In Rhode Island, the unemployment insurance (UI) program is managed by the Department of Labor and Training. The UI program provides temporary financial assistance to individuals who are unemployed and seeking employment. If you wish to find the nearest local office, you will need to contact the Unemployment Insurance (UI) Division directly. The UI Division is responsible for handling all UI claims and questions regarding UI benefits in the state.
You must be completely or partially unemployed due to no fault of your own. At the same time, you must be willing to return to work and available to take on any suitable job that is offered to you. If you are working on a part-time or per-contract basis, you can qualify for UI benefits as long as you are earning less than your potential weekly benefit amount.
Work Search Requirement
At the time of your application for UI benefits, you must be actively seeking employment and making all efforts to return to work as soon as possible. As a result, you must maintain a work search record that includes the details of your attempts to make contact with potential employers. Before processing your UI claim, you may be required to provide this document to the UI Division.
Monetary Eligibility Requirement
To satisfy this requirement, you must have earned enough wages in the period preceding the date of your UI claim, which is known as your “base period.” This period will be made up of the first four quarters out of the last five completed quarters of the calendar year. You must have worked in the state of Rhode Island for this period, as your earnings will be used to determine your weekly and maximum benefit amounts. In specific, you must have earned at least $3100 in total wages, and at least $1550 out of this total must have been earned in one of the four quarters. Additionally, your total base period wages must be equal to or greater than 1.5 times the amount from the quarter in which you earned the most wages, which is also known as your “high quarter.”
If you wish to determine your weekly benefit amount, you will need to determine the two quarters in which you earned the most wages (two high quarters). Then, you will need to calculate the sum of these two quarters; your weekly benefit amount will be approximately 4.3 percent of the wages earned in the two high quarters of your base period. In Rhode Island, you cannot receive more than $566 per week in UI benefits, and you can take advantage of the UI program for a maximum of 26 weeks in one benefit year (52-week period).
How to File a Claim
It is recommended that you apply for UI benefits within one week of becoming partially or completely unemployed. This will ensure that you are compensated for the maximum amount of time that you are unemployed. You can choose to file a UI claim online or by telephone; you will need to contact the main UI Call Center at 1-401-243-9100. To complete the application process, you will need your Social Security Number and the details of your employment history from the last 18 months, such as the exact dates of employment, your earnings, and job duties for each position mentioned.