April 17, 2008
The RI Department of Labor and Training would like to remind those filing for unemployment insurance that filing a claim online does not and should not require them to pay any fees.
Many states are reporting customer complaints about for-profit web sites that offer unemployment information and claims-filing services for a fee. After filling out a questionnaire, users of these for-profit sites are asked to provide a credit card and are charged between $3.95 and $9.95 per transaction. While these web sites may include disclaimers that they are not affiliated with the government, their very presence on the internet may serve to confuse unemployment insurance customers.
RI Department of Labor and Training Interim Director Sandra Powell explains, “Unemployment Insurance benefits are funded through employer taxes and do not require any service fees to file or determine eligibility.” She adds that no charges are associated with filing a claim for Temporary Disability Insurance either.
Assistant Director of Income Support Raymond Filippone warns that customers may be vulnerable when they use a search engine to locate the state government’s unemployment insurance site. “An internet search for ‘unemployment compensation’ may link the user to web sites offering UI information or filing services for a fee,” he says. To file a claim for unemployment insurance benefits online, Filippone directs Rhode Islanders to the Department of Labor and Training’s web site at www.dlt.ri.gov. He indicated that of approximately 2,000 UI and TDI claims filed last week, more than 53 percent of UI and TDI claims were filed electronically via the web.
In addition, trained staff members in the department’s Unemployment Insurance Service Center are available by phone to file claims and answer customer questions. The Unemployment Insurance Service Center can be reached by dialing in-state 401-243-9100, out-of-state toll free at 866-557-0001 or TDD 401-243-9149. TDI customer service can be reached by dialing 401-462-8420.
RI Department of Labor and Training