You have heard the phrase “you snooze, you lose”, well apparently it is not true with the Department of State Lands. If a patient over-pays their account they will have a credit balance in your accounts receivable system. You will issue the patient a refund check, but what happens if they don’t cash the refund check you issue them? This is very common, every state has an unclaimed property program and they expect you to turn those funds over to them so that the money can be returned to the rightful owner as unclaimed property. A little more information on unclaimed property is below.
Unclaimed property (sometimes referred to as abandoned) refers to accounts in financial institutions and companies that have had no activity generated or contact with the owner for one year or a longer period. Common forms of unclaimed property include savings or checking accounts, stocks, uncashed dividends or payroll checks, refunds, traveler’s checks, trust distributions, unredeemed money orders or gift certificates (in some states), insurance payments or refunds and life insurance policies, annuities, certificates of deposit, customer overpayments, utility security deposits, mineral royalty payments, and contents of safe deposit boxes.
Generally speaking, if refunds have not been cashed for three years, then at that point, the state will want you to turn the money over to them. However, each state has its own rules and due diligence for holders of unclaimed property. The below links can help you understand your responsibilities. Please let us know if you need any help.