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State Information Data Exchange System (SIDES)

What is SIDES?

SIDES, the Unemployment Insurance State Information Data Exchange System, is a new, web-based system that allows the Department of Labor and employers to communicate directly and efficiently when an individual files a new unemployment insurance claim. The system transmits questions from the Department of Labor about Unemployment Insurance claims by former employees directly to you, so that we can promptly process claims and avoid fraud in the system. Created in partnership with the National Association of State Workforce Agencies, SIDES will help you or your representative (for example, a third-party administrator) respond to questions about claims easily, accurately and in a timely manner.

There are two aspects to SIDES:

  1. SIDES E-Response for Business. For employers who have smaller numbers of employees and handle Unemployment Insurance claims in-house, the SIDES E-Response system provides an easy way for you to electronically respond to our questions and requests. More information about SIDES E-Response is available by clicking the "E-Response for Business" tab on the left.
  2. SIDES for Third-party Administrators & Large Employers. For larger employers, SIDES provides a more automated and efficient data-sharing and file-tracking interface between you, your third-party administrators (TPAs), and state agency networks than current systems. Because the computer systems are “speaking” to each other, SIDES provides the most reliable and efficient way to deal with your large volume of Unemployment Insurance information transactions. More information is available by clicking the "SIDES TPA and Large Employer" tab on the left.

 

To gain a better understanding of the features and benefits of these two aspects to SIDES, you may wish to view the SIDES and SIDES E-Response comparison table prepared by NASWA/CESER.

How does UI SIDES help me?

When a worker becomes unemployed and applies for Unemployment Insurance benefits, the Department of Labor contacts former employers to find out why the worker left or lost his or her job. We rely on employers to give us this information so we can use it, along with information provided by the worker, to determine if the worker is entitled to benefits.

One of the main causes of improper Unemployment Insurance payments to workers is a lack of accurate information about why a worker left or lost his or her job. In order to prevent improper benefit payments, we need employers to respond to our requests accurately, completely and in a timely manner. When you do this, you help us protect your business and prevent possible fraud.

UI SIDES has many other benefits for you:

  • It is free to use.
  • It offers one, nationally standardized format for information requests.
  • Data checks ensure the exchange of complete and valid information.
  • You receive requests for information faster, which means you can respond faster.
  • You receive a receipt as proof that your timely reply was processed.
  • It offers a single point of contact for questions and answers.
  • Fewer follow-up phone calls and less correspondence are needed.
  • It lowers your postage costs and generates less paper.
  • It improves fraud detection.
  • It helps you comply with Unemployment Insurance reform measures that took effect October 1, 2013. Your account will now be charged when there is an overpayment to a claimant because you or your representative responded late to our request for information. This also applies if you give us insufficient information.

In short, SIDES helps you respond to our questions about your former employees’ termination quickly and completely. This prevents payments from going to people who do not deserve them, while preserving the integrity of the Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund and your employer account. Preventing fraud ultimately saves you money.

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