Utah State Treasurer David Damschen encourages Utahns to search for unclaimed property belonging to the veterans and active-duty service members in their lives this Veterans Day.
“Our veterans, service members and their families have sacrificed so much. Helping them find their unclaimed property is one small way we can thank them for their service,” Treasurer Damschen said.
U.S. Army Veteran Lisa Duckworth, who is currently the Local Veterans Employment Representative for the Utah Department of Workforce Services, had searched for unclaimed property in the past after seeing advertisements and news stories and stopping by a booth at the state fair. However, the Unclaimed Property Division fell off her radar until she was recently contacted by Unclaimed Property staff about property that had been reported to the state since she had last checked the website.
“It was a pleasant surprise, and the process to get my unclaimed funds was very slick and very easy to do,” Duckworth said. “Most people know at least one veteran, and we all say, ‘Thank you for your service.’ We’re a very patriotic and proud nation, and what better way to show a fellow veteran, military member or even military spouse that you really do appreciate their service than by helping them discover something they didn’t realize they had. And who doesn’t like getting money?”
When a business owes money to an individual it cannot find, it remits those funds to the Unclaimed Property Division after three years of non-contact with the owner. Last year, the division received 382,349 unclaimed properties totaling $54.8 million. Unclaimed property comes from sources like dormant bank accounts, overpaid medical bills, uncashed checks, unpaid insurance benefits and safe deposit box contents.
The Unclaimed Property Database does not identify veterans, but the division is hoping that through a public information campaign and partnerships with organizations that serve military families and veterans, it can help veterans find and claim their lost property. Treasurer Damschen is a Coast Guard veteran, and Unclaimed Property Administrator Dennis Johnston is a Navy veteran.
“Having been on deployment myself and knowing how things can go awry, we want to get this money back into the pockets of our service members and veterans, particularly this year when people are economically challenged,” Johnston said. “Additionally, our veterans likely have a higher percentage of unclaimed property. Service members tend to move more frequently than civilians and are consequently more likely to have a check mailed to an old address or have money forgotten at an insurance company, utility or bank in a state they have since left.”
The division reunited a record-breaking $40.6 million in unclaimed property with rightful owners in fiscal year 2020 amid the pandemic.
For more information and to search property, visit mycash.utah.gov or call 801-715-3300.
Click HERE to view the 2020 Unclaimed Property Veterans Day videos, which include the stories of veterans and their family members who have engaged with the Unclaimed Property Division.