The Washington State Department of Revenue’s Unclaimed Property (UCP) program is breaking records, returning an all-time high of $138.9 million in unclaimed property back to thousands of Washingtonians this past year.
“We are proud to be reuniting Washingtonians with what’s rightfully theirs, and in record amounts,” Revenue Director Drew Shirk said. “It’s your money, and we want to get it back to you.”
Unclaimed property is a free public service administered by the Department of Revenue. Each year, banks and other businesses turn over unclaimed money, stocks, and securities to the program.
Revenue holds the property until it is claimed by the rightful owner or heir. In Fiscal Year 2023 (July 1-June 30), Revenue’s UCP program returned $138.9 million compared to $89.4 million in 2022, an almost $50 million increase in one year.
Record amounts received
It’s not just money going out; more money is coming in than ever before. Washington state law requires businesses and other organizations to review their records each year to determine whether they hold any funds, securities, or other property that has remained unclaimed for the required abandonment period and turn it over. Holders reported a record $322 million in unclaimed property, up more than $75 million from $246.5 million the prior year.
“It is exciting to see the program continue to grow,” Washington’s Unclaimed Property Administrator Patti Wilson said. “I started with UCP in 1994. That year, we returned $4.4 million. Now we return on average over $11 million per month.”
Money Match sees positive results
This spring, UCP successfully launched the new Money Match program, which automatically returns unclaimed property to Washingtonians after verifying ownership and without requiring an owner to file a claim or submit documentation. Since the new program launched, UCP has issued 9,104 checks for a total of $1.2 million.
“Returning money to rightful owners is the best job in state government,” Wilson said. “It is especially great when we return money to individuals who did not know they had money coming to them.”
Residents can check claimyourcash.org to see if you have money waiting to be claimed.