U.S. DEPARTMENT OF LABOR
Employment and Training Administration
Washington, D. C. 20210
April 13, 1989
April 30, 1990
UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE PROGRAM LETTER NO. 28-89
ALL STATE EMPLOYMENT SECURITY AGENCIES
DONALD J. KULICK
Procedures for Release of Unemployment Insurance Benefits Quality Control Data
Purpose. To provide State employment security agencies (SESA) with guidelines for the annual release of Unemployment Insurance (UI) Benefits Quality Control (QC) program data.
References. 52 FR 33520, September 3, 1987; 54 FR 10128, March 9, 1989; and Benefits Quality Control State Operations Handbook, ET Handbook 395.
Background. The final rule to establish the Unemployment Insurance Quality Control program was published in the Federal Register at 52 FR 33520 on September 3, 1987. Effective October 5, 1987, QC programs in the 50 States, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico selected weekly random samples of UI benefit payments for investigation under the mandatory program.
Section 602.21(g) of the regulation provides that each State shall:
Release the results of the QC program at the same time each year, providing calendar year results using a standardized format to present the data as prescribed by the Department; States will have the opportunity to release this information prior to any release by the Department.
The notice of procedures for the release of benefits Quality Control data for the Unemployment Insurance program was published in the Federal Register on March 9, 1989.
Data Pick Up. In early March, the Department of Labor began to electronically pick up State QC databases and store the information on ADP systems at the National Office Following the initial transmission of each State's QC database, case updates to the database have been picked up weekly.
The Department has established May 1, 1989, as the date of record for State databases for preparation of the annual report of QC data. All information in the annual report will be based on calendar year (CY) 1988 QC cases that have been signed off by the QC supervisor by May 1. States must not update any CY 1988 QC cases after this date until their annual report and any data analysis supporting the annual report have been completed.
Annual Report Software. The National Office will prepare diskettes containing the software needed to produce the QC annual report for CY 1988 data. These diskettes and the software documentation will be mailed to the States between May 19 - 22. Each SESA should load this software on its DEC Pro 380 microcomputer immediately and generate its annual report.
Between May 22 and 31 the National Office will produce an annual report for each State, based on the QC data picked up through the May 1 date of record.
Annual Report Format. The annual report format is shown in Attachment 1. It is divided into three main sections.
Quality Control Data
Total Dollars Paid in Population
Total UI benefits paid to the population of UI claimants who comprise the sampling frames for all weeks in CY 1988 for which the State pulled a QC sample.
Total UI payments selected during CY 1988 (QC batches 8801 through 8853) and completed (QC supervisor sign-off) by May 1, 1989. This is the number of QC sample cases from which the rates and sampling errors (confidence intervals) are estimated.
The weighted ratio estimate of total dollars properly paid to total dollars paid expressed as a percentage.
The weighted ratio estimate of total dollars overpaid to total dollars paid expressed as a percentage.
The weighted ratio estimate of total dollars underpaid to total dollars paid expressed as a percentage.
95% Confidence Interval
A confidence interval, expressed as +/- a percentage, will be constructed for each of the three estimated rates. The actual rate is expected to lie within 95 percent of the intervals constructed from repeated samples of the same size and selected in the sane manner as the QC sample.
The following footnotes will appear on State QC annual reports to describe certain conditions that affect the data:
Claimants failing to conduct required work search were given formal warnings and no overpayment was established. The proper payment rate would be lower and the overpayment rate would be higher if these cases were counted as erroneous payments.
Condition: Any case with key week action code '14' in fields hi2, hj2, or hk2 of the QC database.
Percentages apply to less than a complete year of UI payments due to the State not pulling a sample for xx week(s).
Condition: There is no comparison report for one or more QC batches 8801 through 8853. (The CY 1988 summary of State QC sample selection is provided in Attachment 2.)
Precision of percentage estimates reduced by State pulling samples below minimum prescribed levels for xx weeks.
Condition: State selected one or yore QC weekly samples below the minimum level prescrioe3 in Benefits Quality Control State Operations Handbook, ET Handbook 395, chapter III, p. 27. (See CY 1998 summary of State QC sample selection in Attchment 2.)
Percentages based on data collected not completely in accordance with QC methodology prescribed in ET Handbook 395.
Condition: Based on QC monitoring conducted by the Department of Labor Regional Offices and National Office.
Cases were not investigated and closed out within the period established to ensure their timely completion.
Condition: State failed to meet case completion objectives established in Benefits Quality Control State Operations Handbook, ET Handbook 395, chapter VI, p. 6.
xx.x% of cases in sample were not completed when this report was prepared.
Condition: Based on the number of QC cases that were not completed (QC supervisor sign-off) by May 1, 1989, divided by the number of cases selected for QC weekly samples during CY 1988 (QC batches 8801through 8853).
States are invited to supply a narrative analysis that will accompany their annual report. The Department will include this narrative in the digest of State annual reports that it will prepare (see section 10, below).
The narrative may include, but is not limited to, 3 discussion of State laws and how they affect error rates, an explanation of circumstances that led to some degree of inaccuracy in the reported error rates, and proposed or actual corrective action strategies.
The narrative must be submitted on 8 1/2" x 11" white bond (at least 20# weight), using letter quality printing that can be successfully photocopied. The narrative must not exceed two single-spaced pages. To ensure uniformity in the Federal digest, the following format is required:
|Margins||--||one inch all around|
|Title||--||"ANNUAL REPORT NARRATIVE" typed in capital letters, emboldened, and centered|
|Subtitle||--||"STATE NAME" typed in capital letters, in bold print, and centered|
|Date||--||"CY 1988" in bold print and centered on line below the subtitle|
|Paging||--||"FIPS CODE-#" in bold print and right justified one inch from the bottom of the page|
|Spacing||--||The text should follow three lines below the subtitle and end three lines above the page number. Use six lines per inch.|
Only narratives meeting these specifications will be included in the Department's digest of State annual reports. State narratives should be sent no later than June 22 to:
U. S. Department of Labor
200 Constitution Ave., NW
Attn: TEUQS, Room S-4015
Washington, DC 20210
A sample page is provided at Attachment 3 for reference.
Supplemental Data. In order for the SESAs to interpret the data in the annual report and provide narrative explanations of the data, the Department recognizes the need for additional information on cause and responsibility. The software that produces the QC annual report will also generate a separate report consisting of 16 responsibility categories and 6 cause categories. Responsibility and cause data will be reported as percentages of UI dollars overpaid. The format for this report is at Attachment 4.
In order to provide States with the greatest flexibility in interpreting the data, all possible responsibility codes and broad cause categories can be generated. States can combine categories with few sample cases as appropriate. No sampling errors will be computed because the publication of these percentage rates is not mandatory. States should be aware that many of these percentages are based on small numbers of QC sample cases and may have relatively large sampling errors. In accordance with the Federal, Register notice of March 9, 1989, the Department will not publish this data.
Comment Period. QC annual reports produced by the Department of labor will be transmitted to the States on June 1, 1989, by overnight mail. Each State should review its annual report and submit its comments by June 22 to the National Office (Attn: TEUQS). SESA comments will be discussed and reconciled by June 29.
Public Release by SESA. As stated in the Federal Register notice of March 9, 1989:
Each State will release the required data annually through established channels for disseminating State performance data. An announcement must be made to the general public that the data is available. In accordance with established State procedures, the data must be provided to those who normally receive performance/evaluation data and to anyone else who requests it.
States should release their annual reports by June 30, 1989. If a State fails to release data in accordance with these procedures, the Department, in its annual review of State QC operations as specified in 20 CFR, Part 602, Section 602.31, will take appropriate action.
Federal Release of Data. The Department will announce the availability of QC program data for CY 1988 through a notice published in the Federal Register on or about July 31, 1989. The Department's publication will be a digest prefaced by background information on the Quality Control program, and a brief discussion of how the error rate estimates were computed. Readers will be discouraged from comparing results among States. Each State's section, including its annual report and narrative, will be displayed separately. State sections will, be ordered alphabetically to discourage ranking and comparisons.
If the Department determines that a State has failed to follow the prescribe QC methodology--in terms of sample selection, data collection methodology, or case completion timeliness--to such an extent that the data are not reliable, the Department will publish an explanation of the major deficiency in lieu of an annual report for that Sate.
Technical Specifications. The procedures and statistical-formulas use to produce the data in the annual report and the supplementary data on responsibility and cause are availaole from the Department of Labor upon request through the appropriate Regional Office.
Key Dates. The following is a summary of key dates for the public release of CY 1988 QC data.
|May 1:||Date of record for State QC databases.|
|May 19 - 22:||Department of Labor mails QC annual report software to States.|
|May 22 - 31:||Department of Labor generates annual reports for all States.|
|June 1:||Department of Labor sends annual reports to the States.|
|June 1 - 22:||States review annual report.|
|June 22:||State comments and narratives are received by the Department of Labor.|
|June 23 - 29:||SESA comments discussed and reconciled.|
|June 30:||States release CY 1988 QC annual report.|
|July 31||Department of Labor publishes notice in the Federal Register announcing the availability of QC data.|
Action Required. State Administrators are requested to provide copies of these guidelines to the appropriate staff and ensure that the following information is supplied to ETA Regional Administrators:
the name, location, and telephone number of a contact person who interested parties may write or call for State specific interpretations by June 1, 1989; and
a copy of the State Annual QC data release by July 3, 1989.
Inquiries. Questions should be directed to the appropriate Regional Office.
Attachments. (1) Annual Report Format; (2) State QC Sample Selection by Batcn for CY 1988; (3) Format for QC Annual Report Narrative; and (4) Format for QC Annual report Supplemental Data