FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS FOR CLAIMANTS

What do I need to prove I am the rightful owner?

The Division does not pay a claim on the basis of name alone. Proof may be as simple as a document that shows that you once lived at the reported address on file with the Division or, in some cases, a document that includes your Social Security number. (see next question)

First, always provide a clear copy of your photo I.D.

For proof of address, you may send a clear photo copy of a document with your name and the reported address listed in box B on the claim form. (This may include a driver’s license, State ID, work ID, income tax return, mortgage deed, bank loan papers, auto registration, divorce decree, birth certificate, report card, college transcript, bank statement, insurance papers, or medical card.)

After you complete and submit a claim form, the Division will notify you if additional documentation is needed to verify that you are the rightful owner of the funds.

Should I provide my Social Security number?

Yes. The Social Security number is required for IRS tax reporting purposes related to payment of interest. It also may be the only proof to determine ownership. (Privacy Notice: The Social Security number is confidential and protected by access rules in Ohio Revised Code 1347.15.)

What information is needed if the account owner is deceased?

If the original owner is deceased, you must first prove that the account belonged to the original owner; then you must prove you are entitled to the original owner’s money.

Second, you must prove that you are the rightful recipient of the funds, and you are legally entitled to claim these funds for the owner (such as if the owner is incapacitated or deceased.)

If the original owner is deceased, you should contact the Probate Court in the county where the account owner lived at the time of death. You must obtain documentation from the Probate Court that grants you the right to obtain the funds. In many of Ohio county probate courts, these documents are referred to as “Letters of Authority.” Depending on how large the account is, it might be necessary to reopen the estate. Probate documents should be “under current date,” which means that probate documents should be dated within two years of the date of your completed and signed claim form.

If you have any questions, you may call the Division of Unclaimed Funds toll free at 877-644-6824 or call the probate court.

Will I receive interest on my account?

That depends on when your unclaimed funds were received by the State, and how long the funds were held by the State. The Division pays 6% interest on individual accounts of $25 or more received by the Division from 1968 to July 26, 1991, with the 6% interest to run through July 26, 1991. From July 27, 1991 to August 2, 2000, no interest is paid. From August 3, 2000 through October 9, 2012, Sogg class members due $5 or more in interest are eligible for an interest payment from the Settlement Administrator in the Sogg class action case based on a formula using the actual interest earned by the state. For additional information, visit www.strategicclaims.net/sogg or contact the Settlement Administrator, Strategic Claims Services, at 866-936-1101 (toll free). For claimants paid unclaimed funds on or after October 10, 2012, the Division will pay interest on unclaimed funds held on or after August 3, 2000 at a rate equal to 100% of the interest earned by the Department of Commerce on unclaimed funds, plus 40% of the interest earned by other State agencies and departments, as required by the Sogg case.

How did the funds become unclaimed?

Accounts become unclaimed when, over a specified period of time, there has been no activity and the holder of the funds cannot locate the owner. The time frame varies depending on the property but in most cases it is three to five years. One exception is payroll checks, which are only held for one year. The funds are then turned over to the State, which acts as custodian of the funds until they can be returned to the rightful owner.

Why can’t I find some of the unclaimed funds on the Internet?

The Division’s Online Treasure Hunt is updated weekly. In some cases, you may not find an account that is too new to appear on the website. That account should appear the next time the website is updated. Funds reported without a name will not appear on the website and will require research by the Division’s staff. Also, when the Division receives a claim form relating to an account, the online listed is pulled while the claim is being reviewed. If you have any questions, please send an e-mail to UnfdClaims.UnfdClaims@com.state.oh.us with your full name and mailing address or call the Division at (614) 466-4433 or (877) 644-6823.

How do I find out if my safe deposit box contents have been forwarded to the Division?

The contract between you and your financial institution states the length of time that they will hold your box after inactivity. After that time, certain contents will be turned over to the Division of Unclaimed Funds such as coins and currency; stocks, bonds and insurance certificates; stamps; other miscellaneous items which can be converted to cash. The Division does not receive personal items such as jewelry, photographs, letters and other personal documents.

Periodically, the Division may conduct an auction. The proceeds from the sale will be credited to an account in your name, less any bank liens, and will be paid to you or your heirs upon filing a valid claim. When claimed, all contents will be returned to the rightful owner.

Does my signature on the claim form have to be notarized?

If your claim is for unclaimed funds valued at $1,000 or more, the claim form must be notarized. A Notary Public can be found at financial institutions, city and county offices, police and sheriff’s departments, and most attorney offices.

What do I do if the account is a joint account?

The account will be paid according to how it was originally set up by the owners. If the account is set up as "John Doe AND Jane Doe," we require proof from both owners to pay the claim, and both owners should sign the claim form. If the account is set up as "John Doe OR Jane Doe," the account may be paid to either owner. If you cannot show how the account was set up, it will be treated as an "AND" account. Joint accounts are split proportionately. Two joint owners are entitled to 50% each of the value of the properties. Accordingly, three (3) joint owners are entitled to one-third each.

If the account was set up under the Uniform Gift to Minors Act and the primary owner/child is under the age of 21, only the custodian may claim the account without a court order. The minor can claim the account at 21 years of age.

If one owner is deceased, and there is right of survivorship, the surviving owner may claim the entire amount upon proof of the death of the other owner. If there is no right of survivorship, the surviving owner may claim one-half of the property. He or she would need to obtain proper probate documentation to claim the remaining half of the property.

Why is there $0.00 in the Dollar Amount field on the claim form?

The holder reported stock or Safe Deposit Box contents. Please send an e-mail to UnfdClaims.UnfdClaims@com.state.oh.us with your full name and mailing address or call the Division at (614) 466-4433 or (877) 644-6823.

Is there a time limit for claiming funds?

No, the funds are held until the rightful owner or his or her heir claims them.

CONTACT US

Division of Unclaimed Funds
77 South High Street, 20th Floor
Columbus, OH 43215-6108

Phone 614.466.4433
Fax 614.752.5078
Email 

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