Outstanding Check Outreach and Escheatment
Each year an outreach and escheatment must be completed for all checks that remain uncashed one year after the year of issuance. All checks that remain uncashed after the outreach process must be turned over to the Abandoned Property Fund by the applicable reporting date required by the Office of the State Comptroller’s (OSC) Office of Unclaimed Funds (OUF). NYS issued checks are required to be reported by April 30th each year.
Abandoned Property Law §1422 requires New York State to perform certain payee notification requirements for uncashed checks. OSC performs the outreach for refunds issued out of the Comptroller’s Refund Account and for payroll checks. The Department of Tax and Finance (DTF) Treasury performs the outreach for Vendor, Employee Expense and SSI/SSP checks issued out of the General Checking account. Business Units are responsible for performing the outreach for all checks issued out of their agency sole custody accounts.
For checks over $20 that remain uncashed one year after the year of issuance, the State is required to attempt to notify payees:
- by first class mail, no less than 90 days prior to the applicable reporting date; April 30th. The letter notifies the payee that the proceeds of the uncashed check(s) will be turned over to the abandoned Property Fund unless the check is cashed or a claim is made to the issuing agency for a replacement check.
First class mailings are not required where:
the agency does not have an address for the payee, or
the agency can demonstrate that the only address on file is not the payee’s current address.
by certified mail – return receipt requested, a follow up mailing for any check with an amount greater than $1,000. This must be sent to a payee not less than 60 days prior to the applicable reporting date; April 30th.
Certified mailings are not required if:
the check is claimed by the payee, or
the first class mailing is returned as undeliverable by the Post Office.
For current year outreach dates for Refund, Payroll, Vendor, Employee Expense and SSI/SSP checks see Operational Advisory 8 – State Check Outreach.
Replacement Checks due to Outreach
When an outreach letter is returned by the payee, it is sent to the agency responsible for the original issuance.
Signed outreach letters that are returned by the payee should be treated as a written request for reissuance of a check that agencies would see in the normal course of business.
Once a replacement check has been requested due to the outreach process, it is important for agencies to follow the steps below based on which bank account the original check was paid from.
Comptroller’s Refund Account Outreach
For the reissuance of an uncashed check, agencies must follow the guidance prescribed in Chapter XII, Section 9.G - Reissuing or Cancelling a Refund Check.
Payroll Account Outreach
OSC will reissue upon receipt of a signed outreach letter from the payee.
Vendor, Employee Expense or SSI/SSP General Checking Account Outreach
For the reissuance of an uncashed check, agencies must follow the guidance prescribed in Chapter XII, Section 9.C - Reissuing or Cancelling a Vendor, Employee Expense or SSI/SSP Check.
Agency Sole Custody Account Outreach
For the reissuance of an uncashed check, agencies must follow the guidance prescribed by their specific agency policies.
Pursuant to §102 of the State Finance Law, the amounts of all uncashed checks and prepaid cards issued by or on behalf of the State for more than one year from the date of issuance shall be paid into the Abandoned Property Fund. The funds must be turned over by the applicable reporting date pursuant to OUF; April 30th. OSC will complete this transfer for the Comptroller’s Refund Account and payroll checks. DTF Treasury will complete this transfer for Vendor, Employee Expense and SSI/SSP checks. Business Units are responsible for transferring the funds from their agency sole custody accounts once the required information is transmitted to OSC OUF.
For current escheatment dates for Refund, Payroll, Vendor, Employee Expense and SSI/SSP checks see Operational Advisory 9 – Current Year Escheatment.
Once the proceeds of the uncashed payments for the year have been transferred to OUF, all future claims related to these proceeds shall be referred to OUF.
Guide to Financial Operations