Category Archives: Uncategorized

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: http://southjersey.cfma.org/home

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: https://www.njleg.state.nj.us/2018/Bills/A4000/3871_I1.PDF

NEW JERSEY RELEASES UNEMPLOYMENT AND DISABILITY TAX RATE NOTICE 2018-2019

NEW JERSEY RELEASES UNEMPLOYMENT AND DISABILITY TAX RATE NOTICE

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.

Tennessee Releases 2017-2018 Tax Rate Notice

Tennessee Releases 2017-2018 Tax Rate Notice

TENNESSEE EMPLOYERS: The state has recently mailed out the unemployment tax rate notice for the taxable year 2017-2018. This year the state is using premium rate table six to assign tax rates to employers.

Are you sure that the numbers on the tax rate notice is correct? Should your tax rate be revised? Are the figures used in the tax rate calculation accurate?

Contact us today to see how Dunn Corporate Resources helps ensure that employers recieve the LOWEST POSSIBLE tax rate. We are happy to offer a no-cost analysis of you unemployment tax account to see what savings may be available!

UI Tip – Document, Document, Document!

Unemployment Tip – Document, Document, Document!

Unemployment claims can be difficult to win, especially if the issue at hand is a discharge.  Each state can be a little different in terms of laws and regulations, however they all require one thing in common: documentation. These days, it isn’t enough just to tell the state that someone was “discharged for violating policy.” In fact, it probably isn’t enough to provide a simple write up either!

States are now requiring that employers provide sufficient documentation to prove that the claimant was fully aware of grounds for discharge and deliberately did not follow the rules. The type of documentation that the state is looking for is:

  • A write up of the final incident signed by the claimant and a witness.
  • Any prior write ups, whether they are related to the final incident or not.
  • A well thought out corrective action plan to help resolve the problem at hand.
  • A copy of the specific policy violated.
  • A signed acknowledgement of the company rules/policy/handbook.

Sometimes it can be tough to get an employee to sign a write up, especially when they don’t agree. So here’s an idea: Have the employee write that they disagree, and then have them sign it. Now there is sufficient evidence that a claimant was warned AND that they acknowledged the warning, even though they didn’t agree with it. This type of backup documentation can go a long way, especially if an unemployment claim gets appealed to a hearing.

Keeping these warnings in a chronological order, along with the policies and acknowledgement will absolutely help win an unemployment claim, not to mention an EEOC or Civil Rights claim should one arise.

For more helpful tips on how to proactively fight unemployment claims, take a look at our blog or contact us today!

Benefits Case Study

Case History

In May of 2017, Dunn Corporate Resources had the opportunity to review a benefits plan for an auto dealership with roughly 100 employees. By utilizing a self-funded benefits plan with stop loss insurance, we were able to produce a savings of over $130,000 all while giving the employees better benefits! Employees with families were able to put an extra $400 in their pocket per paycheck, and have better coverage.

At Dunn Corporate Resources, we would love the opportunity to see how we can help! Our seasoned benefits staff are here to answer any questions you may have and can help steer you in the right direction. Contact Us today to see what options are available to your company!

Dunn Does Benefits!

Dunn does Benefits! Creative ideas for small, mid-size, and large companies.

This summer, as the 7-yearlong battle to “repeal and replace” Obamacare raged on, employers and their benefit advisers have been in an uncomfortable position as they struggled to set a strategy for plan renewals and cost control.  At least now we have some certainty.  For the foreseeable future, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act will be the law of the land.

As all employers are painfully aware, premiums continue to increase year after year!  Part of this is due to the law itself as mandatory coverage must be included in any health plan.  Employers in traditional health plans are often not even aware of where their dollars go, or what their claims activity looks like. Finally, here is some good news: Dunn Corporate Resources has developed benefits programs that give small and mid-size employers the same options as large corporations at an affordable cost!

One of our most effective strategies is to employ alternative options such as self-funding and captive programs. By combining self-funded benefits with stop loss insurance coverage, we can significantly reduce premiums while reducing risk to your organization! Comprehensive reporting allows employers to see exactly where each dollar is being spent AND keep unused dollars in your claim account. By utilizing these options, our clients avoid community rating while leverage group purchasing strength.

Another way to improve your benefits program without increasing costs is to implement a voluntary benefits program.  Critical Illness and Accident policies offer employees a low-cost solution that provides them the cash they will need to meet their deductible and coinsurance if the unforeseen happens.  Dunn Corporate has established a specialty practice in this area with access to industry experts and enrollment services as appropriate.

For more information on how we save employers hard dollars on benefits, contact us today!

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: https://www.uscis.gov/i-9-central.

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: Jim.johnson@dunncorp.com.

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: Jim.johnson@dunncorp.com.

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
Alabama8,000.00
Alaska39,800.00
Arizona7,000.00
Arkansas12,000.00
California7,000.00
Colorado12,500.00
Connecticut15,000.00
Delaware18,500.00
Florida7,000.00
Georgia9,500.00
Hawaii44,000.00
Idaho37,800.00
Illinois12,960.00
Indiana9,500.00
Iowa29,300.00
Kansas14,000.00
Kentucky10,200.00
Louisiana7,700.00
Maine12,000.00
Maryland8,500.00
Massachusetts15,000.00
Michigan9,000.00
Minnesota32,000.00
Mississippi14,000.00
Missouri13,000.00
Montana31,400.00
Nebraska9,000.00
Nevada29,500.00
New Hampshire14,000.00
New Jersey33,500.00
New Mexico24,300.00
New York10,900.00
North Carolina23,100.00
North Dakota35,100.00
Ohio9,000.00
Oklahoma17,700.00
Oregon38,400.00
Pennsylvania9,750.00
Rhode Island23,900.00
South Carolina14,000.00
South Dakota15,000.00
Tennessee8,000.00
Texas9,000.00
Utah33,100.00
Vermont17,300.00
Virginia8,000.00
Washington45,000.00
West Virginia12,000.00
Wisconsin14,000.00
Wyoming25,400.00
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
01.1
11.2
21.4
31.7
42.0
52.3
62.6
72.9
83.2
93.5
103.8
114.1
124.5
134.9
145.3
155.7
166.1
176.5
186.9
197.3
207.7

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

UNEMPLOYMENT COST CONTROL

The unemployment tax rate is the only tax rate that YOU can control. From the rising consequences of non-compliance to the erroneous actions made daily by the state, why wouldn’t you want to ensure that you are paying the lowest rate possible? At DCR, we meticulously monitor tax and claim accuracy while taking a proactive approach to claims to effectively safeguard your tax rate.

New legislation continues to be passed, and we know how hard it can be to stay updated. The consequences of non-compliance are becoming a rising problem among employers and subsequently cost them thousands. Our premier services, ranging from initial claims to hearings, will take the burden off of your hands so that you can be sure that nothing slips through the cracks.

Our state-of-the-art computer system is integrated with SIDES (the National Unemployment Insurance State Information Data Exchange System) to ensure expedited and accurate claims responses. This system increases efficiency as it streamlines the information necessary to obtain a favorable ruling, saving the employer both time and money.

Your unemployment tax rate is important to us, and that is why we closely monitor all payments made by state agencies. Erroneous payments occur regularly and undoubtedly lead to higher tax rates. When we continuously audit your benefit charge statements, we guarantee that these mistakes will be protested and accounted for.

Below is an assortment of our service options:

  • Web-based access and tiered services
  • Real-time claims status and account activity reports
  • Educational seminars and workshops
  • Client conferences
  • Analysis and verification of tax rates
  • Voluntary contribution advice
  • Written protests of incorrect tax rates
  • Charges and credits review
  • Protests of erroneous charges
  • Timely claim processing and response
  • Claim form direct mailing
  • Protests and appeals of improper claims decisions
  • Hearings and client preparation

For more info or to contact us click here

About Dunncorp.com

Starting in 1986, we were primarily focused on unemployment cost control and tax savings. As our business grew, so did our breadth of services. Through acquisition and partnerships, we now boast an array of services ranging from business and personal financial options to insurance and employee benefits. Our well-rounded portfolio of services has lead to unmatched savings and now serves thousands of clients in all 50 states.

Since the beginning, we have been committed to superior customer service and support. Our job as a full service third party administrator is to make our clients’ lives easier. With our client retention rate at 97%, we can confidently say that we are proud of what we do. By combining our knowledge and expertise with our high quality of service, we strive to accomplish our goal of building long lasting and mutually beneficial relationships with all of our clients.