From the $1.1 million waiting to be claimed by a mystery person in NSW to just a few dollars here and there, collectively Australians have left behind billions of dollars in unclaimed money which is currently sitting in government accounts.
Money-saving guru and author of “Easy Money” Joel Gibson says that there is $2.5 billion sitting in a range of government accounts just waiting to be claimed. “I call this free money and it’s so simple to check if you are owed anything, yet it really is a well-kept secret.,” he says.
Unclaimed money is usually related to when a council or government agency tried to send you money but can’t find you it will end up as unclaimed money. The money you are owed can range from inheritances and royalties to uncashed cheques or refunds or returns from an overpayment and is usually the result of people changing addresses or contact details, not closing old bank accounts, losing paperwork, or just not keeping track of details.
Gibson says this is one of the easiest ways to give your savings account a potential boost by doing a quick search. “A lot of people don’t even know this exists, or they don’t know how to search for it but it’s so easy. You can do it all online and you type your name in and hit search and if you are owed anything it will show up.”
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Gibson says while he didn’t find any unclaimed money of his own his Dad discovered he had $1000 just waiting to be claimed which he wasn’t aware of until doing a search. “ I've had readers contact me to say they've found over $2,000 for their family members in there too.”
Gibson also says that it’s important to emphasise that claiming this money can be done anytime with no time limit on it. “It’s your money, the government is just ‘minding’ it for you so all you have to claim it, it won’t be hard at all.” He also says that now all claims can be done online the whole process can be done in minutes.
“This is the easiest way to make hundred or thousands of dollars that’s your money - and so many people don’t even know it’s there.”
To see if you have unclaimed money Gibson says there are a few sites to search. The first is the federal site and then the state government site for where you live and any other states where you have lived in the past.
Where to check if you have unclaimed money.
FEDERAL: ‘ASIC unclaimed money’