Ben Tankle told Solve It 7 he does things old school. The 86-year-old World War II veteran doesn’t own a computer or cell phone – so when he needed help Ben decided to send Solve It 7 a handwritten letter.

“My name is Ben Tankle. I live in Dorchester and I need your help if possible. My mother passed away 15 years ago. She has some kind of a policy with John Hancock Company. “

The Massachusetts Treasury Department lists tens of thousands of names in newspapers each year of people who are owed money.

Tom Brady, Bill Belichick, even President Barack Obama still have money waiting to be claimed.

So did Ben: $340 from a life insurance policy that his mother took out decades ago.  

Ben filled out the required paperwork to claim the money but then ran into a big problem.

He said they told him what he provided wasn’t enough.

“I sent you a death certificate, a birth certificate, a burial plot, and her pictures of all her weddings, and that isn’t enough to tell you that it’s my mother?” he said.

Ben said that the treasury department wanted to see a utility bill in his mother’s name from the address they had on file — one she lived at decades ago. The department requires that information to avoid any possible fraud.

“I have no idea,” Ben said about where to find the paperwork. “We’re talking 40 years ago!”

That’s when Ben decided to write to Solve It 7 and we went to work.

We reached out to John Hancock to see if the company could help provide this proof of residence.

A couple of days after our call, Hancock called Ben and said, “We heard from Channel 7 that you needed whatever. I’ll send you the claim number, the policy.”

The letter worked. The treasury department verified the information, approved Ben’s claim, and sent him a check.

The treasury department said they tried to help and even used a paid search service to try and verify the address, but it was unsuccessful so they told Ben to call John Hancock.

Ben claims he was never given that information, but he’s just happy that he finally has his check.

“There are people out there that do care about people. It never would have happened unless you got it done, and you did,” Ben said.

Hundreds of thousands of people in Massachusetts have unclaimed money.

The treasury department has an online search engine where you can check to see if you have some. Enter your name on their website:

We’re happy we could help Ben settle up the accounts on this issue. Are you having trouble with something and think we can help? We’d love to hear from you. Give us a call at 617-367-7777 or send us an email at

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