Unclaimed Cash: Finding money the state owes you

Treasurer Curtis Loftis loves the unclaimed cash office.

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WCIV) - At the state treasurer's office in Columbia, employees are giving away money as part of the state's unclaimed property program.

The claims processors are reuniting South Carolinians with money they didn't know they had.

"People love it. And I love it. It's the best job in state government," said Treasurer Curtis Loftis.

Loftis says his office has more than $416 million that belongs to taxpayers in the form of cash, stocks, dividends, and estates that were forgotten, lost, or hidden.

To find unclaimed money anywhere in the state,{}click here.{}

"When you were in college and you had a cable bill.{} All those things.{} You get that money back.{} But there's a lot more. When you pay the hospital after an insurance claim, lots of times those get settled up, and you get money back. But they go to an old address," he said.

All that money ends up in the unclaimed property office.

Jim McInnis is the program's assistant director. He spends his days reuniting people with money. His office helps people work through the process of claiming what's theirs.

"We tell everyone to allow us 10 to 12 weeks. We have 10 to 12 weeks by law to pay each claim. And eventually it'll be, you know, evaluated by a claims processor," McInnis said.

The office also calls claimants to tell them about extra assets that were discovered.

Loftis calls the program a success.

"If you can pick up the phone and call an elderly lady in South Carolina who's maybe living on $700 or $800{} a month and say I've got a thousand dollars. Or even if I've got fifty dollars, it doesn't matter.{} When you're able to tell her that, it's a great day," he said.

It's a statewide program that puts checks in the mail for thousands of people.

"No strings attached it's their money. They don't have to pay taxes on it. It's their money," Loftis said.

How do you find out if you're owed money? First, get in touch with the state treasurer's office and search its online statewide database.{}

To find unclaimed money anywhere in the state, click here.{}