Author Archives: The Unemployment Outlook

Unveiling Excellence: Seven-Time Winners of the SIDES Award

We at Dunn Corporate Resources are thrilled to announce that, for the seventh consecutive year, we have triumphed in the prestigious SIDES Awards, recognizing outstanding performance in partnership with the USDOL. This accolade reaffirms our commitment to excellence and innovation in labor market information exchange.

At the core of our success lies a relentless dedication to efficiency and accuracy. Our unrivaled expertise in unemployment cost control services has propelled us to the forefront of the industry, earning us the trust of clients and stakeholders alike.

As we celebrate this remarkable achievement, we invite you to discover the unparalleled benefits of partnering with us. With our proven track record and commitment to excellence, we are your trusted ally in navigating the complexities of unemployment cost management.

Join us in our journey towards excellence and let us help you unlock greater efficiency, accuracy, and savings in your unemployment cost control efforts. Experience the difference with our award-winning services today.

Updates to Connecticut Unemployment Program

In an effort to improve Connecticut’s Unemployment Insurance (UI) Trust Fund solvency following the COVID-19 pandemic, the legislature passed Public Acts 21-200 and 22-67, to implement reforms that were achieved through a collaborative effort of business and labor. Changes to the tax and benefit system, plus the inclusion of indexing various tax and benefits measures, will promote long term UI Trust Fund solvency; reduce employer costs; build in cost predictability to support employer fiscal planning; and stabilize UI benefit payments to unemployed workers.

The following UI Tax changes are effective January 1, 2024:

  • The Taxable Wage Base (TWB) increases from $15,000 to $25,000 and is subsequently indexed annually due to inflation.
  • To minimize the short-term impact of the TWB increase, charged rates in calendar years 2024, 2025, 2026, and 2027 will be reduced by factors of 1.471, 1.269, 1.125, and 1.053 respectively.
  • The state’s minimum charged rate is reduced from 0.5% to 0.1%.
  • The state’s maximum charged rate increases from 5.4% to 10.0%.
  • The state’s maximum fund solvency tax rate is reduced from 1.4% to 1.0%. The maximum fund solvency tax rate is further reduced to 0.5% during years in which an economic recession has been declared.
  • Benefit ratio adjustment: If the average benefit ratio of all employers within a sector of the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) increases by 1% or more over the average benefit ratio of that sector from the previous year, then the benefit ratio of each employer within such sector shall have their individual benefit ratio reduced by one-half of the increase.

Examples of Contribution Rate calculation beginning with calendar year 2024:

  • Employer A is eligible to receive a charged rate, which is calculated based on the amount of UI benefits charged to their account divided by the taxable payroll reported.  The employer has the following UI benefit charges and taxable wages and is not eligible for an industry sector benefit ratio adjustment:
    • Experience Year 2021:    UI Benefit Charges = 0*                 Taxable Wages = 0*
    • Experience Year 2022:    UI Benefit Charges = $500            Taxable Wages = $10,000              
    • Experience Year 2023:    UI Benefit Charges = $500            Taxable Wages = $10,000              
    • $1,000 / $20,000 = 0.0500 Benefit Ratio
    • 0.0500 Benefit Ratio = 5.0% Preliminary Charged Rate
    • 5.0% / 1.471 divisor = 3.4% Final Charged Rate (rounded to the next higher one-tenth of one percent)
    • 3.4% Final Charged Rate + 1.0% Fund Solvency Tax Rate = 4.4% 2024 Contribution Rate
  • Employer B is eligible to receive a charged rate, has the following UI benefit charges and taxable wages and is eligible for an industry sector benefit ratio adjustment of 0.006:
    • Experience Year 2021:    UI Benefit Charges = 0*                Taxable Wages = 0*              
    • Experience Year 2022:    UI Benefit Charges = $2,000        Taxable Wages = $10,000              
    • Experience Year 2023:    UI Benefit Charges = $2,000        Taxable Wages = $10,000              
    • $4,000 / $20,000 = 0.2000 – 0.006 Benefit Ratio Adjustment = 0.1940 Benefit Ratio
    • 0.1940 Benefit Ratio = 19.4% Preliminary Charged Rate
    • 19.4% is subject to maximum Charged Rate cap of 10.0%
    • 10.0% / 1.471 divisor = 6.8% Final Charged Rate (rounded to the next higher one-tenth of one percent)
    • 6.8% Final Charged Rate + 1.0% Fund Solvency Tax Rate = 7.8% 2024 Contribution Rate

* UI Benefit Charges and Taxable Wages are disregarded for Experience Years 2020 and 2021 pursuant to PA 21-5.

The following UI Benefits changes are effective January 1, 2024:

  • Benefits paid to a claimant through the state’s voluntary Shared Work program during periods of high unemployment shall not be charged to experience rated base period employers.
  • In all cases, a claimant’s receipt of severance pay will now result in disqualification from receiving UI benefits for the period of time covered by the payment.
  • A claimant’s receipt of accrued vacation pay at the time of dismissal will not disqualify the claimant from receiving UI benefits, if otherwise eligible.  However, vacation pay issued to a claimant during a shutdown period will result in a disqualification or reduction in the UI benefits.
  • The minimum weekly UI benefit payment will increase from $15 to $40 and will be subsequently indexed annually due to inflation. However, the minimum benefit will revert to $15 when the federal government provides a fully federally funded supplement to the individual’s weekly benefit amount. The minimum base period earnings requirement increases from $600 to $1,600 and will be subsequently indexed annually to inflation.  However, the minimum base period earnings requirement will revert to $600 when the federal government provides a fully federally funded supplement to the individual’s weekly benefit amount.
  • Each day of absence without either good cause or notice to the employer constitutes a “separate instance” of wilful misconduct.
  • Additionally, the maximum UI benefit rate will be frozen during the four years from October 2024 through October 2028

Dunn Corporate Resources is always happy to help with questions. Contact us today!

Changes to NJ Unemployment Law – New Employer Obligations

The state of New Jersey has recently passed a new law (P.L. 2022, Chapter 120) that requires all employers to report certain information to the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development (NJDOL) when an employee is separated from their job. The new reporting obligations include submitting specific information, through electronic means, about the employee’s separation that is “sufficient to enable the NJDOL to make a benefit determination.” Employers must also immediately send a copy of the NJDOL’s Form BC-10 to the NJDOL, which was previously only given to separated employees.

The law also makes adjustments to several deadlines related to the unemployment process, such as the timeframe for obtaining missing separation information and making initial benefits determinations. The role of separation information in the overall benefits determination process has been increased, and NJDOL deputies must consider it when examining a benefits claim.

Employers who fail to provide the separation information within seven days of receiving the electronic notice or request will have a deputy decide the claim based on any available evidence. Employers can provide separation information late, and the NJDOL can alter the determination and order payments for workweeks after the separation information was received.

The law also makes changes to the appeal process for initial benefits determinations, with claimants now having 21 days to appeal and employers only having seven days to appeal after confirmed receipt by any means, including by email. The law likely forbids untimely appeals of initial benefits determinations altogether. Late appeals will not be excused through showing good cause why the appeal was not timely filed.

Overall, this new law will have significant implications for employers in New Jersey, who will need to adjust their processes and procedures to comply with the new reporting requirements and deadlines. It is important for employers to understand the changes and how they may impact their operations.

Dunn Corporate Resources’ Unemployment Cost Control Services will help employers mitigate any risks associated with this new legislation while helping employers to streamline the unemployment process and reduce the unemployment expense. Contact us today to discuss how we can help!

Withholding Tax Accounts for Remote Employees

As more and more companies adopt remote work policies, it is important for employers to understand the tax implications of having employees work remotely. One important aspect of this is setting up withholding tax accounts for remote employees. In this article, we will discuss the reasons why employers need to set up these accounts and the benefits they provide.

The first reason why employers need to set up withholding tax accounts for remote employees is compliance with tax laws. Under the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) guidelines, employers are required to withhold and deposit federal income taxes, Social Security taxes, and Medicare taxes from their employees’ paychecks. This applies regardless of whether the employee is working in the office or remotely. Failure to comply with these laws can result in penalties and fines for the employer.

Secondly, setting up withholding tax accounts helps ensure accuracy in tax withholding. When an employee works remotely, they may be located in a different state or even a different country than the employer. This can make it difficult for the employer to determine the correct state and local taxes to withhold from the employee’s paycheck. Using an outside service or professional payroll service can help ensure that the correct taxes are being withheld and deposited, which can prevent errors and penalties down the line.

Thirdly, setting up withholding tax accounts can save time and resources. Handling payroll and taxes can be time-consuming and complex, especially when dealing with remote employees. By outsourcing this task to a professional service, employers can free up time and resources to focus on other important aspects of their business. Additionally, the system and process can be automated, making it much more convenient for the employer to handle the paperwork.

Another reason to consider setting up withholding tax accounts for remote employees is to ensure that the employer stays up-to-date with the tax laws that apply to remote workers. As laws and regulations can change frequently, it is important for employers to stay informed and comply with any changes that may affect their remote employees. An outside service or professional payroll service can help ensure that the employer is aware of any changes and is in compliance with them.

In conclusion, setting up withholding tax accounts for remote employees is important for compliance with tax laws, accuracy in tax withholding, saving time and resources, and staying up-to-date with laws and regulations. Employers should work with a professional payroll service or accountant to ensure that they are properly withholding and depositing taxes for their remote employees. By taking the necessary steps to set up withholding tax accounts, employers can avoid penalties and fines and ensure that their remote employees are properly compensated and taxed.

Contact Dunn Corporate Resources today for expert help in setting up Withholding accounts!

Tips at an Unemployment Hearing

If you’ve been notified that one of your employees has requested an unemployment hearing, it’s important to take the time to prepare in order to give yourself the best chance of a successful outcome. Here are some tips to help you get ready:

  1. Review the case: Take the time to review the details of the employee’s unemployment claim and the reason for the hearing. Make sure you understand the specifics of the situation and the reasons for the claim.
  2. Gather documentation: Collect any relevant documentation that may support your case. This could include performance evaluations, attendance records, or other evidence that demonstrates the employee’s eligibility for unemployment benefits.
  3. Prepare your arguments: Think about the reasons why you believe the employee should not receive unemployment benefits, and be prepared to present them in a clear and concise manner during the hearing.
  4. Practice your testimony: Consider practicing your testimony with a colleague or supervisor to help you feel more prepared and confident.
  5. Dress appropriately: Dress in professional attire for the hearing, as you want to present yourself and your company in the best light possible.
  6. Be on time: Make sure to arrive at the hearing on time and allow for extra travel time in case of unforeseen circumstances.
  7. Listen carefully: Pay close attention to the questions being asked and the testimony of any witnesses. Take notes if it will help you to remember important details.
  8. Stay calm: It can be stressful to participate in an unemployment hearing, but it’s important to remain calm and collected throughout the process.

By following these tips, you can give yourself the best chance of a successful outcome at the unemployment hearing.

Dunn Corporate Resources can help employers prepare for unemployment hearings and even provide representation for the employer at the hearing! Reach out to us today to discuss the options available to you at an unemployment hearing!

The Benefits of Unemployment Cost Control

As an employer, managing unemployment insurance claims can be a time-consuming and costly process. Fortunately, unemployment cost control services can help employers reduce the burden and costs associated with unemployment claims. Here are just a few of the benefits of using an unemployment cost control service:

  1. Cost savings: One of the primary benefits of unemployment cost control services is the potential for cost savings. By minimizing the amount of unemployment benefits paid out and reducing the administrative burden of managing claims, employers can save money on unemployment insurance costs.
  2. Expertise: Unemployment cost control service providers have extensive experience and expertise in managing unemployment claims. This can be especially useful for employers who are unfamiliar with the claims process or who do not have the resources to devote to managing claims in-house.
  3. Improved HR practices: Unemployment cost control services can help employers identify trends and areas for improvement in their HR practices. By implementing policies and procedures that reduce the risk of unemployment claims, employers can improve their overall HR practices and create a more positive work environment.
  4. Advocacy: Unemployment cost control service providers can act as advocates on behalf of the employer during the claims process. They can help negotiate favorable outcomes with state unemployment agencies and represent the employer’s interests during appeals and hearings.

In summary, unemployment cost control services can provide significant benefits to employers by helping them manage and reduce the costs associated with unemployment insurance claims. By leveraging the expertise and resources of a professional service provider, employers can save time and money while improving their HR practices.

US Department of Labor Issues Staggering Fiscal Year Improper Unemployment Payment Data

The US Department of Labor has issued 2021 Fiscal Year data which breaks down the improper payments by state including improper payment percentages and total dollar amounts.  These overpayment rates are staggering with Virginia and Florida topping the charts at and 49% and 48% respectively.  To put this in perspective, if an employer was charged for $100,000 in unemployment benefits an average of $49,000 is erroneous!

Below is the link to the US Department of Labor Unemployment Insurance Payment Accuracy Datasets:

How can you be sure that your accounts are not being charged improperly? Dunn Corporate Resources implements stringent auditing standards to ensure that our clients are not charged for claims that they should not be.  Our computer systems and auditing teams are constantly monitoring all charges to accounts and protesting erroneous charges.

Contact us today to find out how we help to control unemployment costs and ensure the lowest possible unemployment expenses!

New Jersey Unemployment Tax Rates Rise for 2021 / 2022

New Jersey has released the new unemployment tax rates effective July 1, 2021. NJ tax rates are determined with schedule C where the minimum tax rate is 0.50% and the maximum tax rate is 5.80%.  The new Employer rate remains at 2.80%. 

Tax rates have increased from last year where the State used schedule B, and rates will continue to rise of the next two years as tables shift to schedule D and E respectively.

The schedule is typically determined by the amount of reserves in the state fund, however the state has decided to gradually increase rates over three years, instead of jumping directly to schedule E.

New Jersey has relieved employers of charges relating to COVID-19, helping employers keep rates lower coming out of the pandemic. 

Contact us today to discuss how to control your unemployment costs as rates continue to rise!

Pennsylvania Unemployment Fraud

Over the past month we have seen an extraordinary increase in fraudulent unemployment claims in the state of Pennsylvania.

If a fraudulent claim is filed on behalf of you or one of your employees, the following steps are recommended:

Identity Theft Unemployment Benefits

Fraudulent unemployment claims are all too common in the era of COVID-19. With the additional money involved with unemployment, it is becoming lucrative for scammers to file as many fraudulent claims as possible. Consequently, many people have fallen victim to fraudulent unemployment claim filings.

The IRS has released the below guidance for impacted victims who may receive tax forms relating to fraudulently filed claims:

The IRS has highlighted identity theft involving unemployment benefits and urged taxpayers who receive Forms 1099-G, Certain Government Payments, to contact their appropriate state agency for a corrected form. Taxpayers who faced unemployment or reduced work hours due to COVID-19 pandemic applied for and received unemployment compensation from their state which are taxable income. However, scammers also took advantage of the pandemic by filing fraudulent claims for unemployment compensation using stolen personal information of individuals who had not filed claims. Payments made as a result of these fraudulent claims went to the identity thieves, and the individuals whose names and personal information were taken did not receive any of the payments.

The IRS has previously issued guidance requested by states on identity theft guidance regarding unemployment compensation reporting. Further, taxpayers do not need to file a Form 14039, Identity Theft Affidavit, with the IRS regarding an incorrect Form 1099-G. The Service has requested taxpayers to see Identity Theft Central for more information about the signs of identity theft and general steps that should be taken. Additionally, if taxpayers are concerned that their personal information has been stolen and they want to protect their identity when filing their federal tax return, they can request an Identity Protection Pin from the IRS.

In addition, the IRS has reminded taxpayers that unemployment benefits are taxable, and they should watch their mail for a Form 1099-G. Lastly, starting in January 2021, unemployment benefit recipients would receive a Form 1099-G from the agency paying the benefits (IR-2021-24, 1/28/2021). 

Florida UI Tax Rates – Errors, Errors, Errors!

The state of Florida recently released the unemployment tax rate notice for the taxable year 2021.  The maximum tax rate is .054 (5.4%) and the minimum rate is .0029 (0.29%).   The taxable wage base is $7,000 per employee. 

It is imperative that employers review the figures used in the calculation of this tax rate.  Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Florida’s computer systems have consistently failed leading to major unaddressed issues.  Claimants are showing up on the statement of benefits charged to an employer’s account that do not show up in Florida’s internal computer systems!  These charges are then used in the tax rate calculation where employers never had the chance to protest the charges!  Furthermore, Florida was supposed to credit employers for any charges relating to COVID-19.  In the majority of cases, we have not seen Florida properly credit claims that relate to COVID-19, thus factoring these charges into the assigned tax rate.

For help with reviewing or protesting your unemployment tax rate notice, contact our unemployment tax professionals today!

Wisconsin Unemployment Update

Employers in Wisconsin are now required to inform all employees about the availability of unemployment insurance (UI) at termination. Providing this information is required regardless of the circumstances of separation (including when an employee quits) and even if the employee won’t be eligible for UI.

The information may be provided by letter, email, or text message or by providing the employee with the printed UI poster in person or by mail. The poster is available on the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development’s website here.  

Additional $300 weekly unemployment in many states

Many States will start paying the enhanced benefit of $300 additional on top of normal benefits. Claimants will need to receive at least $100 per week in state unemployment benefits to be eligible for the additional $300.

The states that are currently approved for the extra $300 are:

  • Alabama
  • Alaska
  • California
  • Colorado
  • Connecticut
  • Georgia
  • Idaho
  • Indiana
  • Iowa
  • Kentucky
  • Louisiana
  • Maryland
  • Massachusetts
  • Michigan
  • Mississippi
  • Missouri
  • Montana
  • New Hampshire
  • New Mexica
  • New York
  • North Carolina
  • Oklahoma
  • Pennsylvania
  • Rhode Island
  • Tennessee
  • Texas
  • Utah
  • Vermont
  • Washington
COVID-19 Employer Resources

State Information





















































All information provided courtesy of National Association of Workforce Agencies (NASWA)

Coronavirus and Unemployment

The US DOL released guidelines available to all States as to how unemployment matters should be approached with regard to COVID-19.

There are a few main scenarios:

  1. The Employer temporarily ceases operations – In this scenario the federal law would permit states to treat this as a layoff. It is up to each of the states to determine if the claimant is able and available, and if the individual intends to return to work after the employer resumes operations.
  2. The individual is quarantined and will return to the employer – the state can treat the quarantine period as a layoff under federal law, however once the quarantine ends the individual must return in the same capacity as before, otherwise they may be eligible for partial benefits.
  3. An individual does not return to the employer after a quarantine – This will be determined on a state by state, and case by case basis. Federal law permits a state to rule this as a quit or discharge under good cause/just cause provisions. States can consider the reasonableness of an individual’s separate for reasonable risk of exposure to COVID-19.

Some states are considering non-charging provisions to employers in the context of the COVID-19 virus, however there has not been any official announcements.

For more information on how Dunn Corporate Resources can help your organization reduce your unemployment tax expense, contact us today!

Alternative Unemployment Funding for Non-profits

How can your nonprofit organization avoid the high cost of the State Unemployment Insurance taxes?  Consider altering the method by which you fulfill that unemployment responsibility to a method that allows greater financial control. 

Dunn Corporate Resources has partnered with First Nonprofit, a leader in UI funding programs for non-profits, to offer the highest possible service combined with the most comprehensive programs available to employers.

Some of the advantages of the programs include:

  • Fixed annual cost
  • Budgetary certainty
  • Insurance protection
  • Improved cash flow through equal quarterly payments
  • Professional claims management and cost audits
  • Reimbursement payments to state agencies for individual claims
  • Posting of collateral (surety bonds) with state unemployment agencies
  • Interest-bearing reserve account with stop-loss insurance

To find out more about the advantages of using our programs compared to that of the state, contact us today and one of our client managers will be happy to help!

DCR to Speak at CFMA Conference

Dunn Corporate Resources is excited to be speaking at the CFMA Conference on Thursday February 7th, 2019.  We will be speaking to an audience of top employers in the construction industry providing insights on how to handle unemployment matters and lower unemployment tax costs.  

Unemployment is prevalent in the construction industry, especially when projects end and worker are laid off.  How can employers minimize their unemployment costs? We will help identify the areas driving costs – and provide creative solutions to help employers reduce costs based on their specific circumstances.

More information on this event can be found at the CFMA website:

Responding to Unemployment Claims

Responding to unemployment claims is crucial to lowering an employer’s unemployment costs.  Even if the claim filed is a layoff or a non-contestable claim, it is still critical that these claims get responded to.  Often, employers do not realize that non-response to claims can cause loss of appeal rights in the future – should the reason for separation change.

It’s important to understand the unique unemployment laws and deadlines associated with different states.  Many businesses operate in more than one state, and in many cases a certain state may have a 10 or 15 day deadline to respond to a claim.  A good baseline rule is to respond to any claim, regardless of the state, within 7 days to ensure compliance among all states.

When it comes down the reason for separation, it is important that documentation is included to help back up an employer’s response.  The state is always looking for write ups, warnings, policies, acknowledgements, and signed resignation letters.  It is hard for employers to win a discharge case without having sufficient documentation to back up their story.

There are many different forms associated with a single unemployment claim that gets filed.  For example, you may receive an initial form from the local office, a relief of charge form, and an additional questionnaire – all for the same claimant!  It’s critical that all these forms are responded to by the deadline listed on the form (many times different forms have different deadlines) along with sufficient documentation to back up the case.

Dunn Corporate Resources gives clients the ability to process unemployment claims all in one centralized dashboard – and all replies are reviewed by our unemployment experts before going back to the state to ensure the highest probability of winning a claim.  For a demo of our online system, contact one of our friendly claims managers – we will be happy to discuss our solutions with you.

NJ Changes Unemployment Law Regarding Misconduct

NJ Changes Unemployment Law Regarding Misconduct  

The state of New Jersey has enacted new language to the unemployment law pertaining to penalties associated with misconduct, and the proof needed by an employer.  The language in this new law can be difficult to understand, so we will try to break it down as simply as possible.

What’s New?

Under Governor Christie, there were three classifications of misconduct: Misconduct, Severe Misconduct, and Gross Misconduct.  Under the new law, there will now be two classifications of misconduct: Misconduct and Gross Misconduct.  Gross Misconduct is essentially defined as an act punishable as a crime of the first, second, third, or fourth degree under the “New Jersey Code of Criminal Justice”.  Anything else will fall into the category of misconduct.

The penalty associated with Gross Misconduct is that the claimant is disqualified from any unemployment benefits associated with the employer from which the claimant was discharged. The penalty associated with misconduct is that the claimant is disqualified for the five weeks which immediately follow the week in which the individual was discharged for misconduct. The employer’s unemployment tax account will then be relieved of charges for any benefits paid to the claimant following the disqualification period.

Furthermore, there is additional language added to put emphasis on the requirement for written documentation written at, or immediately following the time of the misconduct that demonstrates the actions of the employee constitute misconduct or gross misconduct.

How does this impact employers? 

It does not directly affect employers because they will still get relieved of charges anytime a claim is ruled as misconduct. However, it will drain the reserve balances at the state level, due to the fact that more benefits will be paid out to claimants since Severe Misconduct will be eliminated. Lower state reserves will cause the tax table to shift, and employer unemployment tax rates will rise.


The law can be found here:



New Jersey will be mailing out the unemployment tax rate notice for the taxable year 2018-2019. This notice contains the tax rates for both unemployment and disability. The minimum unemployment tax rate is 0.4% and the maximum tax rate is 5.4%. The state is using tax table B for the 2018-2019 year. This means that tax rates should be lower this year than last year.  Be sure to check for voluntary contributions as often times employers can benefit from “buying down” their tax rates.

Dunn Corporate Resources is here to help you! If you need help interpreting your tax rate notice, we are offering a no-cost analysis of your unemployment and disability tax accounts to see what savings may be available!

Contact us today, one of our specialists would love to help!


DCR Wins SIDES Award 2 Years Straight!

Dunn Corporate Resources is proud to accept the prestigious award presented by NASWA in partnership with the Department of Labor!  This award recognizes a select few unemployment cost control vendors who achieve outstanding performance on the SIDES system. We were presented with this award at the annual SIDES conference consisting of unemployment cost control vendors and representatives from State unemployment agencies.

SIDES helps streamline the unemployment process by allowing unemployment requests to be in a uniform data format across all state. As a result, paperwork  is virtually eliminated and there is no longer a need for mailing documents, providing longer time frames to respond to claims. For more information about SIDES, check out our SIDES blog post.

If you would like to know how your organization can benefit by partnering with an award winning unemployment cost control vendor, feel free to contact us. One of our representatives would be happy to discuss how we integrate SIDES into our unemployment cost control program.

NY UI Tax Rates Released

New York Unemployment Tax Rates Released

Attention employers of New York:

The state of New York has released the 2018 unemployment tax rate notices. You should expect to see these notices come in the mail late February to Early March. New York has shifted the tax tables for the 2018 year, creating a favorable rate decrease for employers. In 2017, the state used the Size of Fund Index ‘1.5% but less than 2.0%’. This has now been shifted one column to ‘2.0% but less than 2.5%’. You can find the New York tax tables here  on pages 18-20.

It is important that employers verify all figures on the tax rate notice to ensure accuracy! Employers must also be aware of potential voluntary contributions to lower the tax rate.

For help reviewing your unemployment tax rate notice feel free to contact Dunn Corporate Resources! One of our account managers will gladly assist you.

Unemployment Online

In today’s world everything revolves around technology. Information is transferred over the web in all types of industries. With the ongoing progress being made to streamline work by utilizing online capabilities, one would think that unemployment claims would be processed online rather than by paper claim forms, however the government isn’t as quick as we would like.

There has been a push to create a centralized online unemployment claims processing system which is known as SIDES E-Response for employers, however this can be extremely tedious and cumbersome. To be honest, it is probably easier to just fill out the paper claim form and fax it back to the state.

At Dunn Corporate Resources, we’ve created an online system the allows for ease of processing unemployment information AND the ability to access customized reported for full transparency. Our claims management system gives our clients the absolute easiest way to communicate separations and receive real time updates on unemployment claims.

Simply the easiest and most organized way to respond to claims:

Once a claim is responded to, it goes straight to the claim archives. Clients can access claim archives to see exactly how a claim was responded to, what type of documentation was attached to the claim, and when the claim was sent.

For a comprehensive demo of the full capabilities of the Dunn Corporate Resources online system, feel free to contact us today! One of our experienced reps will be happy to answer any questions that you have.

UI Tax: Lower NJ Tax Rate

How to lower your unemployment tax rate:


Two things in life are certain: Death and Taxes. Whether it is income tax, sales tax, property tax, etc. you still have to pay it! The good new is – some taxes are controllable and even minimizable.

Employers are all too familiar with with the effects of taxes on their bottom line profits. Ever wonder if there’s a way to pay less money in taxes? Well, one tax that is CONTROLLABLE is the unemployment tax rate. For employers, it does not matter what state you do business in, you can still reduce your unemployment tax rate – all it takes is some know how.

There are three main areas that employers need to watch in order to control their unemployment tax:

  1. Administration:

Every unemployment claim needs to be fought with the proper legal language that is written in the state laws. Be sure to to specifically identify the final incident that caused the termination and don’t mis-interpret the claimant’s actions for something that they weren’t.

  1. Auditing:

Auditing is arguably the most important aspect in lower an unemployment tax rate. Did you know that each state admits that it pays out an excess amount in unemployment benefits each year? Check out the map here to see how your state stacks up against others. Employers must check to see how much each claimant is supposed to be getting paid out, and then determine if the claimant is actually receiving the proper amount of pay. Here’s the catch: this money has already been paid – the state is just letting you know they paid it. It is your job to check that the state is paying the proper amount of money out of your account!

  1. Education:

You don’t know what you don’t know. And, your employees don’t know what they don’t know. Did you know that you can “buy down” your tax rate to effectively pay taxes at a lower tax bracket? This is call a voluntary contribution. Certain states allow voluntary contributions, while others do not. This is just one example of an opportunity to lower your tax rate without having to do any “work”.

Employers should be proactive in ensuring that their whole organization is on the same page. Managers should understand how the unemployment system works, since often times an unemployment claim will be decided based on a write up or termination letter from a manager. Companies should be following uniform procedures when disciplining employees and issuing write-ups in a logical progression.


Dunn Corporate Resources has the economies of scale to help your business achieve the lowest possible unemployment tax rate, while offloading all of the workload! Our award winning computer system is fully integrated with the Federal Government’s SIDES system allowing us to process unemployment claims electronically! Our systems ensure no overpayments are made, and that employers receive all possible credit’s to their unemployment accounts.

Contact us today for a no cost analysis of your unemployment tax account to see what savings are available!  

Employee or Independent Contractor?

Employee or Independent Contractor?

Deciding whether an individual is an employee or an independent contractor can be difficult. This is a recurring question whenever employers are determining how to treat payments for services. The IRS outlines three categories to help define the degree of control that an employer has and the independence that an individual has:


  • Behavioral: Does the company control or have the right to control what the worker does and how the worker does his or her job?
  • Financial: Are the business aspects of the worker’s job controlled by the payer? (these include things like how worker is paid, whether expenses are reimbursed, who provides tools/supplies, etc.)
  • Type of Relationship: Are there written contracts or employee type benefits (i.e. pension plan, insurance, vacation pay, etc.)? Will the relationship continue and is the work performed a key aspect of the business?


If it is still not clear as to how an individual should be classified, the IRS gives employers the option to file the Form SS-8. The IRS will then review the facts and circumstances and make an official determination on the individual’s working status.

New Jersey Tax Rate Notice

New Jersey Releases Unemployment and Disability Tax Rate Notice

On July 28th New Jersey mailed out the tax rate notice for the taxable year 2017-2018. This notice contains the tax rates for both unemployment and disability. The minimum unemployment tax rate is 0.5% and the maximum tax rate is 5.8%. The state is using the same tax tables as the 2016-2017 taxable year. Be sure to check for voluntary contributions as often times employers can benefit from “buying down” their tax rates.

Dunn Corporate Resources is here to help you! If you need help interpreting your tax rate notice, we are offering a no-cost analysis of your unemployment and disability tax accounts to see what savings may be available!

Contact us today, one of our specialists would love to help!

Update: New I-9 Form Released

Update: New I-9 Form Released

On July 17, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) released a new Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification. The new Form I-9 is available on the USCIS website:

Employers will be able to use this revised version immediately. Employers can continue using the Form I-9 with a revision date of 11/14/16 up to 9/17/17. Starting September 18, all employers must use the revised form with a revision date of 7/17/17 for all new employees.

The revisions are minor; employers will not need to change their processes.

Revisions related to the List of Acceptable Documents on Form I-9:

  • The Consular Report of Birth Abroad (Form FS-240) has been added to List C.
  • All the certifications of report of birth issued by the Department of State (Form FS-545, Form DS-1350, and Form FS-240) have been combined into selection C#2 in List C.

All List C documents except the Social Security card have been renumbered.

Voluntary Short Term Disability: Give your Employees the Option to “Buy Up”

Voluntary Short Term Disability: Give your Employees the Option to “Buy Up”

The following is a true story. Joan was an employee at a large local hospital in New Jersey. When she was presented with the opportunity to elect various voluntary benefits to enhance her company benefits plan, she participated in many of them. Her primary motivation was she had a family history of cancer and was worried about the financial impact on her and her family if she ever faced this herself. The plans she selected were:

  1. Short Term Disability “Buy up”
  2. Cancer Insurance
  3. Critical Illness

Less than four years later, she complained of a pain in her side and her doctors determined there was a growth over her intestine. She was admitted to the hospital within the week and had successful surgery to have the tumor removed. The test results confirmed her worst fear: cancer! The good news was 100% of the cancer was removed during surgery. The better news is she was covered not only by her medical plan, her state-mandated short term disability coverage, but also by three voluntary benefits that provided needed cash so she could pay her bills while recovering.

Eventually, after several months, she received nearly $30,000 from the critical illness and cancer policies. It took 11 weeks for the TDB checks to start arriving. (The hospital did not have a private plan). A week later, she returned to work. The point, for this article, is that it was the $500 a week short term disability “buy up” checks that helped her family stay afloat while she was recovering. These payments started 14 days after she filed her claim.

A short term disability “buy up” is available in any state with a mandated SDI plan. It offers, in New Jersey, the option for an employee to receive up to 40% of their gross weekly check, tax free, on top of the state benefit. Whether you decided to also explore a private plan, this voluntary benefit is a natural and cost-free way to improve your benefits offering.

Dunn Corporate Resources has upgraded our services in this area. Not only do we have extensive expertise in designing the right plan for your employees, we offer enrollment services to all of our clients. This means we have licensed, experienced benefits counselors who can sit in one-on-one sessions with your people and help them make the right decisions for themselves and their families.

We can complement an offering of voluntary STD with other voluntary benefits such as term life, indexed universal life, accident, critical illness, etc. For clients in other states, we can design short and long term plans that range from employer paid, employer-paid for key staff combined with voluntary, or 100% employee-paid voluntary.

For more information, call Jim Johnson at 1-800-220-DUNN or email:

Case Study – Saving a client 36% through a Private Disability Plan

Case Study – Saving a client 36% through a Private Disability Plan

The unemployment tax rate is not the only tax rate that Dunn Corporate Resources (DCR) helps employers reduce. The majority of our employers are unaware that savings are available in other areas such as temporary disability. (In New Jersey, “TDB” is the term used for mandated short term disability coverage). In fact, earlier this year, DCR helped an auto group with 600 employees save $40,000 on their state mandated disability taxes.

Dunn Corporate Resources proposed that the auto group look into moving off of the state plan to a privatized plan. Since we receive notification of most clients’ tax rates, we knew going in that we had an excellent chance of success. We took the key data for the auto group and received bids from several insurance carriers that specialize in private disability plans. We presented, and our client accepted, the best offer.

The result? The auto group received a 36% reduction in their tax rate. This generated a dollar savings of $40,000 over the next two years.

Savings was not the only benefit to switching to a private plan. Of equal, or perhaps, greater importance, is the dramatic improvement in claims processing. This directly impacts your employees at a vitally important time. If someone is sick or injured and unable to work for any extended period of time, the last thing they need is to wait for over two months between their last paycheck and receiving a disability check.

With a private plan, claims get processed and paid in one week or less with our carrier, compared to the state plan where claims get processed in an average of nine weeks. Once employee’s claims are processed, they receive payment via check with the private carrier instead of a pre-loaded debit card through the state plan.

The bottom line? Lower costs and better benefits for your people.

Ask your Dunn representative today about exploring the potential savings in your temporary disability plan! If you are already in a privatized disability plan, ask us about getting a competitive quote!

You can Save on SDI with a Private Plan

You can Save on SDI with a Private Plan                                          

The experts disagree.  The odds of an employee suffering a disability of three or more months sometime in their career range from 20% on the low end to 80%. Regardless of the actual odds, it is almost a certainty that disability will have a major impact on someone in your work force, and the odds skyrocket for larger employee groups.

It is surprising, then, that only six locations in the United States mandate that employers provide short term disability coverage to their employees.  These locations are New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, California, Hawaii and Puerto Rico.

This article will focus on New Jersey, but the potential benefits of a private plan are appealing in all six locations that mandate this coverage. In all 50 states, the problem of ever increasing health plan costs have caused the vast majority of employers to eliminate company-paid short term and long term disability plans. Some offer voluntary plans. Dunn Corporate Resources (DCR) can assist in all of these areas: private plans, employer-paid STD and LTD, voluntary STD and LTD, and voluntary STD “buy-up” plans.

In New Jersey, the Temporary Disability Insurance (TDB) benefit is 2/3rd’s of the gross weekly salary with a cap of $633 in 2017. The benefit for a disability caused by either accident or sickness starts on Day 8 and pays out to Day 180. After this, benefits stop regardless of the condition of the employee.

Even employers who are located outside of NJ but have NJ employees must provide TDB insurance to their NJ workers. New Jersey allows employers to privatize their TDB coverage, so employers can opt to have coverage through the State plan or with a private insurance carrier.

What types of Groups are covered under TDB?

In general, all employer groups who are covered under Unemployment must also offer TDB to its employees. An exception to this rule is certain government entities. In most cases, employers who have at least one employee and pay wages of $1,000 or more per calendar year are subject to TDB.

Who is eligible for TDB benefits?

In order to be eligible for TDB benefits, an employee must have had at least 20 base weeks of NJ covered employment, OR earned at least $8,400 in covered employment during the 52 week period immediately preceding the week in which the Disability began. A base week is a calendar week in the base year during which the employee earned $165 or more in covered earnings (this equates to 20 times the State minimum wage).

Who pays for New Jersey TDB?

Generally, the plan is funded by both employer and employee contributions. Employees contribute the first 0.25% up to the taxable wage base. For 2017, the maximum taxable wage base is $33,500, making the maximum employee contribution for this year $83.75. Employers contribute premium in excess of 0.25%. For plans insured through the State, the employer rate ranges from 0.10% to 0.75%. An employer has the option to waive employee contributions when insuring through a private plan.

What are the Rules for establishing a Private Plan?

Employers automatically participate in the State TDB plan, unless they elect coverage through an approved private plan. The State must approve all such plans. Only those carriers that are on file with the State of New Jersey as an approved insurance carrier for NJ TDB will be accepted.

The private plan cannot be more restrictive, offer lower benefits, or require more employee contributions than the State plan. A TDB plan can only move from the State on calendar quarters: January 1st, April 1st, July 1st, or October 1st .

The State must be notified of the potential move prior to the effective date of the move. The employer must complete the State’s form AC-174. We will provide assistance with the completion of this form. If employee contributions are to be continued, an election must be held. 50% plus one employee must agree to the private plan on a consent form. We will mail the original consent form and AC-174 to the State of NJ on the employer’s behalf. In addition, we will mail a copy of the prepared TDB policy and Notice of Compliance to both the State and the employer. The employer must post the Notice in a conspicuous location at the worksite. The State will review all documents and notify the employer and us of approval. Once approved, the State will issue a Certificate of Approval and assign a private plan number. In the unlikely event that the State does not approve the plan, we will work with the employer to resubmit the documents for approval.

Can an employer insure some employees through a Private Plan and others through the State?

Yes, provided that the criteria for determining the split are not discriminatory. For example, an employer can elect to insure a union group through a private plan and keep the non-union employees with the State. They cannot, however, elect to cover employees less than 55 years old privately and 55 or older through the State plan.

What insurance companies do we use?

Although we can use a wide variety of statutory disability insurance carriers, there are only a handful that we feel excel in this line of coverage. DCR will select the best company in regard to financial ratings, guarantees, pricing and customer service feedback.

What are the Advantages of selecting a private insurer for TDB?

Private insurers offer several key advantages over the State plan:

  • Competitive rates
  • A reputation for claims excellence, with a dedicated and highly professional staff who is focused on timely and accurate claim payments
  • Pays TDB-related assessment charges per employee of $10.50
  • Are easy to do business with, guiding you through the TDB process every step of the way
  • Plan enhancements, such as higher maximum benefits, longer durations or shorter elimination periods can be considered
  • Superior customer service

What’s the Next Step?

Remember, Dunn Corporate Resources (DCR) can assist in all of these areas: private plans, employer-paid STD and LTD, voluntary STD and LTD, and voluntary STD “buy-up” plans (in the 6 mandated locations).

How do I request a Quote?

Call Jim Johnson at 1-800-220-DUNN or email:

What is the Taxable Wage Base?

What is the taxable wage base?

The taxable wage base is one of the key components in determining how much an employer will have to pay in unemployment taxes over the course of a year. Taxable wages vary from state to state, but generally there is a “cap” known as the taxable wage base, where an employer does not have to pay taxes on the money paid to an employee over a certain point. States determine the taxable wage base in different ways. Some use a formula or follow a certain percentage of each state’s average wages, while many follow the FUTA taxable wage base of $7,000 in 2017.

Below is a list of the taxable wage base in each state. You may notice that some states have much higher taxable wage bases than other states. These higher taxable wages are not always offset by a lower unemployment tax rate. Keep an eye out for states that adjust the taxable wage base each year. Those states are as follows: Alaska, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Minnesota, Montana, Nevada, New Jersey (lower for 2017), New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota (lower for 2017), Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Utah, Vermont, Virgin Islands, Washington, and Wyoming.

StateTaxable wage base
New Hampshire14,000.00
New Jersey33,500.00
New Mexico24,300.00
New York10,900.00
North Carolina23,100.00
North Dakota35,100.00
Rhode Island23,900.00
South Carolina14,000.00
South Dakota15,000.00
West Virginia12,000.00
District of Columbia9,000.00
Puerto Rico7,000.00
Virgin Islands23,500.00

For more information about how taxable wages impact your unemployment expenses contact us today! One of our experts will be happy to help.

Vermont UI Tax Rate Notices Released!

Vermont Employers: The Vermont Department of Labor has mailed out UI Tax Rate Notices on June 23, 2017. These new rates will be effective for July 1, 2017 as the state of Vermont operates on a fiscal year for unemployment. This means that your new rates will be applied for your quarterly filing due on October 31, 2017. Below is the tax rate schedule for the 2017-2018 period. The schedule being used for this period is Schedule 4. The minimum tax rate is 1.1% and the maximum tax rate is 7.7%.

Tax Rate ClassSchedule 4

Keep in mind that the tax rates are not always correct on these tax rate notices. It is very important that all of the numbers in the tax rate calculation get audited. The state of Vermont has an overpayment rate just under 7% according to the DOL. If charges to your account are not closely monitored, you will see a dramatic increase on your tax rate notice!

For a no-cost analysis of your 2017-2018 tax rate notice, contact an expert at Dunn Corporate Resources. We’re always happy to help!

How do Benefit Charges Work for Employers?

What is a Benefit Charge?

To fully understand the full impact of benefit charges, we must first understand exactly what a benefit charge is. When someone applies for unemployment and then gets deemed eligible to collect unemployment benefits, they are then paid out money. In some cases, the State will even pay out unemployment benefits before a determination is made. The State will make a monetary determination (often times this is stated on a claim form) to determine the maximum dollar value that a claimant can collect. Usually this is based on the amount of money that the claimant has earned within a certain period of time.  Each state has different minimums and maximums for the total amount of benefits that can be paid out to a claimant.


Benefit charges against a company?

So where does all of that money being paid out come from? Well, it depends on what kind of employer you are. Certain companies such as non-profits qualify to be reimbursable employers, which means that you pay dollar for dollar when someone collects unemployment against your organization. This will also depend on the state that you operate in.

Generally speaking, most employers are tax rated, meaning that they have an unemployment tax account with the state. Just like every other tax, each employer is assigned a specific tax rate. So the more you pay out in benefits, the higher your tax rate is going to be. Conversely, the less you pay out in benefits, the lower your tax rate will be. 


How can I decrease the amount of Benefit Charges to my account?

There are a few ways to do this. The first is to make sure that you are contesting all unemployment claims in an accurate and timely manner. When claims are sent back to the state late, usually the employer will be penalized and will lose the opportunity to protest charges to their account. In order to win an unemployment claim, you must submit accurate information that is both informative and concrete, documentation is a must. By winning a claim, you will effectively block your account from being charged with unemployment benefits. This does not necessarily mean that a claimant will not get paid, it just means that the payment will not be charged to your business.

The next and most effective way to reduce the charges is to audit the charges on the benefit charge statement! This sounds like a no-brainer, however almost no-one does it! There are a few things that need to be audited on these forms – the people that are collecting, and the actual dollar amount that is being collected. The government isn’t anywhere near perfect, and they make mistakes all the time. Check out the overpayment rate in your state. Some states are over 40% in overpayments! This means that if someone is supposed to collect $10,000 from you account, they are actually getting paid $14,000. Your tax rate will skyrocket if these benefit charges are not controlled!

In conclusion, benefit charges are the most important piece of the unemployment puzzle. The amount of money being paid out of your reserve account directly affects the tax rate that you will be issued. Auditing these charges is critical and can be very cumbersome without the right tools to do it.

At Dunn Corporate Resources, our cutting edge computer system, utilizing the federal SIDES System, tracks the exact amount of benefit charges on each claim to ensure that there are no errors. And if someone is being overpaid, we automatically protest those charges and ensure that the money is credited back to the employer’s account. Contact us today if you’d like your UI account reviewed, or would like a demo of our software!

UI SIDES Award Winner

Today, a huge buzz word in the world of unemployment is UI SIDES. It is a centralized federal system for electronic transmission of data, making unemployment claims handling much easier, faster, and more efficient. To learn more about UI SIDES, check out our blog post or visit the ITSC website directly.

At the National Association of State Workforce Agencies Annual Conference, Dunn Corporate Resources was honored with the prestigious award of outstanding claims response through the SIDES system. We make sure that our clients are taken care of, and that nothing slips through the cracks. Our cutting edge computer system ensures that all claims are responded to in a timely and accurate manner. Because of our UI SIDES functionality, our clients enjoy greater lead time on claims as they no longer have to worry about mailing.

Have an interest in seeing what our UI SIDES platform can do for your organization? Contact us today and an expert will be glad to show you the benefits of working with an award winning TPA.

Virginia Revised UI Tax Rate Notices

Are you a Virginia employer that recently received a revised unemployment tax rate notice? Maybe even two revised rate notices? Not sure what to make of it?

Last month the Virginia Employment Commission mailed out a set of revised rate notices. These were mailed out to notify employers that their rates had changed. However, the changes were the result of a state benefit file that was ran in error. The state has recently corrected this matter and has issued a second set of revised tax rates reflecting the original tax rating data.

Mistakes by the State are very common. Employers should be aware that the numbers used in their tax rate calculation are often times incorrect – costing thousands! The DOL has a great list  to show what the error rate is in your state. 

Contact Dunn Corporate Resources today to have your UI account reviewed at no cost!


What is UI SIDES?

What is UI SIDES?

UI SIDES, Unemployment Insurance State Information Data Exchange System, is a web based system that allows Third Party Administrators to electronically process information requests from UI agencies. Basically, this means that UI requests can now be centrally processed regardless of the State, and the paperwork is eliminated! In order to qualify for UI SIDES, you must have a very high volume of UI claims and customized programming is necessary.

What is the benefit of SIDES?

Centralization of information! Today we are seeing more and more technology platforms being used, especially in the world of HR. SIDES allows us to easily streamline claims information to and from each State through one centralized electronic transmission. This allows us to provide our clients with cutting edge technology, real time information, and up-to-date reports on exactly where their UI claims stand.

Our clients will get even more lead time on each claim. Think about it, with some deadlines as little as 7 days from the mailing date, plus the time it takes for a claim to get mailed, your time limits are significantly diminished! With UI SIDES, we receive a claim as soon as it’s created by the State. An unemployment service provider without SIDES capabilities is simply at a disadvantage.

Contact us today to see how our SIDES based platform can help reduce your unemployment costs and workload today!


For more information about UI SIDES you can visit the ITSC homepage