Measuring Success: Unemployment Claims Management & Cost Control
relating to unemployment compensation continue to rise and employers are constantly
trying to determine if they have done everything they can to keep these costs to an
all know there are many unemployment claims beyond our control, involving such issues
as “lack of work” and “inability to perform the job”. As the economy continues to
struggle, no one has any interest in denying benefits to individuals who become unemployed
through no fault of their own.
gauging the success of the claims management aspect of your unemployment cost control
efforts, you should be asking yourself two questions:
#1 – Are you pursuing as many contestable issues as you possibly can? Contestable
issues would include employee separations relating to voluntary resignations or discharges
for cause involving willful misconduct.
a significant number of contestable issues are not being pursued or the percentage
has dropped in the most recent month, quarter or year, it is important to determine
why. Is it because claim forms are sitting somewhere until it is too late to respond
to the state? Is your Human Resources
department not being provided with enough specific separation details to be able to
prove deliberate misconduct was involved? Are claims being managed in a consistent
manner throughout your organization? Do you have a single location or department manager
that has simply elected not to pursue contestable claims?
opportunities relating to any one of the issues mentioned above could impact your
unemployment costs in a negative manner. A single department or location not in sync
with the rest of your organization has the potential to cause an increase in a future
state tax rate assignment (for merit rated employers) or result in an immediate increase
in the level of reimbursement made to the state (for reimbursing employers).
#2 – Are you winning a high percentage of the claims you are contesting?
the answer is no or if your percentage of wins has slipped when making periodic comparisons,
it is critical that you uncover the reason(s) why this is happening.
there certain issues that you are having difficulty in defending? Rather than simply
looking at a combined win percentage on all contested claims, it is important to be
able to break things down and focus on specific issues. You may be winning a very
high percentage of contested claims in relation to voluntary resignations, but are
not faring quite so well when pursuing claims relating to discharges for cause. Maybe
you are only having trouble winning protests made on a specific type of discharge
separation. Your claim activity needs to be reviewed in this kind of detail.
possible you are doing an excellent job of documenting your employee separations and
have all of the information needed to gain disqualifications. However, you are just
not providing it all when responding to the state. Again, this is information you
need to know.
you’ve been able to identify a potential problem area, you can then take steps to
improve your results.
also important to compare results between locations and departments. You may find
that the majority of your managers and supervisors are doing a great job of winning
contestable claims and only one or two exceptions are skewing the results of your
cost control efforts.
individuals that need additional training provides you with an opportunity to increase
the level of consistency in your process and further reduce your costs. Identifying
managers experiencing exceptional results is just as important, as they may help you
discover “best practices” that can be implemented throughout your organization.
and winning as many contestable issues as possible are the key ingredients for keeping
your unemployment costs to the absolute minimum possible. Establishing consistency
in procedures and processes, combined with having a thorough understanding of the
activities that take place within your organization, will ensure that no opportunities
to do this are missed.
Manager – Unemployment Cost Management
This weblog is sponsored by TALX.
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