You Might be Eligible to Receive Free Money from the Government! Here’s How to Find Out


Bronze Wordsmith
May 17, 2018
Free money: it’s the mythical unicorn of money-making. People talk about it but tend to doubt whether it’s actually real. Well, I’m pretty sure I’ve never seen a unicorn (other than that time I’ve had one too many beers), but guess what? Free money is actually real!

And I’m talking about real-free money. Not some sketchy plan that makes promises that are too good to be true. The truth is, most of us are already familiar with the concept of free money – we get it in the form of tax refunds. Who would have thought, right? But that’s pretty much free money, right there.

So in this article, I’ll be showing you some additional ways how to get free money. Most of these involve getting free money online, and involve getting free money from the government. But don’t worry, all these methods are completely legit!

But before we head over to the legit methods, it would be a good idea to cover some of the red flags you need to look out for. Let’s tackle that first:


First: How To Avoid Free Money Scams

It’s safe to assume that a whole lot of people are looking for free money. While there are a lot of ways to get free money, there are also a lot of scams looking to take advantage of clueless people. Most of these make outrageous promises and require you to pay them (so I guess there really is free money in these scams – for the scammers, that is).

Always keep an eye out for anything shady or suspicious. To help you do that below are a few things you need to watch out for:

They Require Payment Upfront

A few shady groups will charge you an “application” or a “processing” fee. This is pure nonsense since no government agency will charge you if you’re eligible to get free unclaimed money.

Now, to be clear, there are legit third parties that you can pay to help process your free money applications. But why should you? Most government offices are pretty good at helping you figure out how to submit the necessary paperwork and how to go through the entire process.

They Have Suspicious Websites

Most US government websites generally have a consistent look and – most importantly – end with the .gov domain. If you find a site that claims you have free money, inspect them closely. If they don’t look legit, or even if they do, but have a weird domain that ends in something like .info or .me, chances are they won’t be legit. Always be suspicious!

They’re Unlisted

If any party approaches you claiming you’re eligible to have free money, check with the relevant federal or state government website. If the free money is legit, it’ll be listed there. If they’re unlisted, leave.

Legit Ways To Get Unclaimed Money For Free

Okay, now that I’ve shown you the red flags, here are the legit ways to get free money!


Exchange Damaged Currency For New Money

You would think people would take better care of their physical money, but according to the US Treasury Department, over $30 million worth of currency is damaged each year! Luckily, the Treasury Department will replace any damage bills you give them, as long as the serial numbers are still readable.

If you have any damaged or mutilated bills on you, they’re not completely worthless – have them exchanged for usable money! And best of all, it’s totally free — all you have to do is submit a Damaged Currency Claim.

Get Unclaimed Tax Returns

Sometimes, delivering tax return cheques fail (maybe the recipient wasn’t home, or provided the wrong address). The US government hangs on to unclaimed tax refunds; that money still belongs to the person who should have received them.

If you think you have an unclaimed tax refund, simply check your refund status at the Internal Revenue Service website. If the original delivery failed because you changed addresses, you will have to accomplish a change of address form to get your free money.

Get Unclaimed Pensions

You’ll be surprised by how many pensions are unclaimed. I used to think claiming one’s pension would be pretty high on the to-do list, but I guess things sometimes happen. If you think you or a loved one have unclaimed pension cheques, you can go to the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) website and check their Unclaimed Pensions page, just to be sure.

If you were part of a pension plan that folded, you might still be eligible to receive money. Head over to the Trusteed Pension of the PBGC site to find out about your pension plan.

Try To Qualify For Temporary Assistance For Needy Families (tanf)

Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) is a program that, as the name implies, provides a helping hand to families in need. Their grants cover a wide variety of needs, from food to housing, to child welfare.

If you ever find yourself facing difficult times, and in need of some assistance, the TANF should be one of the first places you should go to.

Check If Someone Owes You Money

The best way to find out if you’re owed any free money is by checking your local or state government. Some of the usual sources of owed funds include utility deposits, uncashed paychecks, and unclaimed insurance benefits.

Sometimes, the government or a corporation will try to send you that money, but the money never makes it to you. There are lots of reasons for this to happen. It usually involves you changing addresses, the sender having the wrong info, or you not being home when the messenger arrived with your cheque.

Experts estimate that there’s about $42 in unclaimed money floating around in the economy!

But to say that it’s part of the economy isn’t entirely accurate. Unclaimed money doesn’t go back to circulation. That money is still yours, and it’s there, waiting for you to claim it.

As mentioned earlier, you can check with your local or state government. You can also check the websites of both and

These two sites are totally legit and are operated by the National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators (NAUPA). It is the NAUPA’s mandate to inform people about the funds that are owed to them.

And the best thing about these sites is that if you find out that you are indeed owed money, they will give you all the information you’ll need on how to claim that money.


Try To Get Student Loans Forgiven

This isn’t about getting free money per se. But since student loans are such a huge financial burden, having them forgiven could practically mean more money in your monthly budget. And the amount, on average, owed by students is no joke – on average, that amount is a whopping $35,000! So having that debt written off is a huge advantage.

If you’ve worked for a government agency, or certain non-profits, you can apply to have your student loans forgiven by using the Public Service Loan Forgiveness option. There’s a ten-year period, though. You can only apply after ten years of repayment. While it does take a while to get this done, but better late than never, I say!

Alternately, you can also have your debt forgiven by volunteering at any of the following organizations:



Who said you can’t get free money? This list proves that it is indeed possible! As always, you’ll have to keep your eyes peeled for any opportunities to get free money. But you’ll also have to be extra wary of scams. Hopefully, this list helps you figure out which ones are legit, and which ones are scams.

If you’ve got any other tips on how to get free money, let us know! We’re always looking for new ways to get free money!
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