How to Search for Unclaimed Government Benefits

by Darla Ferrara ; Updated July 27, 2017

Each year, states and the federal government control benefit funds that accrue from tax refunds, pensions and forgotten bank accounts. These monies sit waiting, unclaimed, until you look for them. Most will stay there until the agency involved gives up. While many businesses offer the service of locating and filing claims for a fee, the process can be done without sacrificing a percentage of your found money. There is a number of online services that will help you located any funds that belong to you.

Step 1

Open the web page for NAUPA and click on the state you wish to search (see Reference section for links).

Step 2

Locate the link for “Search for Unclaimed Property.” It may be easy to find or buried in a side menu, but it is there.

Step 3

Follow the instructions provided by the website. Typically, you enter your last name or business name and your first name. A list of individuals with that name who have unclaimed property will come. If you are on that list, follow the directions provided to file your claim.

Step 4

Open the web site for PBGC. This will search for pensions.

Step 5

Move to the text box in the middle of the page and type in your last name or company name.

Step 6

Click on the “Search” button. If your name appears on the list, follow the instructions on the page to file your claim.

Step 7

Open the NTU web page in your Internet browser. This site will check for unclaimed tax refunds.

Step 8

Select a year to search.

Step 9

Type your last name in the appropriate text box and click on “Submit.” If your name appears, you must file forms with the IRS to make your claim. Call the number listed on the web page for more information.

About the Author

Writing since 1999, Darla Ferrara is an award-winning author who specializes in health, diet, fitness and computer technology. She has been published in "Mezzo Magazine" and Diet Spotlight, as well as various online magazines. Ferrara studied biology and emergency medical technology at the University of Nebraska and Southeast Community College.