Some Illinois residents can expect to receive checks worth $5,000 in their mailbox due to a new program from the state treasurer’s office.

Last month, Illinois State Treasurer Michael Frerichs sent out a news release announcing that over 66,000 “people are in line to receive up to $5,000 from the state’s Unclaimed Property program and all they have to do is open their mailbox.”

According to the news release, Frerichs worked with the Illinois General Assembly on the state’s Money Match program to allow for quicker payments to residents who are owed money through the Unclaimed Property program.

“In doing so, lawmakers also agreed to raise the automatic payment cap to $5,000. Enhanced Money Match is the latest improvement that leverages technology to return money to individuals quickly and efficiently,” the release said.

The announcement by the Illinois State Treasurer’s office comes as other states have been sending out direct stimulus payments to residents. States including Alaska, Montana, Washington and Minnesota are issuing payments this month to residents through a number of different programs.

In Alaska, some residents are set to receive checks worth $1,300 through the state’s Permanent Fund Dividend, which uses interest gained from the state’s oil revenue. In Minnesota, residents will receive tax rebates worth $520 for married couples who filed a 2021 property tax return and have a gross income of $150,000 or less. Single residents with an adjusted income of $75,000 or less will receive checks worth $260.

The Illinois State Treasurer’s office said in the announcement last month that the new Enhanced Money Match Program allows officials to use data already collected on residents and “crossmatches it with the treasurer’s unclaimed property database.”

“When a matching name and mailing address is identified and confirmed, the unclaimed property owner will receive a letter from the Treasurer’s Office that describes the amount and source of the money,” the news release said. “After one additional security step is concluded, a check simply is issued to the owner. All they have to do is watch for the mail.”

Frerichs said in that announcement that “putting money in people’s pockets so they can decide how best to spend it simply makes a lot of sense and is the right thing to do.”

Stock image of $100 bills. In September 2023, the Illinois Treasurer’s Office will be sending out $5,000 checks to eligible residents as part of an unclaimed property program.

“This money will offer a cushion for some, and for others, it will help with back-to-school expenses and making rent,” Frerichs added.

Enhanced Money Match letters were sent out to approximately 66,700 eligible residents last month and checks were expected to be sent out a few weeks later. A total of $47 million is being returned to residents through the program.

Newsweek reached out to the Illinois State Treasurer’s office via email for comment.

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