EMPLOYMENT AND TRAINING ADMINISTRATION
ADVISORY SYSTEM
U.S. DEPARTMENT OF LABOR
Washington, D. C. 20210

CLASSIFICATION

OWS

CORRESPONDENCE SYMBOL

OWS

ISSUE DATE

June 26, 2002

RESCISSIONS

None

EXPIRATION DATE

Continuing

ADVISORY

:

UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE PROGRAM LETTER NO. 29-02

 

TO

:

ALL STATE WORKFORCE AGENCIES

 

FROM

:

GRACE A. KILBANE
Administrator
Office of Workforce Security

 

SUBJECT

:

Data Sharing via the Interstate Connection Network (ICON) Between State Workforce Agencies (SWAs) and the Social Security Administration (SSA)

  1. Purpose. To inform SWAs of a project to facilitate the exchange of data with the SSA.

  2. Background. As states implement telephone and Internet initial claims, they need tools to verify the identity of claimants. A means of verifying claimants' identity is through matching claimant information with SSA data during the new claims process. Currently, two SWAs (Utah and Wisconsin) connect directly with SSA to verify these data. Both states find the data obtained from SSA to be very useful in identifying potential fraudulent claims as well as preventing overpayments due to incorrect amounts of deductible Social Security benefits reported by claimants. Although both states are pleased with the data, each state's efforts to connect with SSA were time-consuming and complicated.

    Over the last several years the SSA and U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) have explored the potential of data exchange between SSA and the SWAs via ICON a telecommunication network used for transmitting unemployment insurance (UI) data among the 53 SWAs. By using ICON to transmit data between SSA and the states, future state - SSA connections can be accomplished more easily.

  3. Project Description. This initiative will permit a reciprocal exchange of data between participating states and SSA:

    After issuance of this clarification, it was discovered that the retroactive date was inconsistent with the requirements of the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Flexibility Act of 1996. That law requires submission to Congress before the policy may take effect, thereby precluding any retroactive effective date

    SWAs' will be able to access SSA data as is currently done in Utah and Wisconsin. The SWAs will transmit the name, date of birth and SSN of the UI claimant when the claim is first initiated. SSA will check its various databases to determine the validity of the information submitted and, if available, provide information on pension receipt (amount of the SSA pension being received by the individual) and the results of checks against SSA's death status databases (if the social security number (SSN) matched a SSA benefit recipient).

    The SSA will be able to access SWAs' UI wage record and claim information. SSA claims representatives will input the SSN of the applicant and the applicable state code(s). The response from the SWA provides:

    SSA claims representatives will use these data in making Supplemental Security Income (SSI) eligibility determinations while the applicant is being interviewed. Although SSA receives data from the National Directory of New Hires (NDNH), the data lags by two to three months and is less useful for SSA purposes.

    Lockheed Martin (LM), the contractor for ICON, will distribute model code/documentation to the states in June 2002. This code/documentation will assist states in embedding the software for the initial claim (IC) process to make the request to SSA.

    For a more complete description of this project please refer to Attachment I.

  4. Effective Date. The revised effective date of UIPL No. 39-97, Change 1, is July 1, 2002. States are advised that they will be held harmless for any action consistent with UIPL No. 39-97, Change 1, including the effective date of September 12, 1997.

  5. Implementation Costs. Based on Utah and Wisconsin's experience it has been projected to cost the states about $50,000 to implement the exchange of data with SSA. Since benefit cost savings are projected to outweigh implementation costs, states may wish to begin this initiative using current resources.

    The President's FY 2003 Budget requests limited funds for SWAs programming efforts for the data exchange project involving SSA. If the funding is appropriated for these efforts, ETA will provide the funds through Supplemental Budget Requests (SBRs). Instructions on submitting SBRs for these purposes will be contained in a later UIPL along with due dates for submittal.

  6. Projected Timeline.

    FY 2002

    FY 2003

  7. Action Required.

  8. Inquiries. Inquiries should be directed to your Regional Office.

  9. Attachments:
    I. DOL-SSA Project Design Document
    II. Network diagram