RI Department of Labor and Training

PRESS RELEASE
 

2015-16 Unemployment and Temporary Disability Insurance Rates Announced

June 11, 2015

CRANSTON, RI — Today the Department of Labor and Training announced the 2015-16 rates of the two biggest income support programs that it runs for Rhode Island workers and employers.

The maximum weekly benefit rate for Unemployment Insurance (UI) will remain unchanged for the coming year at $566 per beneficiary and $707 for beneficiaries with five or more dependents.

The maximum weekly benefit rate for Temporary Disability Insurance (TDI) will increase to $795 (up by $25 over 2014-15) per beneficiary, and for beneficiaries with five or more dependents, moving to $1,073 from $1,039.

“Under state law, DLT must compute the benefit rates for UI and TDI every June, before the start of the next program year,” said DLT Director Scott Jensen. “State law sets the maximum TDI rate at 85 percent of the average weekly wage paid to eligible employees in the previous calendar year.”

UI provides temporary income support to workers who have lost their jobs through no fault of their own and who have sufficient wages in the base period to meet the monetary requirements. It is funded entirely from state and federal UI taxes paid by RI employers. Last year, 32,200 employers supported UI and DLT handled more than 76,000 customer-service claims, disbursing close to $185 million in benefits.

TDI protects workers against wage loss due to a non-work related illness or injury, and through Temporary Caregiver Insurance (TCI), provides up to four weeks to bond with a new child or to care for a seriously ill family member. Workers pay for TDI through a payroll tax. About 403,000 RI workers paid TDI taxes in 2014 when DLT handled more than 45,000 customer claims and paid out $164 million in TDI and TCI benefits.

 

How DLT Calculates the Rates

The Labor Market Information division (LMI), the DLT group that calculates the state job and unemployment numbers every month, calculates the new UI and TDI benefit amounts using the average weekly wage in covered employment for the previous calendar year. In calendar year 2014:

UI

Average monthly covered employment     453,165
Total wages in covered employment    $22,033,384,261
Average annual wage    $48,621
Average weekly wage   $935.02
57.5 percent of the average weekly wage $537.64

Legislation passed in 2011 set the maximum weekly benefit rate at the greater of 57.5 percent of the average weekly wage for covered employment, or $566, the rate in effect as of July 2011.

LMI computed the new TDI rates using the average weekly wage in covered employment for calendar year 2014 as follows:

TDI

Average weekly wage   $935.02
85 percent of the average weekly wage  $794.77
Rounded to the next higher dollar amount  $795

 

ABOUT DLT: The RI Department of Labor and Training offers employment services, educational services and economic opportunity to both individuals and employers. DLT protects Rhode Island’s workforce by enforcing labor laws, prevailing wage rates and workplace health and safety standards. The department also provides temporary income support to unemployed and temporarily disabled workers. For more information on the programs and services available to all Rhode Islanders, please call the RI Department of Labor and Training at (401) 462-8000 or visit the web site at www.dlt.ri.gov.

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