SIDES lets UI and employers securely exchange information requests and employer responses about separation issues electronically--No snail mail, less phone tag, fewer missed deadlines.
The following article was written by Julie Walker of the Montana Department of Labor & Industry, exclusively for NFIB/Montana members.
Goodbye Pony Express, hello electronic communications!
The days of waiting for mail to arrive or missing the local outgoing by a few minutes are quickly fading away. The Montana Unemployment Division (UID) has joined the other 49 states in the Union by implementing a program dubbed State Information Data Exchange System, commonly referred to as SIDES.
Montana is proud to be part of this U.S. Department of Labor-led strategic partnership with all unemployment agencies, third-party administrators (TPAs), and employers.
At the Montana Department of Labor & Industry (DLI), we strive to provide top-level service to all Montanans, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. We recognize that your business, large or small, is the backbone of your livelihood and Montana’s economy.
Montana is a collection of great landscapes, people, and diverse industry sectors, with a distinctive mix of rural and urban communities. Relying on mail for your unemployment insurance needs has proven difficult for a variety of reasons, among them, geography and access. SIDES will help us provide businesses with convenient, secure, electronic, nationally-standardized format to our clients, so we can better anticipate and supply the data needed to respond to unemployment insurance information requests, and to top it all off, this service is provided to businesses FREE OF CHARGE!
Simplifying responses and communication for unemployment insurance issues will save staff time, resources, materials, and money. SIDES eliminates delays related to paper mail delivery, ensures more complete and accurate information, validations and business rules, reduces paper handling, postage costs, follow-up phone calls, and ultimately streamlines your unemployment insurance experience. As a result, businesses avoid improper payments and employer unemployment insurance tax rates stay as low as possible.
The two largest causes of unemployment insurance overpayments are incorrectly reported job separation issues and working while receiving unemployment insurance benefits. Now, employers can avoid these issues by providing information accurately, in a timely manner.
SIDES requires only a working internet connection and minimal staff time to enter the required information. SIDES has multiple layers of security and uses secure communication protocols and authentication certificates that use encrypted records and files. DLI requires the highest standard of security given the sensitive data exchanged between the Unemployment Insurance Division and employers and TPAs.
To sign-up for SIDES E-Response go to uieservices.mt.gov and select the “Click Here to Log in Using ePass” link. If you have an existing ePass account, you may use those credentials to access ePass. If you do not have an ePass account, you will need to create one. Once logged into ePass you will be redirected back to eServices to continue.
You must have access to eServices to use SIDES and you must provide UID with SIDES contact information including details of the person responsible for responding to benefit claim information requests. If you are new to eServices or a new employer, you will be asked to provide the contact information during the respective eServices registration process.
Note: By providing SIDES contact information, you are agreeing to communicate electronically with UID. It is your responsibility to keep all contact information up-to-date.