CHARLESTON -- The State Treasurer’s Office’s e-claims program has reached $5 million in returned unclaimed property since its inception in 2009.
Figures show the division has paid to rightful owners a little more than $5 million generated from electronic claims. That figure encompasses about 14,000 claims.
E-claims allows rightful owners to file claims for their property on-line by scanning and submitting necessary documents online. It is especially helpful with straightforward, one-owner cases.
Senior claims specialist Tricia Sullivan said the milestone has been reached as a natural progression. “It’s just sort of happened,” Sullivan said. “We do promote e-claims a lot.”
In the just-completed fiscal year, the Unclaimed Property Division processed 7,700 total claims, about 2,800 of which were generated electronically, as opposed to mailed inquiry forms or claims generated by phone. That’s 36 percent of all claims.
“It does make it easier as far as freeing up [physical] space,” Sullivan said, referring to paper generated by mailed-in forms.
Sullivan said inserts published in newspapers lead to both calls and e-claims. Often the caller ends up filing electronically once he knows he can.
In the five full fiscal years in which the program has been up and running, claims generated electronically have exceeded $1 million in three of them. The high water mark was $1.3 million in 2012.
“We’re happy with the numbers but not satisfied,” Unclaimed Property Deputy Treasurer Carolyn Atkinson said. “We’re always looking to do better.”