More than 66,000 people can receive up to $5,000 from Illinois’ Unclaimed Property program and all they have to do is open their mailboxes, Illinois State Treasurer Michael Frerichs said in a news release.
The total expected to be returned is $47 million.
To see if you have unclaimed property, check the online database at www.illinoistreasurer.gov.
Frerichs proposed and worked with the General Assembly to create the enhancements to the Money Match program to make it easier to return money automatically without the need to file a claim, according to the release. In doing so, lawmakers also agreed to raise the automatic payment cap to $5,000.
Enhanced Money Match is the latest improvement that leverages technology to return money to individuals quickly and efficiently, according to the release.
“How can we make life a little bit better and a little bit easier for our residents is the driving force behind all of our programs,” Frerichs said in the release. “Putting money in people’s pockets so they can decide how best to spend it simply makes a lot of sense and is the right thing to do.”
The Enhanced Money Match Program leverages data already collected by the state and crossmatches it with the treasurer’s unclaimed property database, according to the release.
When a matching name and mailing address is identified and confirmed, the unclaimed property owner will receive a letter from the Treasurer’s Office that describes the amount and source of the money.
After one additional security step is concluded, a check is issued to the owner.
“Our economy is growing, but we know there still are challenges,” Frerichs said in the release. “This money will offer a cushion for some and for others it will help with back-to-school expenses and making rent.”
Enhanced Money Match focuses on the simple claims of cash owed to a single person, according to the release.
Not included is cash owned by multiple parties, including a joint holding of a parent and minor child, as well as shares of stocks and bonds, escrow accounts or the contents of bank safe deposit boxes.
That part does not change, but the cap is raised to $5,000 from $2,000.
Initial Enhanced Money Match letters were sent out this month to an estimated 66,700 individuals. Checks could be issued a few weeks later.
Enhanced Money Match is part of the office’s Unclaimed Property program, also known as I-Cash, which is one of the state’s oldest consumer protection initiatives. It has returned $1.8 billion since Frerichs was elected in 2014.
In Illinois, the state treasurer safeguards unclaimed property, such as the contents of overlooked safe deposit boxes, unpaid life insurance benefits, forgotten bank accounts and unused rebate cards, according to the release.
Illinois holds more than $3.5 billion in unclaimed property. The state treasurer is legally required to return unclaimed property to its owners or heirs, no matter how long it takes.
|Unclaimed cash by county||Number of people||Amount|
|McHenry County||1,819 people||$1.08 million|
|Kane County||2,233 people||$1.275 million|
|DeKalb County||490 people||$303,500|
|Bureau County||108 people||$75,000|
|DuPage County||5,127 people||$3.3 million|
|Lake County||4,820 people||$3.1 million|
|LaSalle County||441 people||$251,000|
|Lee County||134 people||$1.01 million|
|Ogle County||167 people||$69,500|
|Whiteside County||169 people for $92,400||$92,400|