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

OWS

CORRESPONDENCE SYMBOL

DUIO

ISSUE DATE

December 8, 2003

RESCISSIONS

None

EXPIRATION DATE

December 31, 2004

ADVISORY

:

UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE PROGRAM LETTER NO. 04-04

 

TO

:

STATE WORKFORCE AGENCIES

 

FROM

:

CHERYL ATKINSON s/s
Administrator
Office of Workforce Security

 

SUBJECT

:

Installation of the Revised Automated Quarterly Statement of Benefits Paid to Combined Wage Claimants

  1. Purpose. To advise State Workforce Agencies (SWAs) that new software (ICON-IB6, Release 2) used for processing quarterly bills related to unemployment claims that combine wages from two or more states must be installed and operational with the billing cycle for the quarter ending March 31, 2004. Due to the interaction of states in this process, all states must implement Release 2 of the IB6 model code (or procedures conforming to specifications provided to states not using model code) at the same time.

  2. References. Section 3304(a)(9)(B)of the Internal Revenue Code; 20 CFR 616; ET Handbook 399; IB6 Implementation Guide; IB6 Non-Model Code Guide; and IB6 User Guide.

  3. Background. Over the past three years, the automated IB6 has been upgraded to include features suggested by the states. These upgrades have been discussed by two workgroups convened for this purpose and approved by the National Association of State Workforce Agenciesí Interstate Benefits (IB) Committee.

    The electronic IB6 represents the automation of the Statement of Benefits Paid to Combined Wage Claimants, Form IB6. The three basic functions of the IB6 subsystem model code are the Export/Import process, the Edit/Reconciliation process and the discrepancy handling process. The Export/Import function prepares the IB6 records for transmission and handles incoming IB6 data. The Edit/Reconciliation function compares IB6 data with data from the IB5, identified in the 'key,' to insure accuracy of charges and to identify discrepancies. The discrepancy handling feature allows for the viewing and correction of errors identified during the reconciliation process.

  4. Distribution of Guides and Model Code. On September 30, 2002, the ICON HUB distributed the Non-Model Code Guide to the non-IBM states for their use in developing conforming code.

    Release 2 of the IB6 model code has been installed and tested by Alabama, Maryland, New Jersey, West Virginia and Wisconsin. Maine and Tennessee (non-IBM states) have also developed conforming code and participated in the testing.

    On October 14, 2003, the statesí ICON programmers were notified that Release 2 of the IB6 subsystem is available for distribution and states were provided with an installation guide and copies of two Power Point presentations that were given at the 2003 Interstate Benefits National Training Meeting. These presentations provide an overview of Release 2 of the IB6 subsystem and information technology notes that the pilot states compiled during testing.

    On October 22, 2003, the revised IB6 User Guide was distributed electronically to all the statesí Interstate Program Coordinators and ICON Programmers.

  5. Summary of Changes. The revisions made to the IB-6 model code include many changes that were requested by users of Release 1. These include:

  6. Individual State Testing of the New IB6 Subsystem. When a SWA is ready to test the transmission of its Release 2 IB6 data, it may send the test data to the ICON HUB where it will be reviewed. Please contact Michele Fulkerson via email at Michele.Fulkerson@lmco.com or by phone at 407-306-7133 to obtain the job control language (JCL) needed for the stateís test data.

  7. Action Required. State Administrators are requested to provide a copy of this advisory to the appropriate program and data processing staff and ensure that Release 2 of the automated IB6 is installed and operational for the first quarter 2004 combined wage billing cycle.

    Prior to the first quarter 2004 IB6 billing cycle, the IB6 data will continue to be transmitted in the Release 1 format. On April 1, 2004, and thereafter, all IB6 data must be transmitted in the new Release 2 format.

  8. Inquiries. Any questions should be addressed to the appropriate Regional Office.