Illinois Treasurer Michael Frerichs is launching a new campaign to highlight some of the unique items returned to people through the state’s unclaimed property program called I-Cash.
The effort includes online ads and mailers reminding the public that they may have unclaimed property waiting for them. Frerichs says his office has been successful in reuniting thousands of dollars worth of property to people around the state: “Some of our greatest returns are unclaimed cash that’s put to use like putting a new roof on someone’s home, returning jewelry from a grandparent that put it away in a safety deposit box, or a Purple Heart medal that a veteran’s family thought they would never see again. This is one of the best parts of my job. This year’s push will take place online. We are going to see digital ads on social media. We want to raise awareness and encourage others to check to find out if they have cash or property waiting to be claimed.”
Frerichs says that people can search the database of unclaimed property at https://icash.illinoistreasurer.gov/. Frerichs says about 1 in 4 individuals who do a search are successful in finding a piece of unclaimed property owed to them. The average claim is approximately $1,000.
In 2020, Frerichs announced $1 billion in unclaimed property had been returned to Illinois taxpayers during his tenure, the most that has been returned in any five-year period in the program’s 58-year history. The $1 billion milestone was possible because Frerichs prioritized changes in technology, efficiency, and state law to streamline the unclaimed property process.