Rhode Island (RI) Unemployment Benefits
The Rhode Island Department of Labor and Training (DLT) provides Unemployment Insurance (UI) benefits to those who lost their job through no fault of their own. To receive UI benefits in the state, one should meet certain eligibility criteria. Read through the page to know more about the unemployment benefits eligibility requirements and overpayment of benefits.
Eligibility To Apply For UI Benefits In Rhode Island
To collect Rhode Island unemployment benefits, an applicant must meet the following eligibility criteria:
An applicant can monetarily qualify for the Unemployment Insurance in Rhode Island if he or she has earned at least $13,800 in either the regular base period or an alternate base period. If the applicant did not earn this amount, he or she might qualify only if he or she meets the following conditions:
- The applicant must have earned at least $2,300 in one of the base period quarters
- The applicant must have total base period taxable wages of at least one and one-half times his or her highest-paid quarter earnings
- The applicant has total base period taxable wages of at least $4,600
Note – In Rhode Island, the regular base period is the first four of the five complete calendar quarters before the start date of an unemployment claim. The alternative base period is the last four completed calendar quarters preceding the first day of a benefit year.
The applicant must also meet job separation requirements to be eligible for Rhode Island unemployment benefits. They include:
- The applicant must be fully or partially unemployed through no fault of his or her own
- The applicant has a medical condition and cannot work
- The applicant quit his or her job due to an unsafe workplace
- The applicant quit his or her job due to harassment at his or her workplace
- The applicant quit his or her job as he or she planned to move out with his or her spouse who is serving in the military
- The applicant quit his or her job due to the domestic violence
An applicant should maintain his or her eligibility criteria throughout the benefit year to receive Rhode Island unemployment benefits without any hassle. An applicant can maintain eligibility requirements through the following methods:
- Be able and available for work
- Actively seek for a job
- Accept a suitable job offer
- Document using the Work Search Activity Log
- Apply for three full-time jobs per week
How To Apply For UI Benefits In Rhode Island?
An applicant must submit the following documents to file for Rhode Island unemployment benefits:
An applicant can apply for unemployment benefits in Rhode Island through any of the following methods:
An applicant can file for unemployment benefits online. This is one of the easiest and fastest ways to apply for benefits. To apply online, visit https://dlt.ri.gov/ui/applyforbenefits/.
An applicant can also file for benefits by calling (401) 415-6772. For interstate claims, he or she can call (866) 557-0001.
Note– The state has a 7-day waiting period (Sunday through Saturday) at the start of a new claim. The Department will not pay benefits until the applicant completes a 7-day waiting period.
How To File Weekly Claims
An applicant must file a claim each week that he or she wishes to receive unemployment benefits. The weekly claims can be filed online or by telephone.
UI Benefits Amount
The weekly benefit rate in RI will be equal to 3.85% of the average of the total earnings in the highest two-quarters of the base period and will not exceed the defined maximum amount. In Rhode Island, the maximum weekly benefit a claimant can receive is $599, and the minimum is $59.
Use the benefits calculator to determine the estimated weekly unemployment benefit amount.
Things To Know After Filing An Application
There are a few aspects that a claimant must know after applying for Rhode Island unemployment benefits.
Claimants may sometimes receive unemployment overpayments due to administrative errors, reversal of previous awards, identity theft, or willful misrepresentation. In case of overpayment, the Department of Labor & Training will send a Notice of Overpayment, and the claimant must repay the extra amount. If the claimant fails to pay back the overpaid benefits, the Department will deduct the amount from future benefits or withhold tax refund(s) and lottery winnings to recover the extra amount paid.
A claimant can repay the overpaid benefits by sending checks or money orders to the Department. However, if the claimant does not agree with the overpayment notice, he or she can file an overpayment appeal through mail to or fax to the following address:
Department of Labor & Training, Overpayment Unit
P.O. Box 20380
Cranston, RI 02920
Overpayment Through Fraud
If a claimant receives benefits through false statements or willful misrepresentation, he or she will have a penalty in addition to repaying the overpaid benefits. The Department may also file a criminal case against such claimants and disqualify them from receiving unemployment benefits.
The Department offers extended benefits when the state’s unemployment rate is too high or an economic downturn throughout the country. To know more about the extended benefits, one can visit DLT.
Job Training Assistance
The Rhode Island Workforce Development Services Division offers programs that help job seekers in finding suitable employment. Their programs include:
- Layoff assistance
- Rapid Response
- Foreign Labor Certification
- WIOA Eligible Training Programs
- Real Jobs RI
- State and Municipal Jobs
- For Veterans
- Job fairs