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UI SIDES Modernization

By April 4, 2022May 3rd, 2022No Comments

There will be an update to the Separation Exchange for UI SIDES. UI SIDES is an operating system that organizations like 501(c) Services and Thomas & Company use to communicate separation details with most State Workforce Agencies. The State Workforce Agencies and NASWA (National Association of State Workforce Agencies) changes are being made to provide a better experience for employers and claimants and to reduce the back-and-forth exchange for additional separation details currently handled through state calls or follow up calls for additional information. This change will impact you regardless of your preferred communication method for unemployment claims management (email or through the SHIELD platform).

The UI SIDES Separation Exchange which operates in all states, except, AR, MN, and MA, allows us to exchange separation information with the states in an electronic format, providing our members the most time possible to gather the information for the unemployment claim requests. The format upgrades improve the exchange of information to allow:

  1. sending fraud indicators to alert the state immediate action is needed,
  2. gathering better information upfront to reduce the burden of answering follow-up state calls, and
  3. the ability to submit supporting documentation.

What will I see upgraded?

  • The main difference you will see is how the questions are formatted.
    • Some questions that were previously optional will now be required for a SIDES response and will be noted in the email templates and inside SHIELD.
    • Some information we asked for previously in a generalized way will be specifically listed in the email template or in the SHIELD questionnaire so you can provide the necessary details for a complete response.
    • If you are using SHIELD, we are introducing conditional or “dynamic” questions into the mix.  This means you will only see the questions that are applicable to the specifics of the case you are currently working on.
    • If you communicate through email, the conditional questions will be listed in the email template in totality so you can provide the necessary information based on the specifics of the case.

What else will I see?

Below is an overview identifying the types of changes you will see by separation category to make sure you are aware of what we will be requesting.  It is important to note this information has always been requested as a part of the process; these changes typically are being made to specifically address the key details needed to make a proper determination.

  • For all separations, we have already begun capturing the Job Title and Rate of Pay.
  • For all separations, we also need to know if the last day the claimant performed work differs from the separation date and if it does, we will ask for the effective separation date.

Discharge Cases

While we will not be asking for any information that wasn’t previously requested, you will see specific fields and/or questions to ensure that we have all the information relating to the following:

  • Was the claimant aware of the policy or expected behavior and how they were informed of the policy?
  • Did they have any prior incidents and if so, we will need the details (verbal or written warnings, dates, etc.)?

Voluntary Quits

Much like the discharge changes, the information needed for voluntary quits remains the same, we are simply adding fields and/or questions to ensure we are capturing the required information relating to the following:

  • Was continuing work available?
  • Did the claimant take actions to avoid quitting and if so, what actions did they take?
  • Were there any changes to the hiring agreement and if so, what were those changes and when did they take place?
  • Did the claimant provide notice of resignation and intended last day worked and if so, did they work through their notice, and were they paid through their notice?

Leave of Absence

Additional questions are now required to provide a SIDES claim response. We have added fields and/or questions to capture information such as:

  • Was the leave approved and if not, why was the leave denied?
  • Did a licensed healthcare provider advise the claimant to quit, and if so, was a medical statement provided?
  • What were the duties the claimant couldn’t perform?
  • Did the claimant have any work restrictions, what were those restrictions, and did you have work available that they could perform with the restrictions in place?

Separations that involve issues with Drugs or Alcohol

There are several instances where a drug or alcohol issue could lead to a separation.  In these cases, the required fields and/or questions request more specifics of that case.

  • Was the claimant asked to submit to a drug test?
  • Was a test performed and if so, why was it requested, who performed the test, what were the results, and do you have a copy of the chain of custody?

The information being requested is not new and may already be a part of your current response for separation information. The NASWA update requires responses to specific unemployment claim questions. As a result, Thomas & Company must provide responses to these questions in order to submit claims via SIDES. We ask that you provide as many answers as possible to all questions; however, if the information is not available, please select the best answer listed or advise that information is not available.

As always, please contact us with questions or log in to your SHIELD portal at

The above information was provided in part by our friends at Thomas & Company.

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