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State’s role
  • The state’s role in a worker UC program is unique by state and set within the framework of the federal requirements.

Each state designs its own unemployment compensation (UC) program within the framework of the federal requirements. The state statute sets forth the benefit structure (e.g., eligibility/disqualification provisions, benefit amount) and the state tax structure (e.g., state tax base and rate).

The primary functions of the state are to:

  • Determine operation methods and directly administer the program;
  • Take claims from individuals, determine eligibility, and insure timely payment of benefits to workers; and
  • Determine employer liability and assess and collect contributions.

All states finance UC primarily through contributions from subject employers on the wages of the company’s covered workers. In addition, a few states collect contributions from employees. These taxes are deposited by the state to its account in the Unemployment Trust Fund in the Federal Treasury, and are withdrawn as needed to pay benefits.

State agencies may impose recordkeeping, posting, or reporting requirements. Check with the state agency for specifics.