Whether they are in the Screen Actors Guild or not, people have a tendancy to move. While SAG members always remember to forward their postal mail, oftentimes they neglect to notify their union of their new address. After six months to a year, the mail is no longer forwarded by the post office, and the dues letters and correspondence stop.
Including their residual checks.
What are residuals? Basically residuals are further compensation paid to performers for the re-use of a motion picture or television program they have appeared in. Performers are entitled to residuals if they are classified as a principal performer, which includes singers, stunt coordinators, pilots, dancers under Schedule J and other performers designed under the principal agreement.
Residuals are paid to those performers ever 30 days after an airdate for television non-syndicated airings, four months for syndicated airdates and shows that are under basic cable agreements are paid quarrtlery. A full list of residual due dates can be found at www.sag.com.
If you think you are due residuals, but have let your membership in the guild expire, or have not kept up your contact information, you can search the SAG Unclaimed Residuals Database for your name. If your name is found, it will give you precise instructions on how to fill out the paperwork to claim your due residuals.
The number one lesson is:
Keep your contact information with your unions current!