UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE

SEMI-ANNUAL

RESEARCH STATUS REPORT

MARCH 1997 - SEPTEMBER 1997


November 1997

TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

 

I. UI RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT PROJECTS

A.  Research and Development Project

Unemployment Insurance Service Policy Issues Book
UI Survival Rate Analysis and Benefit Model
Field Test of Revised Performance Measures for Benefit Payment Control
Agent State Third Party Fraud Project

                     

                B. Technical Assistance Projects

Risk Analysis Project
Overpayment Detection and Investigation Project
Overpayment Recovery Project
Denials Accuracy Pilot Project

                    

II. UI DEMONSTRATION PROJECTS

Maryland Work Search Demonstration
Job Search Assistance Demonstration

   

III. DOL PROJECTS RELATED TO UI

Emergency Unemployment Compensation Act Study
Unemployment Insurance Customer Satisfaction Survey
Evaluation of Worker Profiling Systems
Analysis of Unemployment Insurance (UI) Claims-Revised Base Period (RBP) in the UI Program
Interstate Competition in Unemployment Insurance
Unemployment Benefit Duration: The Case of Emergency Unemployment Compensation

           


UI RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT PROJECTS

 

A. RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT PROJECTS

 

Study Title: Unemployment Insurance Policy Issues Book
Purpose: The purpose of this project is to develop a book on current UI policy
issues. This book will be the second volume in a two-volume set and will
be published by the W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research.
Beginning Date: March 1, 1994
Ending Date: March 30, 1998
Contractor: The Upjohn Institute
Project Monitor: Steve Wandner
Status: The draft chapters were presented and discussed at a symposium on
June 15-17, 1995 in Kalamazoo, MI. The book has been completed and is
at the printers. USDOL expects to receive copies in early November.
Funding Source: Pilots and Demonstrations

 

 

Study Title: UI Survival Rate Analysis and Benefit Models
Purpose: This study has two main objectives. One is to conduct a
comprehensive examination of the factors that influence the amount and timing
of unemployment insurance benefit payments and the second is to develop a
benefit forecasting model to be used for generating National Office budget
and legislative estimates.
Beginning Date: September 30, 1994
Ending Date: September 30, 1998
Contractor: Battelle Memorial Institute
UI Project Monitor: Tom Stengle
Status: This contract has been modified to reflect a no cost extension for one year by
the Division of Acquisition and Assistance. The contractor has submitted a
draft of the survival rate analysis report and has conducted a presentation to
interested DOL parties of the findings from this analysis as well as a
demonstration of the structure of benefit projection model. Next steps
include incorporation of DOL comments on the UI Survival Rate draft
report and some refinement to the benefit projection model.
Funding Source: Unemployment Insurance Research and Training (UI R&T)

 

 

Study Title: Field Test of Revised Performance Measures for Benefit Payment Control
Purpose: The current performance measures for BPC consist of collection rates for
fraud overpayments and nonfraud overpayments. Additional indicators have
been proposed to supplement the existing ones. These measures will be field
tested  by three SESAs to determine the feasibility of collecting the data and also
to evaluate the usefulness of the data.
Beginning Date: October 1, 1995
Ending Date: March 31, 1997
Contractors (3): California Employment Development Department
Utah Department of Employment Security
West Virginia Department of Employment Security
Project Officer: Bob Whiting
Status: Results of data collection have been analyzed by the National Office.
A proposal will be developed for new measures.
Funding Source: UI National Activities

 

 

 

Study Title: Agent State Third Party Fraud Project
Purpose: The nature of interstate mail bypass procedures is conducive to third party
involvement in the UI process. This project has been designed to provide
an analysis of third party involvement; to quantify the deterrence/detection
effect of in-depth eligibility review interviews (ERIs) and investigations; and
to develop recommendations for procedures designed to deter and detect
third party fraud.
Beginning Date: October 1, 1994
Ending Date: September 30, 1997
Contractor: Texas Employment Commission
Project Officer: Bob Whiting
Status: The final report is being prepared.
Funding Source: UI National Activities

 

B. TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE PROJECTS

 

Study Title: Risk Analysis Project
Purpose: To assist SESAs in identifying and reducing risks to the UI program.
Specific objectives include: (1) identifying specific weaknesses and future
areas of vulnerability;(2) evaluating risk analysis policies and guidelines; (3)
evaluating automated analytical risk analysis products; and (4) providing
recommendations, approaches, training and analytical tools to assist
SESAs in assessing vulnerabilities.
Beginning Date: October 1, 1994
Ending Date: September 30, 1998
Contractor: California Employment Development Department
Project Officer: Harry Minor
Status: The California EDD Risk Analysis project staff have conducted the
following activities to date:
a.  Formed an Advisory Work Group (AWG) responsible for assisting
     in formulating the project's scope, objectives, methodology, and timelines.
     (The AWG is comprised of State staff from six SESAs and   DOL).
b.  Convened five meetings of the AWG for the purposes of reviewing and
      commenting on project deliverables, study methodology, and setting
      timelines.  The next scheduled meeting of the AWG is December
      11-12 in Montgomery, Alabama.
c.   The Automated Risk Analysis Tool Evaluation Report was
      completed and posted on the ITSC Web Site in the Internet.
d.   Fundamental and Intermediate training and the use of the automated
      software (Risk Watch) have been completed.
e.   Comments received from the Fundamental and Intermediate Risk
      Analysis Training were very positive and encouraging.   A total of 59
      individuals (51 SESA participants and 8 DOL   participants)  attended
      the fundamental/intermediate risk analysis training.
f.    Risk Analysis Advanced Training (dates and times TBA) is a two-day
      course that will build on the fundamental and intermediate training courses.
g.   The Risk Analysis Policies and Guidelines Report has been completed.
h.   A Risk Analysis Executive Overview Video was developed and distributed
      to all SESAs, DOL Regions and AWG members.
Funding Source: UI National Activities

 

 

 

Study Title: Overpayment Detection and Investigation Project
Purpose: To enhance the capabilities of SESAs in the area of benefit overpayment
detection and investigative activities. A comprehensive analysis and
evaluation of current detection methods and tools will be accomplished
and recommendations for new methods and tools developed.
In addition,  investigator training packages will be developed and training
conducted for SESA staff. The evaluation of automated software packages for
detection  and investigative activity support will also be accomplished.
Beginning Date: October 1, 1995
Ending Date: September 30, 1998
Contractor: Utah Department of Employment Security
Project Officer: Bob Whiting
Status: Several segments of the CD ROM for beginning investigators have been
developed with the assistance of University of Utah's Media Solutions. Work
is in progress for production of the advanced video training package for
investigators.
Funding Source: UI National Activities

 

 

Study Title: Overpayment Recovery Project
Purpose: To enhance the capabilities of SESAs in the area of benefit overpayment
recovery activities. Recovery activities to be included are: notification
procedures and processes; collection activities; automated collection systems;
establishment and follow-up of delinquent accounts; intercept programs; and
interstate offsets. In addition, development of training materials and
recovery/collections training sessions will be accomplished.
Beginning Date: October 1, 1995
Ending Date: September 30, 1998
Contractor: California Employment Development Department
Project Officer: Bob Whiting
Status: Rewriting of ET Handbook No. 375 in progress.
Draft report of analysis prepared with information on current debt collection
practices including methods, techniques, and automation.
Funding Source: UI National Activities

 

 

Study Title: Denials Accuracy Pilot Project
Purpose: To conduct an operational pilot of the accuracy of denied claims
for UI benefits, and to test whether the Quality Performance Indicator
produces sufficient information on the correctness of nonmonetary denials to
be used for nonmons in place of the Benefits Accuracy Measure field-verification
method.
Beginning Date: Sampling began in September 1997 and should continue through August 1998.
Ending Date: Final report expected December 1998
Contractor: PRAMM Consulting Group, Inc.
Project Monitor: Burman Skrable
Status: Pilot States (New Jersey, West Virginia, South Carolina, Wisconsin,
Nebraska) began sampling in second week of September as soon as the
essential database modules were installed. Remainder of database software
should be delivered to them in November. States, Federal and contractor
staff will meet in South Carolina in November to share early experiences and
resolve issues. No major operational problems have surfaced yet. South Carolina
intends to expand on the monetary denial portion to study the effect on eligibility
of alternative base periods.
Funding Source: UI National Activities

 

II. UI DEMONSTRATION PROJECTS

 

Study Title: Maryland Work Search Demonstration
Purpose: This demonstration project is an extension of other DOL research
projects under which the effects of UI and ES services rendered in
order to facilitate claimants' return to work have been examined. Under
this demonstration, a determination will be made as to whether or not
the stringency of work search requirements accelerates claimant reemployment
and reduces UI benefits paid, without reducing the wage rate obtained by the
claimant. The results from this demonstration will provide valuable information to
DOL and all States on the desired effect of work search requirements, and will
identify potential policy changes that can be made to make work search
requirements more effective.
Beginning Date: September 27, 1991
Ending Date: June 1997
Contractor: Maryland Department of Economic and Employment Deployment (DEED),
with Abt Associates
Project Monitor: Wayne Gordon
Status: A draft final report was received in June 1997. USDOL and the State of Maryland
provided comments to the research contractor, and expect to publish the
finished document as a UI Occasional Paper in late 1997.
Funding Source: UI National Activities

 

Study Title: Job Search Assistance Demonstration Evaluation
Purpose: The purpose of this project is to determine the effectiveness of
different types of job search assistance programs. The Job Search
Assistance (JSA) Demonstration represents an experimental research effort
mandated by the Congress (P.L. 102-164) to build on the results of the New Jersey
UI Demonstration Project. The New Jersey Demonstration showed that one package
of intensive job search assistance services can speed dislocated UI claimants' return to
productive employment. The JSA Demonstration expands on this knowledge base by
testing alternative service approaches to see which ones have the greatest impacts
and are most cost-effective. The demonstration project is being conducted in Florida
and the District of Columbia.
Beginning Date: October 1, 1993
Ending Date: December 31, 1999
Contractor: Mathematica Policy Research, Inc.
Project Monitor: Wayne Gordon
Status: The first interim report focusing on an Implementation and Process analysis was
received in January 1997 and is currently being transmitted to the Congress. The
second interim report which will look at one year impacts is expected in January 1998.
Funding Source: UI National Activities

 

 

III. DOL PROJECTS RELATED TO UI

 

Study Title: Emergency Unemployment Compensation Act Study
Purpose: The purpose of this study is to evaluate the impact of the Emergency Unemployment Compensation Act of 1991 (EUC). The specific areas of concern in this project are: the labor market experience of unemployment insurance claimants, the affect of EUC on the economy, UI State trust funds, and the overall effectiveness of extended recessionary benefits. The authors will also explore policy options for extending benefits during periods of future high unemployment.
Beginning Date: September 30, 1994
Ending Date: January 31, 1998
Contractor: Mathematica Policy Research, Inc.
UI Monitor: Robert Pavosevich
Status: This project has been extended an additional three months to January 31, 1998. This will give the contractor the necessary time to receive all of the final comments and complete the final report.
Funding Source: Pilots and Demonstrations

 

 

Study Title: Unemployment Insurance Customer Satisfaction Survey
Purpose: The purpose of this survey is to determine the degree to which the Unemployment Insurance system provides satisfactory services to its customers. This survey will provide a national overview of customer satisfaction with UI services; be used in conjunction with the UI program performance system; and provide an analytical baseline for which States may compare their own results.
Beginning Date: September 30, 1996
Ending Date: March 31, 1998
Contractor: Bardsley and Neidhart, Inc.
UI Monitor: Esther R. Johnson
Status: The survey and background material are now under Office of Management and Budget review. The review and approval process should be completed by December 19, 1997. The actual survey should be taking place in January, 1998.
Funding Source: Pilots and Demonstrations

 

 

Study Title: Evaluation of Worker Profiling and Reemployment Services Systems
Purpose: The purpose of this project is to provide research assistance to DOL in conducting a comprehensive evaluation of the operations and effectiveness of State Worker Profiling and Reemployment Services Systems. The plan is to conduct an evaluation of the Worker Profiling and Reemployment Services (WPRS) Initiative which provides: 1. Information on the operation and effectiveness of State Worker Profiling and Reemployment Services Systems that have been developed in accordance with Public Law (PL)103-152; and 2. An assessment of State operations that pertain to the further development and effectiveness of more-established State WPRS systems.
Beginning Date: July 1, 1994
Ending Date: June 30, 1998
Contractor: Social Policy Research Associates
Project Monitor: Jon C. Messenger
Status: Phase II of the WPRS Evaluation is now complete. The final version of the Report to Congress was published in November 1997. This report provides an implementation and process analysis from a national survey of State UI, ES, and EDWAA administrators, plus an impact analysis from the Prototype States. Final phase of the WPRS Evaluation will include an implementation and process analysis from a second wave of surveys of State administrators, plus an impact analysis based on data from a nationally representative sample of States.
Funding Source: EDWAA Demonstration Funds

 

 

Study Title: Analysis of Unemployment Insurance (UI)Claims --
Revised Base Period (RBP) in the UI Program
Purpose: This analysis will add to the information developed in the study entitled "The Alternative Base Period in Unemployment Insurance: Final Report." Information about long-term impacts of an Alternative Base Period (ABP) on the State trust funds, employer taxes, claims levels, and the reasons for switching to an ABP will be provided through the efforts of this study. Under the study, operational issues will also be examined, including the implementation and ongoing costs associated with an ABP and suggest cost-effective approaches to implementing and maintaining an ABP. A better understanding of administrative costs for an ABP will be developed.
Beginning Date: July 1995
Ending Date: October 1997
Contractor: Planmatics Inc.
Project Monitor: Wayne Gordon
Status: The contractor has submitted a draft final report covering estimates of State administrative impacts, employer impacts, trust fund impacts on five states and a "Best Practices for implementing an ABP" guidebook.
Funding Source: Pilots and Demonstrations

 

Study Title: Interstate Competition in Unemployment Insurance
Purpose:

The purpose of this project is to research the amount of interstate competition in social benefit programs. Research activities will include a review of previous literature, a discussion of alternative formulations of the interstate competition hypothesis, analysis of state-level data on average employer tax rates in Unemployment Insurance and a limited analysis of other programs

Beginning Date: March 26,1997
Ending Date: November 30, 1997
Contractor: The Urban Institute
UI Monitor: Robert Pavosevich
Status: The contractor has submitted a final draft for review and comments.
Funding Source: Research and Evaluations, OPR

 

 

Study Title: Unemployment Benefit Duration: The Case of Emergency Unemployment Compensation
Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to review empirical findings of the effect of increased benefits on unemployment duration and to provide a new empirical model using microdata on claimants from the States of Washington and Pennsylvania.
Beginning Date: March 28, 1995
Ending Date: June 30, 1997
Contractor: W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research
UI Monitor: Robert Pavosevich
Status: The final draft of this paper has been submitted and accepted and is available for distribution.
Funding Source: National Activities