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Do you have a claim in Australia’s $1.1 billion forgotten money?

Australian dollar bills Source: loandesk

Find out if you have a share in Australia’s $1.1 billion in forgotten cash.

Across Australia there is around $1.1 billion in unclaimed cash sitting dormant across the following: bank accounts - $617 million; shares - $451 million and life insurance - $81 million.

That means Australians are currently sitting on $1.1 billion in forgotten cash.

According to the Australians Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) people don’t know they have this money.

What is unclaimed money?

Unclaimed money is money from lost bank accounts, shares, investments, and life insurance policies.

Laura Higgins from ASIC told 9NEWS - "Unclaimed money comes from dormant bank accounts, or investments or life insurance policies that haven't been claimed."

This money becomes lost when you move house and forget to update your details with a financial institution or company.

"Whether you've moved house several times, moved overseas…It's very easy for people to have unclaimed money," adds Ms Higgins.

ASIC’s website says that Australia's unclaimed money is waiting to be claimed in all states:

  • NSW: $380m ($319m Sydney, $14m Hunter, $1m Illawarra)
  • VIC: $197m ($170m Melbourne, $5m Barwon, $4m Goulburn Valley)
  • QLD: $112m ($58m Brisbane, $17m Gold Coast, $7m Far North)
  • WA:  $75m ($56m Perth, $4m South West, $2m South East)
  • ACT: $15m
  • SA: $35m ($28m Adelaide, $1m South East, $1m Outer Adelaide)
  • TAS: $9m ($6m Hobart, $2m Northern Tasmania)
  • NT: $8m ($4.5m Darwin)

The total figure of $1.1 billion includes approx. $146m where the address is unknown and approx. $172m where the account holder is not in Australia, reports ASIC.

Unclaimed money received by ASIC is transferred to the Commonwealth of Australia Consolidated Revenue Fund.

But this money is available to be claimed at any time by the rightful owner and there is no time limit on claims.

In Australia, bank accounts become unclaimed after 7 years if the account is inactive (no deposits or withdrawals).

Life insurance policies become unclaimed 7 years after the policy matures and is not claimed.

To check for unclaimed money, people can simply type their name into ASIC’s MoneySmart website.

After this a claim can then be created on the ASIC site that usually takes 28 days to process.