RI Department of Labor and Training
Media Advisory

Department of Labor and Training Announces 2019 Rates
For Unemployment and Temporary Disability Insurance

December 10, 2018

CRANSTON, RI — The Department of Labor and Training (DLT) today announced next year’s rates for the two biggest income support programs it runs for Rhode Island workers and employers — Unemployment Insurance (UI) and Temporary Disability Insurance (TDI).

The 2019 UI taxable wage base will be $23,600 for most employers and $25,100 for those at the highest tax rate. This is a $600 increase over 2018’s rate for both groups of employers. By law, the UI taxable wage base represents 46.5% of the average annual wage in Rhode Island.

Schedule G, with tax rates ranging from 1.1% to 9.7% will remain in effect for 2019. (Click here for tax table) The 2019 UI rate for new employers will be 1.46%. These rates include the 0.21% Job Development Assessment and the 2019 0.08% Job Development Adjustment.

UI provides temporary income support to workers who have lost their jobs through no fault of their own and 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.

DLT also announced that the 2019 Temporary Disability Insurance (TDI) taxable wage base will be $71,000 — which is an increase of $1,700 over the 2018 taxable wage base of $69,300 — and that the employee contribution rate to the TDI fund will remain 1.1 percent for calendar year 2019. The employee rate is calculated by dividing total adjusted fund disbursements for the 12-month period ending September 30 by the taxable wages for the 12-month period ending June 30.

Paid by employees, not employers, 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. TCI is not a separate state program; TCI is part of the TDI program. Workers pay for TDI through a payroll tax.

Through October, (the most recent month for which data is available), DLT processed 38,904 TDI applications of which 10,457 were initial claims for TCI. To date in 2018, TDI payments have averaged $497 per week and TCI payments have averaged $522 per week.

Workers and employers may download the 2019 UI and TDI Quick Reference sheet by clicking here.

How DLT Calculates the Rates

DLT’s Labor Market Information (LMI) division calculates the UI taxable wage base using the average annual wages in “covered employment” for the year before the previous calendar year. Covered employment refers to those employers who fall under the coverage of the state and federal UI programs and pay unemployment taxes on their workers. The TDI taxable wage base is set at the annual earnings needed by an individual to qualify for the maximum weekly benefit rate for the maximum duration. In calendar year 2017:

UI Taxable Wage Base

 

Total Wages: $18,387,150,904
Average Monthly Covered Employment: 364,938
Average Annual Wage: $50,384

 

46.5% of the average annual wage: $23,429
(This is rounded up to the next higher multiple of $200, which in this case is $23,600.)

TDI Taxable Wage Base

 

  • Is equal to the annual earnings needed by an individual to qualify for the TDI maximum weekly benefit rate ($852) for the maximum duration (30 weeks).
  • This is determined by multiplying the maximum rate ($852) by the maximum TDI benefit duration (30 weeks) and then dividing by the percent of wages replaced (0.36%).
  • Thus: $852 x 30 divided by .36 = $71,000

ABOUT DLT: The RI Department of Labor and Training offers employment services, educational services and economic opportunities 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, please call the RI Department of Labor and Training at (401) 462-8000 or visit the website at www.dlt.ri.gov

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