty-five percent of claims are less than $1,000.
How it works
- Log onto ctbiglist.com
- Put in your name or business and click search
- Advance the screens
- Fill out the boxes
- Upload documents for larger claims
- Verify you are who you are
- Get the claim number
If you don’t have internet access, you can call 1-800-833-7318, Monday through Friday between 8:30 a.m. and 5 p.m., and speak to a customer service representative.
“We’ll be sending postcards out to property owners later this year,” Russell said. “That was a measure that was passed through the legislature really to try to identify and connect with more property owners. “
There is also a national database for claims that may pop up in other states. MissingMoney is a website endorsed by the National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators.
The average claim is $2,080, and nearly all states are linked to the national database.