TN 97 (10-05)
SI 00830.230 Unemployment Insurance Benefits
Social Security Act as amended, Section 1612(a)(2)(B) ;
20 CFR 416.1121(a)
Unemployment insurance benefits, also known as unemployment compensation, means payments received under a State or Federal unemployment law and additional amounts paid by unions or employers as unemployment benefits.
Unemployment insurance benefits are unearned income.
1. Overpayment question
Ask if any benefits otherwise due are being withheld to recover an overpayment. If the answer is yes, you will need to verify that the overpaid benefits have not been previously used in a payment computation. See SI 00830.110 for an explanation of the double counting exception.
2. Verify amount
a. Primary evidence
Whenever possible, ask the individual to bring his next check or a notice into the office to verify the payment amount. For more information on a $25 weekly increase in an individual’s unemployment compensation benefit due to the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, see GN 02820.025F through GN 02820.025H.
If the individual does not have access to check stubs or a notice, query the Interstate Benefits Inquiry (IBIQ) database or the SSA Access to State Records Online (SASRO) database to obtain alternate primary evidence of unemployment benefits.
NOTE: The notice should also verify the date the payments began. Accept the individual’s allegation of the start date if a notice is not available and the start date is not reflected on the IBIQ.
b. Secondary evidence
When primary evidence is unavailable, verify unemployment benefits through the National Database of New Hires (NDNH). See SI 00820.130C.7. for a description of methods pertaining to conversion from quarterly to monthly amounts.
If you are unable to verify the unemployment benefit amount with primary or secondary evidence, or a discrepancy exists, follow the instruction in SI 00830.230C.4. for contacting the local state agency.
3. Determine frequency
It is not necessary to verify the frequency if you are familiar with the frequency either through direct experience or a precedent. Annotate the file so that it is clear why the frequency was not verified (e.g., a precedent exists that was established after prior contact with the issuing agency).
4. Contact with source
If you must contact the source, use the telephone as much as possible.
5. Payment date
If the payment is picked up in person, accept the individual's allegation as to the day the compensation is received unless there is reason to question the allegation. If the payment is mailed, assume the payment is received 5 days after the payment or mailing date unless the individual alleges it was received sooner, in which case accept the allegation.
SI 02310.065 Unemployment compensation match
MSOM QUERIES 009.001 Interstate Benefit Inquiry (IBIQ) - Overview
MSOM QUERIES 003.015 National Directory New Hire, Wage, Unemployment Menu (NDNH)
GN 02820.025 Effect of the “American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009” (ARRA) on SSI Income and Resources