Employment and Training Administration
Washington, D. C. 20210






February 18, 1992




January 31, 1993











for Regional Management




Use of Services Provided by the U.S. Postal Service in Unemployment Insurance (UI) Program Operations


  1. Purpose. To encourage State Employment Security Agencies (SESAs) to take advantage of services provided at no cost by the U.S. Postal Service. These services can contribute to improved UI operations as well as the reduction of postage costs by enhancing the flow of incoming mail to specific operations such as status, collections, and benefit payments.

  2. Background. The Employment and Training Administration (ETA) has established a "SESA Mail Management Improvement Program" in an effort to reduce postage costs and increase the efficiency of mail operations. A U.S. Postal Service representative has been assigned to assist in this effort. Through such programs, a majority of States are already using presort, ZIP+4 and pre-barcodes on outgoing mail such as employer contribution reports and benefit claim forms and are achieving significant savings in postage costs. These and additional free services offered by the U.S. Postal Service can be applied to improve the efficiency and speed in delivery of incoming mail and the overall UI mail function.

  3. Free Services. The U.S. Postal Service can also provide or facilitate additional services to SESAs free of charge. Such services include the use of Facing Identification Marks (FIM) and barcodes on courtesy reply envelopes which result in faster receipt and easier processing of incoming reply mail. The codes can be used to direct mail straight to the appropriate organizational unit, e.g., responses on status inquiries to the status determination unit and replies to delinquent tax notices to the collections unit, thereby reducing the amount of time spent in the mail stream. A separate four-digit add-on code can also be used to automatically presort expected large employer tax returns. Ready-for-printing positives of FIM and barcodes are supplied at no additional cost. Another service offered is the Business Reply Mail Accounting System (BRMAS) which automatically counts, records and reports the exact number of replies received. This feature is useful in monitoring responses to special employer or benefit claimant surveys. Agencies may qualify for an additional discount on postage fees for business reply mail if certain requirements are met. Assistance is offered in guidelines for "complete" addressing (according to U.S. Postal Service standards) of outgoing mail to employers and claimants and improving addresses in the employer master record files. Your local U.S. Postal Service Account Representative and Automation Readability Specialists are available to conduct "Addressing Seminars" at SESA facilities at no charge. A half-hour session will provide up-to-date information for addressing incoming (courtesy reply) and outgoing mail to comply with the Postal Service's automated processing. The Postal Service is able to standardize address records and add missing ZIP+4 codes if provided address files on personal computer diskettes. Corrections will also be made to any incorrect five-digit ZIP code, misspelled street/city name and incorrect state abbreviation. Although the standardizing of address service is offered on a "one time only" basis and is limited to a maximum of 50,000 address records, this effort will aid in improving address files. Properly addressed mail is processed more efficiently and with greater accuracy. The Postal Service will also provide, at no cost, correct forwarding addresses when applicable with the use of "Address Correction Requested" on outgoing mail. Use of the "Forwarding and Address Correction Requested" stamp on envelopes is most effective in keeping in touch with claimants refunding benefit overpayments and reducing the amount of "undeliverable as addressed" mail. When the stamp is used on all quarterly contribution reports mailed to employers, the employer address files can be updated upon notification of a correct forwarding address.

  4. U.S. Postal Service Representative. Ms. Janice E. Chambers (Jan) is the current U.S. Postal Service representative assisting the Employment and Training Administration (ETA) and SESAs in improving the efficiency of mail operations in order to reduce postage costs. Ms. Chambers can be reached on (202) 535-8779.

  5. Action Required. SESA Administrators are requested to: a) distribute this directive to the appropriate agency managers responsible for program operations which may benefit from the described services and b) inform the appropriate agency staff of the appointment of Ms. Janice E. Chambers as ETA's U.S. Postal Service representative. SESA Administrators interested in exploring the use of freeservices provided by the U.S. Postal Service should contact their agency mailmanager for further details and specific requirements.

  6. Inquiries. Direct inquiries to the appropriate Regional Office or Ms. Janice E. Chambers on (202) 535-8779.