Skip to Content Skip to Navigation

Department of Labor

  • Translate
  • Search DOL
  • SIDES and SIDES E-Response: Frequently Asked Questions

    Q: What are SIDES and SIDES E-Response?

    A: Developed through a strategic partnership between the U.S. Department of Labor and state Unemployment Insurance agencies, the State Information Data Exchange System (SIDES) and SIDES E-Response systems offer employers and third-party administrators (TPAs) – free of charge – a secure, electronic and nationally standardized format to respond to Unemployment Insurance information requests, reduce follow-up phone calls and streamline Unemployment Insurance response processes.


    |top|

    Q: What are the differences between SIDES and SIDES E-Response?

    A: SIDES E-Response provides an easy and efficient way for employers with smaller numbers of Unemployment Insurance information requests to respond to the Department of Labor. (Small third-party administrators cannot use the E-Response system in New York State at this time.)

    SIDES is a more automated data-exchange interface between employers’ IT systems and SIDES. It is designed for employers and TPAs that typically deal with a large volume of Unemployment Insurance information requests. It is especially helpful to those employers and TPAs that operate in multiple states.


    |top|

    Q: Who can use SIDES or SIDES E-Response?

    A: SIDES E-Response is available free of charge to every employer. Small third-party administrators (TPAs) cannot use the E-Response system in New York State at this time.

    SIDES is available free of charge to large employers and TPAs.


    |top|

    Q: What kind of information is exchanged through SIDES and SIDES E-Response?

    A: Currently, the New York State Department of Labor is exchanging information related to job separation and potential monetary charges through SIDES and SIDES E-Response. Other exchanges, including earnings verification, nonmonetary determination and hearing and appeal decisions, will be available in the future.


    |top|

    Q: What are the benefits of using SIDES or SIDES E-Response?

    A: SIDES and SIDES E-Response give employers and TPAs an electronic way to simplify and streamline responses to Unemployment Insurance information requests, saving time and money by:

    • Eliminating delays related to paper mail delivery and allowing more time to gather information and respond timely;
    • Ensuring more complete information is provided through standard edits, validations and business rules, reducing time-consuming follow-up phone calls;
    • Reducing paper handling, staff time and postage costs; and
    • Helping employers remain in compliance with Unemployment Insurance reform measures that took effect on October 1, 2013. Your account will now be charged when there is an overpayment to a claimant because you or your representative responded late to the Department of Labor's request for information. This also applies if you give us insufficient information. SIDES will help you respond quickly and completely to the Department's requests for information.
    As a result, improper payments are prevented, and Unemployment Insurance contribution rates are kept as low as possible.


    |top|

    Q: Who developed SIDES and SIDES E-Response, and why?

    A: SIDES and SIDES E-Response were developed through a strategic partnership between the USDOL and state Unemployment Insurance agencies to improve the Unemployment Insurance information exchange process, reduce instances of improper Unemployment Insurance payments, and save employers and TPAs time and money.


    |top|

    Q: Who administers SIDES and SIDES E-Response?

    A: In New York State, SIDES and SIDES E-Response are administered by the New York State Department of Labor.


    |top|

    Q: What are the requirements to use SIDES and SIDES E-Response?

    A: SIDES E-Response in New York State requires a working Internet connection, an Unemployment Insurance Online Services account and an employee who will enter the needed information for the response. SIDES requires programming to connect an employer’s or TPA’s internal IT system to the SIDES central broker.


    |top|

    Q: How much does it cost to integrate an employer’s or TPA’s IT system with SIDES?

    A: Employers and TPAs will need to assess the cost of integrating their IT system with SIDES. The cost will depend on an employer’s or TPA’s existing system design. SIDES was developed using World Wide Web open design and follows industry standards.


    |top|

    Q: How much does it cost to use SIDES and SIDES E-Response?

    A: SIDES E-Response is offered free of charge to employers. SIDES is offered free of charge to employers and TPAs, although there will be internal IT system development costs to integrate SIDES.


    |top|

    Q: How secure are SIDES and SIDES E-Response?

    A: Both SIDES and SIDES E-Response have multiple layers of security. SIDES E-Response uses secure communication protocols, and SIDES requires authentication certificates and uses encrypted records and files. The highest standard of security is important given the sensitive data exchanged between the New York State Department of Labor and employers and TPAs.


    |top|

    Q: What Unemployment Insurance system was in place before SIDES and SIDES E-Response?

    A: Before SIDES and SIDES E-Response, the New York State Department of Labor requested information from employers and TPAs via a slow, manual, paper-based mail process.


    |top|

    Q: What are the main causes of Unemployment Insurance overpayments?

    A: The two largest causes of Unemployment Insurance overpayments are a lack of complete and accurate information when someone files a claim and people who work while collecting Unemployment Insurance benefits. Many Unemployment Insurance overpayments, which could be prevented by receiving timely and accurate information, negatively impact employers’ bottom lines.


    |top|

    Q: Are SIDES and SIDES E-Response expected to reduce Unemployment Insurance overpayments?

    A: Yes. Both options have the potential to reduce Unemployment Insurance overpayments while improving the Unemployment Insurance information exchange process.


    |top|

    Q: How does an employer or TPA determine which option is best suited for its business?

    A: SIDES E-Response is best suited for employers with a limited number of annual Unemployment Insurance claims. In New York it requires a working Internet connection, an Unemployment Insurance Online Services account and an employee who will enter the needed information for the response. SIDES is best suited for larger employers facing many potential Unemployment Insurance claims throughout the year. It provides a more automated data exchange interface between employers’ and TPAs’ IT systems and the New York State Department of Labor.


    |top|

    Q: I am an employer who uses a TPA, and I want to sign up for SIDES E-Response.

    A: If you use a large national TPA that is not listed below or, has not started development of the SIDES broker application, notify your TPA to contact:

    Jerry Pectol
    SIDES Director
    National Association of State Workforce Agencies (NASWA)
    email: jerry.pectol@itsc.org
    website: http://info.uisides.org | www.naswa.org
    office: 918-213-0029
    cell: 405-203-0137

    Or

    Tom Byerley
    SIDES Operations Director
    National Association of State Workforce Agencies (NASWA)
    website: http://info.uisides.org | www.naswa.org
    email: tom.byerley@itsc.org
    office: 918-303-4156
    cell: 503-508-3907

    Currently, the active large national TPAs are:

    • ADP Unemployment Compensation Services (California)
    • ADP Unemployment Group (St. Louis Operations)
    • Corporate Cost Control
    • Employers Edge
    • Equifax
    • National Employers Council dba PeopleSystems
    • Personnel Planners
    • Price Waterhouse Cooper
    • Thomas & Company
    Others are in the process of implementing SIDES. As each brings both the separation and monetary components of SIDES into production, the NYS Department of Labor will bring them on board.


    |top|

    Q: I am a small TPA for employers and want to sign up for SIDES E-Response for my client employers.

    A: Small TPAs who are not developing a broker interface with the SIDES application cannot use SIDES E-Response on behalf of their clients in NY State at this time.


    |top|

    Q: I am a small TPA for employers and want to sign up for SIDES E-Response for my business.

    A: A TPA that is liable for NYS Unemployment Insurance can enroll to participate in SIDES E-Response and receive requests for former employees of your business by following the instructions for E-Response for Business.


    |top|

    Q: I am a large TPA that already has a SIDES Broker account, and I want to begin receiving requests from NY State.

    A: As soon as you have completed both the separation and monetary interfaces and have tested them, NY State Department of Labor will test with you. You must have both the separation and monetary interface in place and active. Once these are in place, you can contact:

    Jerry Pectol
    SIDES Director
    National Association of State Workforce Agencies (NASWA)
    email: jerry.pectol@itsc.org
    website: http://info.uisides.org | www.naswa.org
    office: 918-213-0029
    cell: 405-203-0137

    Or

    Tom Byerley
    SIDES Operations Director
    National Association of State Workforce Agencies (NASWA)
    website: http://info.uisides.org | www.naswa.org
    email: tom.byerley@itsc.org
    office: 918-303-4156
    cell: 503-508-3907

    http://labor.ny.gov/ui/employerinfo/sides-tpa-large-employer.shtm


    |top|

    Q: I have an UI Online Services Account, but I'm not receiving any SIDES E-Response notifications. Why would this happen?

    A: There could be several reasons why you have not received SIDES E-Response notifications:

    • You never signed up for SIDES E-Response
    • You have an inactive UI Online Services account
    • You have an inactive UI employer account
    • You are not a Master Administrator, so you are not aware of the email notifications
    • There may not be any claims filed against your account

    |top|

    Q: I signed up for SIDES E-Response, but I’m not receiving any electronic messages. Why would this happen?

    A: There could be several reasons why you have not received E-Response notifications:

    • You have an inactive UI Online Services account
    • You have an inactive UI employer account
    • You are not a Master Administrator, so you are not aware of the email notifications
    • There may not be any claims filed against your account

    |top|

    Q: I signed up for SIDES E-Response, but I’m still receiving some paper forms. Why would this happen?

    A: The SIDES E-Response system only handles separation and monetary issues from an original claim at this time. If an additional claim or monetary redetermination has been processed, you will receive paper forms. These notifications will be electronic and transmitted through SIDES E-Response in the future. Other exchanges, including Earnings Verification and Nonmonetary Determination and Decisions, will be available in the future as they are designed, developed and tested by the States Consortium and the National SIDES team.

    It is also possible that you may have received paper requests because there was a problem with your UI Online Services account. An active UI Online Services account is required to use SIDES E-Response. If you disabled or locked your account, you will automatically revert to paper mailings.


    |top|

    Q: I was receiving SIDES E-Response requests in UI Online Services, but now I am receiving paper forms again. Why would this happen?

    A: There could be several reasons why you are receiving paper again:

    • You have an inactive UI Online Services account
    • You have an inactive UI employer account
    • There may not be any claims filed against your account
    • The paper request was for an additional claim or monetary redetermination.

    |top|

    Q: The person who used to receive UI Online Services notifications for SIDES E-Response is no longer working for the firm, and I don’t have access to the e-mail that the notifications are going to. What should I do?

    A: All Master Administrators receive a copy of SIDES E-Response requests. You can have up to two Master Administrators. If you no longer have one of your Master Administrators, you will need to create a new one. If the business no longer has any Master Administrator, the account would need to be disabled by the UI Online Services Systems Administrator at the Department of Labor. An owner or principal of the business can make this request. Once the account is disabled, you will need to create a new UI Online Services Account with a new Master Administrator(s) who can sign up for SIDES E-Response.


    |top|

    Q: How can I get the e-mail notification to a particular person?

    A: The notification e-mail is sent to the UI Online Services Master Administrators’ e-mail addresses. This advises the Master Administrators to go to the UI Online Services account and view the secure message. Additional or alternate employees cannot be designated to receive the e-mail notifications at this time.


    |top|

    Q: How can I assign a particular person to manage only SIDES E-Response in UI Online Services?

    A: Only the UI Online Services Master Administrators have access to the secure message inbox with the SIDES E-Response notification message. Additional or alternate employees cannot be designated at this time.


    |top|

    Q: Can I respond to SIDES E-Response requests online, print out the questionnaire, and mail it back in?

    A: No. SIDES E-Response is a completely electronic exchange. Any responses completed online at the SIDES E-Response site will be sent to the department automatically, and you will receive a confirmation that it has been sent.


    |top|

    Q: Can I provide Separation and Monetary responses using the Secure Message system in UI Online Services?

    A: No, you must provide all responses to original Separation and Monetary notifications in the SIDES E-Response system. A secure e-mail reply to a SIDES E-Response request will not be viewed by anyone. However, you may receive requests for additional information through the Secure Message system in UI Online Services. These messages will not contain a link to the SIDES E-Response system. Your response to the Department of Labor requests for additional information can be sent through the Secure Message system. Since you signed up for SIDES E-Response, you are required to use that system for your responses to original notifications.


    |top|

    Q: Why can’t I sign in to the SIDES E-Response application?

    A: Check that you are entering the correct login credentials to access your E-Response requests. If the login credentials are being entered correctly, there are no active requests needing a response.


    |top|

    Q: Where can I find my SIDES E-Response access code (PIN)?

    A: Employers participating in SIDES E-Response will receive a request for UI information by secure e-mail. The request will include an authorization code that permits you to log on to SIDES E-Response and enter the requested information in a standard format. Only the Master Administrator(s) for the UI Online Services account will be able to view the secure message.


    |top|

    Q: Is participation in SIDES E-Response mandatory in NY State?

    A: No, participation in SIDES E-Response is not mandatory, but it is extremely helpful for employers. It saves both time and money and better protects your UI account.


    |top|

    Q: I don’t want to use SIDES E-Response anymore, and I want to go back to paper. What should I do?

    A: Call 1-888-899-8810, and choose Option 1, then Option 4 to request changes to your SIDES E-Response participation.


    |top|

    Q: What happens if I disable or lock my UI Online Services account?

    A: Your SIDES E-Response participation is automatically stopped by NY State, and you will receive paper forms in the future.


    |top|

    Q: What happens if I am no longer liable for UI contributions, and I inactivate my UI employer account?

    A: Your SIDES E-Response participation is automatically stopped by NY State, and you will receive paper forms in the future.


    |top|

    Q: I have a benefits-related question regarding the information contained in the SIDES E-Response Separation and/or Monetary Request.

    A: You can call 1-888-890-5090 to speak to a representative who can assist you.


    |top|

    Thanks for the feedback! It will help us improve your experience.