Countless individuals throughout the country may be surprised to learn that they have money that is rightfully theirs awaiting them at their State Treasury Department. Child support funds, if left unclaimed, remain at the Treasury Department until the appropriate parent comes to claim them. In the event that they are not, the abandoned money sits and sits indefinitely. Instead of letting this happen to you, make sure to take the proper steps to determine if you do have unclaimed money and if you do, to get it transferred into your account where it belongs.
Why weren't you given the funds initially?
There can be a number of reasons why the funds weren't provided to you right away. You may have had your child support frozen due to past unpaid child support or the court may have tried to deliver your payment but they had the wrong address. Incarceration and military orders can also delay payment. In these cases, the proper procedure is for the State Treasury Department to hold the funds until the appropriate paperwork is filed.
How can you find out if you have funds awaiting you?
Fortunately, this process is actually quite simple. Simply enter your first and last name and your social security number into the appropriate unclaimed child support database. A child support case number can also be used to expedite the search. This database is online in many states, making the process even more streamlined. However, in some states, you will need to come into the government office to determine if you have unclaimed funds.
You have money waiting. Now what?
In the majority of cases, you'll want to contact the court where your case was heard. In many cases, the court should be able to help you find the money and provide you with the direction needed to obtain the funds. While these requests can be made by mail, doing so online or by phone can help to speed up the process. However, no matter which method you choose, be prepared for a wait as a great deal of research will typically be required on the part of the court. Make sure to check back regularly to ensure that your request hasn't slipped through the cracks.
What kind of documentation do I need to get my money?
In the majority of instances, you'll need to provide your original claim, which can be found online if they were not previously sent directly to you. All of the forms will need to be signed by all individuals on the document. In some cases, you may also need to have the documents notarized.
Along with the claims documents, you'll also need to show your driver's license, social security card, and/or proof of residence. If the person from whom you are claiming the money has passed away, you'll need to provide a death certificate or appropriate probate information. If the funds are being claimed on behalf of a business, further documents may be necessary and you may need to schedule an appointment to speak one on one with appropriate government personnel. Make sure to familiarize yourself with the legislation in your state so that you bring all of the documents you need; knowing what's expected can significantly cut down on your wait time.
Are there any companies that can help you to navigate the process?
If you're having issues with the process or you're unsure how to proceed, there are companies that are able to help. These businesses have databases that can access information from all states and many times, these companies are able to significantly reduce your wait time. These companies are often required to be bonded and registered in their state and they typically require a fee of no more than 10-15% of the total money claimed. Above all, when researching companies, make sure to only consider those who are legitimate.
Keep in mind that this is already YOUR money so don't hesitate to take the proper steps to claim it. Instead of allowing it to sit with the state collecting no interest, take action so that you can use the funds to support your child or to alleviate some of the financial stress you may be experiencing due to unpaid child support. While the process may seem arduous at first, it's the only way to receive the money that is rightfully yours.
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