Safeguarding unclaimed funds: How BC Unclaimed protects rightful owners with evidence requirements

August 11, 2023

At BC Unclaimed, our unwavering commitment is to reunite unclaimed funds with their rightful owners. To achieve this, we have two crucial evidence requirements: proof of claimant identity and proof of entitlement. If you want to know more about proof of entitlement, check our Documentation requirements page. In this blog post, we'll explore how BC Unclaimed's evidence requirements ensure a secure process, verify the rightful owner's identity and provide peace of mind to claimants. These requirements exist to guarantee that funds go back to the true owner and no one else.

Why isn't my ID enough to claim the funds?

Imagine you discover unclaimed funds waiting for you—BC Unclaimed sends a letter notifying you about an old balance from a forgotten credit union account. You plan to claim it for something special, but when you submit your ID, you're told it's already been claimed. How is that possible? It was your money, and you even found an old account statement as proof—turns out someone with the same name claimed it first. Unfair, right?

BC Unclaimed's evidence requirements prevent this scenario. Our policy ensures that even if someone found your wallet on the street, they couldn't claim your money. We want payment to go back to the rightful owner, not someone else with your name or in fraudulent possession of your ID. That's why we need more than just your ID; after all, two people can have the same name.

Some might say, "That would never happen to me because I'm the only one in BC with my name!" We hear this a lot, but you’d be surprised by the number of people who share names in BC. Also, our database goes back to the 1850s, making it harder to guarantee that you’re the only person with that name in the last 160 years. Put in this perspective, we hope you understand why we can’t take your word for it that the money is yours by a name alone.

What if I can't prove it's my money?

This is the most challenging part for us. Sometimes claimants can't find any proof connecting them to the funds in their name. When this happens, we work with them, using the information in our database to find other solutions. You might be able to provide proof of an old address or SIN if it was given to us by the credit union or employer. In certain cases, a claimant's recollection of events could be used to support their entitlement. And remember, there's no time limit to claim your money; we'll keep it safe until you're ready.

Preserving the integrity of BC Unclaimed’s service to British Columbians.

We take our role as the province’s trusted caretaker of unclaimed money very seriously. As the only organization of its kind in North America that gives excess unclaimed funds to charity, we're passionate about what we do and the importance of preserving British Columbian’s access to this free service. A wrongful distribution to anyone other than the rightful owner could call into question the validity of our organization. Our evidence requirements protect the rightful owners of unclaimed property, and demonstrate BC Unclaimed’s commitment to our mandate from the Province of British Columbia.

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