500 Interstate Benefit Payment Plan

  1. The Interstate Unit Payment Plan is a plan under which each state acts as agent for every other state in the acceptance of claims and in implementing necessary procedures for obtaining information necessary for the processing of these claims by other states. The state in which the claimant files his or her initial claim is termed the "agent" state and the state against which the claimant is claiming benefits is termed the "liable" state.

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501 Internet and Double-Bypass

  1. Interstate Benefits (IB) Internet Phase I was developed by the Department of Labor to speed processing of interstate claims.
  2. Many liable states, including Texas, are now taking their own interstate claims by telephone. This includes initial claims as well as continued claims. Claimants file their claims by telephone rather than doing so by mail or going into a local office in the agent state. Fact-finding reports are also done by the liable state and employer notices of claims are computer generated. When an agent state does take a claim, the information is transmitted by computer to the liable state by a system called ICON. In some instances, claims are taken on paper such as when there is a fraud issue or the claimant has difficulty filing by telephone due to hearing impairment or illiteracy. There are still some liable states, however, which require that claims be filed in person or by mail. These states furnish their own continued claim forms for such purposes. Benefit payments are made directly by each liable state to the claimant, often the next day after the claim is filed.
  3. Claimants call the TWC Tele-Center at 1-800-939-6631 to apply for benefits. A customer service representative determines whether the claimant should contact the liable state directly to apply or if TWC will process the claim application.

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502 Agent State Procedure

  1. An appeal filed in a local office by an interstate claimant against a determination made by another state is accepted on Form IB-101.
  2. The Department of Labor has mandated that liable states conduct their own interstate appeal hearings by telephone. Only in rare cases will the Texas Appeal Tribunal conduct a hearing at the request of the liable state. Such hearings are not scheduled automatically by the agent state.
  3. The same procedure for holding hearings applies to intrastate and interstate hearings. It is important, however, that the Hearing Officer instruct the parties that the Hearing Officer is acting only as an agent for the liable state, and will take no action with respect to writing the decision. It should be made clear to the parties that the decision will be written by a Hearing Officer in the liable state and the parties will be advised of any further appeal rights by a notice accompanying the decision from the liable state.
  4. As soon as the hearing is completed, the record of testimony and any exhibits accepted at the hearing should be mailed to the liable state. Normally, this, together with transmittal letter, is all that is required. Any material concerning the hearing should also be sent with the cassette tape.
  5. The Texas Appeal Tribunal may only rule on the issue of the claimant's entitlement to base period wages if the Hearing Officer determines that the employer was or became liable under the Act for taxes. To establish liability under the Texas Unemployment Compensation Act the work must have been performed in this state or in certain limited circumstances performed outside this state, but localized or the base of operations was in this state. (See Section 201.043 of the Texas Unemployment Compensation Act).

    The Appeal Tribunal may only rule on the chargeability of benefits to an employer's account, where Texas is the paying state and the wages were those reported to Texas and used in the claim. Where wages are used on a combined wage claim involving Texas and other transferring states, the determination as to the chargeability of wages transferred to Texas by other states, is determined by the transferring state.

    Texas can decide the issue of whether base period wages should have been reported by a liable employer to Texas. If so, the wages will be available to transfer and use in a combined wage claim paid by another state.

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503 Texas as Liable State

  1. If a Texas claimant reports to a local office in another state and files an appeal, a hearing will be scheduled by conference telephone by the Appeal Tribunal.
  2. If a party indicates that he or she cannot physically participate in a telephone hearing (e.g., due to hearing impairment), arrangements will be made such as TDD or an interpreter to accommodate the individual. There are currently no provisions for an agent state to hold in-person hearings for parties located outside the State of Texas. In rare cases, a party's request for an in-person hearing would require that the party appear in a hearing in the same general area in Texas as the other party. Questions about in-person interstate hearings should be addressed to Appeals management.

    See Section 316 for additional information concerning telephone hearings.

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