The State Information Data Exchange System (SIDES) is a convenient and secure way for your business to electronically receive and respond to requests for information regarding unemployment insurance (UI) benefit claims.  Developed by the U.S. Department of Labor and the National Association of State Workforce Agencies (NASWA), SIDES provides a nationally standardized format for responding to UI information requests.  

Benefits of using SIDES include:

  • Quicker notification of claims filed and potential charges to your employer account.  You will know right away who has filed for benefits versus waiting for the mail to arrive. 
  • Greatly reduced potential of forfeiture of rights to protest benefits due to lost or late responses.
  • The nationally consistent format accommodates any size business, eliminating submission errors and improving the quality of data provided. 
  • Better responses in a shorter time frame help to reduce waste within the UI program and stop fraud, enhancing the overall integrity of the UI system. 
  • Use of SIDES is free! 


SIDES E-Response Frequently Asked Questions

  • In Montana, our UI eServices for Employers (eServices) website acts as a doorway into SIDES E-Response. Once you are signed up to use eServices and participate in SIDES E-Response, you will receive an email when there is information or a request waiting for you.  Simply log into eServices and connect to SIDES E-Response (under the Benefits tab) to review and respond.  Your responses are securely transmitted to our claims processing team daily. 

    NOTE: Make sure to add us to your whitelist (approved senders list).  The emails you will receive will be sent from and should have a subject line of Montana Department of Labor & Industry: Request SIDES Information.

    Last Updated 3/14/22
  • To sign-up for SIDES E-Response, you will need to provide us with the contact information for the person(s) who will be responsible for responding to SIDES requests. 

    For new Montana employers, SIDES contact information will be collected during the registration process. 

    Existing Montana employers can:

    • Log into UI eServices for Employers and click on your account number (in blue about the middle of the page).  Click the BENEFITS tab and the SIDES Contact sub-tab.  Click EDIT and complete the form providing the Name, Email Address, and Phone Number for the person(s) responsible for responding to the respective SIDES requests and click SUBMIT.

    NOTE:  We highly recommend providing a group email address (versus a individual's email address) to ensure the email is received timely in the event the primary contact is out of the office or has left employment. 

    • If you have not signed up to use eServices yet, you will need to in order to participate in SIDES.  On the eServices home page, select SIGN UP HERE.  During the sign up process, you will be asked to provide the SIDES contact information. To sign-up to use eServices, it is helpful to have the last quarterly report filed by your organization available to answer security questions. 


    Last Updated 3/14/22
  • We strongly encourage all employers to utilize SIDES. Using SIDES to respond to benefit claim information requests saves both time and money for Montana employers and the state. It also better ensures the security and accuracy of the information being exchanged. 

    Employers new to Montana UI and existing Montana employers who are new to eServices (and not already participating in SIDES), will be required to sign-up for SIDES during the registration and/or access request process on eServices. Existing eServices users, who are not already participating in SIDES, will be prompted to enroll when you log in to eServices. If using SIDES will not work for your business, you may contact our office to unenroll.

    Last Updated 3/14/22
  • Log into UI eServices for Employers and click on your account number (in blue about the middle of the page).  Click the BENEFITS tab and the SIDES REQUEST sub-tab.  Click the RESPOND or VIEW link next to any of the SIDES requests listed.  The link will redirect you into SIDES E-Response with no additional log on required. Last Updated 3/14/22
  • If you don't see the BENEFITS tab when you log into UI eServices for Employers, it may mean that you are not currently authorized to view that information.  Contact our eServices Customer Support Team for assistance at (406) 444-3834. Last Updated 3/14/22
  • Check your spam folders and make sure to add us to your whitelist (approved senders list).  The emails you will receive will be sent from and should have a subject line of Montana Department of Labor & Industry: Request SIDES Information.
  • SIDES is compartmentalized into exchanges based on the type of claim issue being investigated or information being requested. Currently Montana is participating in SIDES exchanges for:

    • Separation Information, 
    • Monetary and Potential Charging,
    • Earnings Verification Reviews,
    • Determinations and Decisions (or Redeterminations), and
    • Additional Fact Finding.

    With the Determinations and Decisions exchange participating employers can review determination and redetermination notices and electronically request a redetermination or appeal via SIDES. Decisions above the redetermination level are not available through SIDES and will be mailed directly to the parties.


    Last Updated 3/14/22
  • You might. Not all requests for information can be handled electronically through SIDES. For those that cannot, you will receive paper notices.  It is important you continue to respond to all notices timely and appropriately regardless of how they are received.

  • No. For claims initiated prior to your enrollment in SIDES and/or issues not currently supported via SIDES, you will need to respond as directed on the paper notice.

    Last Updated 3/14/22
  • I’m a Third-Party Administrator (TPA) but not a Broker; can I use SIDES to respond on behalf of my clients?
    Yes. TPA’s who are not SIDES brokers but are authorized to respond to benefit claim requests on behalf of their clients, may utilize eServices to link to SIDES E-Response. An authorization form, specifically authorizing eServices SIDES access, will be required.

SIDES E-Response Guides & Handbooks

SIDES Brokers

  • A SIDES Broker is typically a large employer or third-party administrator (TPA) who responds to benefit claim information requests on behalf of multiple employers (clients). Instead of logging into a website to receive or respond to requests, electronic files are securely exchanged between brokers and Montana UI.

    To exchange data with Montana (via SIDES), brokers are required to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) confirming they are authorized to respond on behalf of the employers they represent. They will also provide us with a list of their clients. Employers who utilize a broker to respond to requests for benefit claim information requests will not receive email notifications regarding the requests.

    Becoming a broker does involve system development, testing, and certification coordinated through the national SIDES team with NASWA.

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