DiNapoli: OUF Online Claim Form Receives NYS Forum Best Practice Award

State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli’s Office of Unclaimed Funds (OUF) has been awarded a New York State Forum Best Practice Award for 2009-2010 for the technical implementation for the Comptroller’s Unclaimed Funds Online Claiming Application. Best Practice Awards are given annually to a limited number of New York state agencies and local governments in recognition of their efforts to improve government services through the use of effective information management.

“During these tough times, every dime counts, and so does every minute,” DiNapoli said. “New York has $10.5 billion in unclaimed fund accounts. That money belongs to New Yorkers and we want to give it back. Our new system is a huge step forward for New Yorkers to get their money back.”

DiNapoli’s new online claiming system went live on March 24th. The web application helps the majority of abandoned property owners claim their funds online in six easy steps. It reduces the time-frame to pay most claims submitted online to as little as three business days. Some claims still require a mail-in claim form, such as claims for estates, companies, or those that require additional documentation, but even those customers will benefit from the time-saving efficiencies provided by the new system.

Pursuant to the State’s Abandoned Property Law, the Comptroller’s Office acts as custodian of the abandoned property and is responsible for processing claims on behalf of the rightful owners. Unclaimed funds are abandoned accounts, financial instruments, or policies that banks, corporations, and other entities are required to turn over to the state after they have been dormant for a set period of time.

The New York State Forum, Inc. is a network of state and local government organizations and information technology leaders and professionals concerned with information management, policy, and operations. The NYS Forum, Inc. annually recognizes the outstanding work done during the past year in the areas of Excellence in Government Information Services, best practices in Information Resource Management, and Webmasters’ Guild Best of the Web.

For more information and to check if you are owed unclaimed funds, visit the Comptroller’s Unclaimed Funds website or call the toll-free number at 1-800-221-9311, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

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