COULD YOU USE A LITTLE EXTRA MONEY? Did you waste your last dollars playing the multi-million-dollar lottery?  Have you sold your old hedge trimmers, leaf blowers, useless knickknacks, and old clothing at a garage sale just to make a few bucks?  Here’s an idea for you.  Check the Illinois Dash for Cash at https://icash.illinois.gov/.

Illinois Cash
Illinois Cash

The law that created the unclaimed property program was established in the early 1960s as a consumer protection initiative.  Illinois Dash for Cash was formerly called Cash Dash.  It was renamed in 2012.  The state currently has $2.1 billion in cash plus contents from Illinois bank safe deposit boxes to be returned to Illinois residents.  One in eight Illinois residents has an asset to be claimed in Illinois Dash for Cash.  One in four Illinois adults who searches the Illinois State Treasurer’s Illinois Dash for Cash database finds property to claim, and the average claim is $1,000.

The Illinois State Treasurer attempts to return unclaimed or abandoned property to the owners or heirs.  Unclaimed property is money or assets that have been separated from the owner for at least five years.  Often the owner doesn’t know the property exists.  Examples include inactive savings and checking accounts; unpaid wages or commissions; stocks, bonds, and mutual funds; money orders and bill overpayments; paid up life insurance policies; and safe deposit box contents.

The Illinois State Treasurer auctions some of the contents of safe deposit boxes on eBay.  Items for sale include jewelry, coins, baseball cards, and other collectibles.  The money generated by the auction is held for the owners of the property.

Certain items found in safe deposit boxes are not auctioned.  For example, firearms are not auctioned.  Coins with a numismatic value are not auctioned.

If you find your name on the database of unclaimed property, print out a claim form and mail it to the unclaimed property division.  Submit the requested documentation along with your completed claim form to the following:

Illinois State Treasurer’s Office
Unclaimed Property Division
P.O. Box 19495
Springfield, Illinois 62794-9495

While you are on the Web site (https://icash.illinois.gov/), look up the names of family members and relatives.  You might be surprised to learn what unclaimed property exists in the name of a deceased family member or relative.  One of my family members died in 1996 at the age of ninety-five.  The will was probated, and all known assets were distributed according to the terms of the will.

Now, twenty years later, three small checks totaling $84.00 were listed on https://icash.illinois.gov/.  The checks were refunds/overpayments from healthcare providers.  A copy of the death certificate was required as documentation.

by Karen Centowski