In order to effectively understand how this figure got this enormous, we must first have a basic understanding of what an unclaimed fund or money is and what sort of funds fall into this category.
It might seem ridiculous to most that this amount of money just goes unclaimed especially with families having less and less disposable income.
This “epidemic” of money just going unclaimed has more or less gained minimal attention with a large number of people having no idea that they may or may not have unclaimed funds.
It comes as no surprise that since the total amount of unclaimed funds crossed the landmark amount of 1 billion dollars, they have gradually gained attention from Australians all across the country.
Maybe it’s the ridiculous amount of the unclaimed money or the fact that a healthy amount of individuals believe that they could actually own some of this money, there is no denying that more attention has been paid to these unclaimed funds recently.
The unclaimed funds have grown so much out of very little that anyone of us could be entitled to some of it.
The money that individuals are entitled to ranges anywhere from a few dollars to hundreds of thousands of dollars and in NSW is available for those who believe they are entitled to a claim.
We feel like equipping you with the right information concerning this topic at this juncture is paramount to assist you in making your first or next step in your quest to claiming what you own.
These are some of the frequently asked questions and enquiries concerning this topic.
They include the following:
- What is unclaimed money?
- Find out if you are owed money
- Claiming unclaimed money
What is unclaimed money?
This is undoubtedly the most asked question and has been asked by most people at one point in time or the other.
The total sum of these unclaimed funds is so ridiculous that it catches the attention of most that come across it, who wouldn’t pay attention to free money?
According to the Australian Securities and Investments Commission, bank accounts officially become classified as unclaimed after being inactive for 7 years.
Inactivity, in this case, means that no deposits or withdrawals have been made on a bank account for 7 years. When an account attains 7 years of inactivity, the money left in the account officially gets classified as unclaimed and contributes towards the total of over $1 billion.
Life insurance policies, shares, investments and everything in between becomes unclaimed after 7 years of inactivity.
In the case of life insurance, it becomes unclaimed 7 years after the policy attains maturity and doesn’t get claimed.
Find out if you are owed money
Finding out if you’re one of those being owed money has never been easier, all that has to be done is to visit a few official websites and you are good to go.
According to moneysmart.gov.au, the amount of unclaimed money varies from place to place and the bigger cities have a larger amount of unclaimed money.
The city of Sydney leads the pack with a mind-boggling $319 million in unclaimed money, Melbourne comes in at second with $170 million in unclaimed money.
There are a number of websites that offer you the opportunity to input a few details and find out if you are being owed any money.
These websites are official treasury websites for the various states and territories; these are the most reliable websites to get valuable information.
You can also get information by contacting local agencies in your individual states such as the Australian Securities and Investments Commission, those of us in New South Wales can visit revenue.nsw.gov.au for clarification.
Claiming unclaimed money
Once you have successfully located your money through any online search facilities, you can proceed to make an online claim.
You might need to download, fill and submit an online form in PDF. This submitted claim would be reviewed and you get your money after the government verifies the facts.
Keep in mind that false, fraudulent or otherwise misleading claims can land you in legal trouble with fines of up to $11,000.
During the process of establishing a claim, you are required to provide documents that establish your identity and clearly state your connection to the money or organization that forwarded the money to the government or organization.
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