Washington, D. C. 20210





October 20, 2004




October 31, 2005

Office of Workforce Security
SUBJECT : State Identification (SID) Subsystem - Approved Access for Unemployment Insurance Purposes

  1. Purpose. To advise state workforce agencies (SWAs) about: 1) access to the Wage Record Interchange System (WRIS) Distributive Data Base Index (DDBI) for unemployment insurance (UI) purposes; 2) distribution of a new Interstate Connection Network (ICON) application developed for this purpose called the State Identification (SID) Inquiry; and 3) changes to the quarterly Interstate Crossmatch/Claimant Locator (ICCL) that takes advantage of the WRIS DDBI.

  2. Background. The National Association of State Workforce Agencies (NASWA) is responsible for the governance of the WRIS DDBI, which is an index of the social security numbers (SSNs), provided by WRIS participating states, of all individuals for whom employers have reported wages for each specified quarter. NASWA has approved access to the WRIS DDBI for participating SWAs for UI purposes.

    SWAs use wage information for a variety of UI purposes and, for some time, have been interested in access to information identifying the existence of wages in other states. The Interstate Inquiry (IBIQ) application is available to SWAs via the ICON network and is used to direct wage inquiries to up to 5 specific states. However, it was not designed to search for wage information nationwide.

    Earlier this year, NASWA’s WRIS Steering Committee received a proposal from the State of Maryland to amend the WRIS Data Sharing Agreement to allow participating states access the WRIS DDBI for UI purposes. The proposal was approved and forwarded to the NASWA Board of Directors for its review and approval. The NASWA Board of Directors adopted the proposal and charged the Interstate Benefit Committee with developing a method, the procedures, and an implementation strategy to allow such access.

  3. ICON SID Inquiry Application. A new ICON application called the SID inquiry has been developed to provide states that are participating in WRIS with an efficient online tool to access the WRIS DDBI to identify the state(s) to which wages have been reported for specific individuals. Access to the WRIS DDBI is governed by the WRIS Agreement and its confidentiality requirements. Only those states that have a WRIS agreement with NASWA and are actively participating in the WRIS are authorized to use the ICON SID application. States that are not actively participating in the WRIS will be identified on the SID response and may not access the WRIS DDBI. One limitation of the WRIS DDBI file is that it contains an index of the wage files for only WRIS participating states. States not currently participating in the WRIS should contact NASWA if they wish to join the WRIS.

  4. Overview of the SID Inquiry. The SID inquiry provides for immediate identification of the state(s) with wage information on file for a specific SSN. This is an online application, and the response can be viewed in a matter of seconds. SWAs can match an individual's SSN against the WRIS DDBI by entering it on the SID inquiry request screen and sending it to the ICON Hub. If the SSN exists in the WRIS DDBI file, the response record/screen will display the postal code(s) of the state(s) with wages on file under the heading "States That Have Wages." If the state wants to view the actual wages, the IBIQ can be used for this purpose. The ICON "model code" for the SID is designed with a PF key "short cut" to trigger an IBIQ request to each state listed on the SID response. When a SID inquiry is made and the SSN is not on the WRIS DDBI file, the response will note that the SSN was not found. The SID response has been designed to also accommodate identifying states with benefit and overpayment information on file. Benefit and overpayment information is not currently available via the SID inquiry. However, this design is intended to eliminate the need for a rewrite of the SID code should this information become available in the future.

  5. Distribution of the SID Model Code and Documents. On September 14, 2004, Affiliated Computer Services (ACS), contractor for the ICON, sent the model code, SID User Guide, SID Installation Guide, and the common carrier record layout to all IBM states that are active participants in the WRIS. At the same time, non-IBM states that are active participants were sent the SID non-Model Code Guide and a copy of the SID User Guide provided to IBM states to assist them in developing and writing their own programs.

    We have been advised that Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Michigan, Puerto Rico, Utah and the Virgin Islands are not actively participating in the WRIS at this time. These states are not authorized to use SID and did not receive the distribution from ACS.

  6. Overview of the Interstate Crossmatch/Claimant Locator (ICCL) Changes. The ICCL is run quarterly and handles two types of request records for matching. In general, the crossmatch records represent claimants filing UI interstate claims for matching against the wage and benefit files of the agent/residence state to detect unreported wages and/or duplicate claims on file during the match quarter. However, some states include intrastate claims for border state crossmatching. The locator feature allows states to search for individuals with outstanding overpayments whom the state has been unable to locate. This feature allows states to broadcast a request nationwide for record matching to attempt to locate the individuals through claims on file in other states or through employer information based on reported wages in other states.

    Currently, records representing approximately one (1) million individuals are transmitted for matching each quarter. Approximately 22 percent are broadcast nationwide. This results in the distribution of 11-12 million records to SWAs for matching. Access to the WRIS DDBI allows for an intermediate matching of the index representing wage files from WRIS participating states and will eliminate the need to duplicate the millions of crossmatch and locator records. The intermediate matching of ICCL records destined for WRIS participating states against the WRIS DDBI will result in the distribution of only those records with "hits" to obtain the response information. ICCL records destined for states that do not participate in the WRIS will not be affected by this change.

    Historically, the quarterly ICCL matching has resulted in a "hit" rate of approximately 10-15 percent. If all states were to participate in the WRIS, intermediate matching of ICCL records against the DDBI would reduce the number of records distributed from 10-12 million to 100-150 thousand records. With 47 states participating in the WRIS, it is estimated that the number of ICCL records distributed quarterly will be immediately reduced to approximately two million and will continue to diminish as other states participate in the WRIS.

    Note: In order for the ICCL match quarter information to be available on the WRIS DDBI, the schedule for the ICCL has been changed. The revised schedule for matching CY 2004 data as previously distributed by ACS is as follows:

    First Quarter CY 2004 Processing Schedule:
         Requests from states are due at ACS no later than July 21, 2004
     Requests distributed by ACS to the states no later thanAugust 12, 2004
     Responses from states are due at ACS no later thanAugust 28, 2004
     Responses distributed by ACS to the states no later thanSeptember 03, 2004
    Second Quarter CY 2004 Processing Schedule:
     Requests from states are due at ACS no later thanOctober 21, 2004
     Requests distributed by ACS to the states no later thanNovember 12, 2004
     Responses from states are due at ACS no later thanNovember 28, 2004
     Responses distributed by ACS to the states no later thanDecember 03, 2004
    Third Quarter CY 2004 Processing Schedule:
     Requests from states are due at ACS no later thanJanuary 21, 2005
     Requests distributed by ACS to the states no later than February 12, 2005
     Responses from states are due at ACS no later thanFebruary 28, 2005
     Responses distributed by ACS to the states no later thanMarch 03, 2005
    Fourth Quarter CY 2004 Processing Schedule:
     Requests from states are due at ACS no later thanApril 21, 2005
     Requests distributed by ACS to the states no later thanMay 12, 2005
     Responses from states are due at ACS no later thanMay 28, 2005
     Responses distributed by ACS to the states no later thanJune 03, 2005

  7. Action Required. Administrators are requested to provide this information to the appropriate staff.

  8. Inquiries. Direct all questions to the appropriate Regional Office.