Friday, November 8, 2013

Important Information About SIDES

SIDES stands for Unemployment Insurance State Information Data Exchange System. Here is some helpful information produced by the NYS Department of Labor to answer all your questions about SIDES. (To read the full article, click here.)

What is SIDES?

SIDES, the Unemployment Insurance State Information Data Exchange System, is a new, web-based system that puts the Department of Labor and employers in direct contact. The system transmits questions from the Department of Labor about Unemployment Insurance claims by former employees directly to you, and helps you respond to questions about claims easily, accurately, and in a timely manner.

There are two aspects of SIDES:
• E-Response: For employers with small numbers of employees and no representative (i.e. payroll agent), the SIDES E-Response system provides an easy way for you to electronically respond to our questions and requests.
• The Broker: For larger employers, SIDES provides a more automated and efficient data sharing and file-tracking interface between you, your Third Party Administrators, 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 transactions.

How does SIDES help me?

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.

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.

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 UI trust fund and your employer account. Preventing fraud ultimately saves employers money.

When will SIDES be available?

SIDES will be phased in beginning late in 2013.

How do I sign up for SIDES?

There are just two easy steps:

1. If you DO NOT have an Unemployment Insurance Online Services account, go to

If you HAVE AN EXISTING Department of Taxation and Finance Online Services account, you can upgrade that account by following the directions on our website at Authentication/index.shtm.

2. Call 1-888-899-8810

How will I be notified of a request? How do I respond?

Whenever a former employee applies for Unemployment Insurance benefits, you will receive an electronic SIDES message through your Unemployment Insurance Online Services account.

For more information about SIDES: Check out the SIDES user guides and get more information at the SIDES website.

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