Connecticut is one of about a dozen US states that have over $1 billion in unclaimed money and unclaimed property. The number of unclaimed accounts sits at around 2 million residents with an average of $700 per claim. This state has been a bit slow in its advancement of its claim process with online claiming being launched within the last year or so. While the website does have a searchable database, it does not display amounts less than $50. If anyone has an amount less than $50 the only way to know and subsequently claim that money is to call into the treasurers office. These names are not even published annually like some states do. The CT Mirror purchased the entire list which is only generated every two years by the state and charged the journalism company $200 for the 300,000 page document. According to the CT Mirror report, it took their team months to reformat the document so it could be searchable. The kicker is that the total amount of unpublished unclaimed money (accounts with less than $50) is a staggering $40 million. This unclaimed money is not searchable online and can only be claimed by calling in.
Another glaring issue is the incentive legislators and other state officials have to ensure their total unclaimed stays high. Legislators often use this money to pad the state budget, redirecting over $98 million in this year alone. This incentive is backed up by the amount they spend on outreach in getting money back to its rightful owners. According to CT Mirror, over the past 5 years the state has spend just $26,000 on outreach and marketing to help people claim their money. Over that same period, the state has spent nearly $5 million to audit companies to force them to turn over over $50 million in unclaimed money.
Being that Connecticut is one of just a handful of states that hold over a billion in unclaimed money and unclaimed property, they must increase their efforts to get the money back to its rightful owners. Be sure to search Connecticut’s unclaimed money page, and don’t forget to call also, in case your amount to be claimed is less than $50.