At our last meeting of the Looking Ahead Program’s Advisory Committee, a big topic of conversation was The Actors Fund’s Unclaimed Coogan website. Then it came up again in one of HMB’s facebook chat groups. I quickly checked the site myself and while my daughter is not on the list, I was shocked to see the names of several kids we know!
In a nut shell, if your child earned money in California as a child performer any time after 2000, you might have unclaimed wages held in trust through the Coogan Law, and there is a site to apply to retrieve them. Quite simply it’s like a treasure hunt and The Actors Fund is handing you the map!
What Are Unclaimed Coogan Funds?
The Coogan Law (SB 1162) went into effect in California on January 1, 2000, and requires that performers under 18 must have 15% of their earnings set aside in a special locked trust, or “Coogan Account,” for their future. However, if employers don’t receive complete Coogan account information from parents or guardians by 180 days from the start of employment, those wages become unclaimed.In 2003, California Senate Bill 210 named The Actors Fund as “trustee” of any Coogan funds remaining unclaimed.In the first ten years of the program, more than 36,000 unclaimed checks were deposited, so read on and make sure your earnings aren’t among them.
The unclaimed Coogan website was created to help you reclaim any of your earnings that might be on deposit with The Actors Fund as Trustee. Through the site, you can: