SI BOS00830.231 (ME) Verifying Unemployment Insurance Benefits (RTN 5-261 - 02/2006)
The Maine Department of Labor (ME DOL) shares data regarding unemployment compensation with the Social Security Administration (SSA) through Internet access to the Bureau of Unemployment Compensation records. This process is referred to as Social Security Access to State Records Online (SASRO).
Currently, claims representatives and management staff in the Maine and Portsmouth, NH field offices and staff in the Regional Commissioner's Office and the Regional Office of Quality Assurance have access to a secure Internet site. ME DOL provides SSA with an efficient method of obtaining State records which are necessary to determine an individual's initial entitlement, continued eligibility or benefit amount for Title II or Title XVI purposes. SSA employees access State records of individuals in order to update files of such individuals. Online access to obtain unemployment insurance benefit information through ME DOL SASRO is considered primary evidence of income. (See SI 00830.230). See BOSNet SASRO ME DOL website for more information.
Note: Beginning February 2006, 18 weeks of unemployment insurance data and six quarters of wage data is also available through the Maine Interstate Benefit Query (IBIQ). Unemployment data from IBIQ is considered primary evidence per SI 00830.230 but wage data is considered secondary evidence per SI 00820.130. See BOSNet Maine IBIQ web site and MSOM QUERIES 009 for more information.
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. (See SI 00830.230.)
D. Verification Procedures
Document online verifications for MSSICS, MCS, and other SSA systems per current POMS and MSOM instructions (GN 00301.286 - GN 00301.290 - Electronic Evidence Documentation and Retention). Follow existing POMS procedures in resolving discrepancies between evidence obtained online and the claimant's allegation.
When entering online custodial data into any of SSA's systems, the information should clearly indicate that data were obtained from an online query. In general, the data entered must contain sufficient audit trail information to support the determination. In addition to the pertinent data being documented, some of the data that should be recorded includes the name of the agency, the screen name and the date accessed.
The availability of SASRO data does not change any existing procedures.
GN 00301.286 - Electronic Evidence Documentation and Retention
SI 00830.230 - Unemployment Insurance Benefits
SI 00820.130 - Evidence of Wages or Termination of Wages
MSOM QUERIES 009.001 – Interstate Benefit Inquiry - Overview