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Stimulus to State

Posted on:3/20/2012
The Social Security Act uses two types of stimulus to State legislation for unemployment compensation: a tax offset device, such as that employed in Federal inheritance taxation, and grants for the cost of administration of State laws. The Act does not itself set up a system of unemployment compensation for the United States; unemployment compensation remains a State rather than a Federal responsibility.


Nevertheless, to the existence of the Social Security Act may be credited the passage of fifty State laws providing for the payment of benefits to unemployed commercial and industrial workers. No two of these laws are identical in all their provisions. Each, having been enacted by a State or Territorial legislature, is an attempt to meet special objectives and economic conditions of a State or Territory.


The traditional freedom of State action has been preserved and the Federal role has been limited to providing an incentive to State action and to setting certain criteria for the framework and administrative practices of unemployment compensation programs, as contrasted with unemployment relief.


Two titles of the Social Security Act, Titles III and IX, embody the part of the Federal Government in this Federal-State program of unemployment compensation. Title IX imposes a tax and establishes the requirements which a State law must meet to permit employers a credit offset against that tax. Title III establishes additional requirements which must be met if the State is to receive Federal grants to defray the administrative costs of its unemployment compensation law.

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