week, the RI Department of Labor and Training requested a $40-million
line of credit so that the state may continue to pay unemployment insurance
benefits over the next three months. Under the American Recovery and
Reinvestment Act, the U.S. government allows state unemployment insurance
programs to borrow interest-free from the federal unemployment insurance
trust fund through December 2010.
Because the line of credit from the federal government is both guaranteed
and immediate, unemployment insurance customers will not experience
any delays in receiving their weekly payments.
As of Thursday, July 2, the balance of the state unemployment insurance
trust fund had reached $15,285,363.69; the low balance triggered Department
of Labor and Training officials to request a line of credit in order
to ensure that Rhode Island unemployment insurance payments continue
Fourteen states including Rhode Island have borrowed under the interest-free
provision this year. In March 2009, the federal government also approved
a three-month line of credit for the Rhode Island trust fund; at that
time, the department was approved for a $77 million credit line, of
which it drew down approximately $71 million.
Since January 1, 2009, the Rhode Island Department of Labor and Training
has paid nearly $374 million in regular, state extended and federal
emergency unemployment benefits. Of that sum, more than $235 million
was paid directly from the state unemployment insurance trust fund.
Both the state and federal unemployment insurance trust funds are financed
through employer contributions.
About the RI Department of Labor and Training
The RI Department of Labor and Training offers employment services,
educational services and economic opportunity to both individuals and
employers. DLT protects Rhode Islandís 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.