Rhode Island Department of Labor and Training


TDI eliminates paper checks, beginning this week
    September 25, 2007

The Temporary Disability Insurance program at the RI Department of Labor & Training eliminates paper checks this week when it transitions exclusively to TDI electronic payment cards and direct deposit benefit payments.

Now, any RI worker who qualifies for TDI can choose to access weekly payments through an electronic payment card, offered in conjunction with JP Morgan Chase. The card allows benefit recipients to have immediate, 24-hour access to their weekly TDI payments without incurring check-cashing fees and without waiting for deposited checks to clear.

"Earlier this year, the Department of Labor and Training successfully transitioned to electronic payment cards for Unemployment Insurance recipients. By adopting the same technology for Temporary Disability Insurance recipients, the department estimates that it will save half a million dollars each year in the area of income support," says Director of the Labor and Training Adelita Orefice.

TDI cardholders may make surcharge-free, weekly withdrawals at all Washington Trust, Allpoint and Chase ATMs. It is important to note that usage fees may apply if a cardholder makes multiple withdrawals in the same week or uses non-participating ATMs.

"Our experience with the electronic payment card and Unemployment Insurance has been tremendously positive," says Assistant Director of Income Support Raymond Filippone. Filippone cites DLT customer surveys that show a satisfaction rating of 86 percent for all UI electronic payment cardholders.

Filippone adds that he expects approximately 30 percent of all TDI recipients to choose the electronic payment option. "The majority of TDI recipients will choose the direct deposit option because they already have an existing bank account," he says. "For those who had not established a bank account previously, the electronic payment card gives them a positive introduction to the banking system and can help them learn how to better manage their money."

Temporary Disability Insurance protects insured workers against wage loss resulting from a non-work related illness or injury. Benefits are drawn from a fund financed exclusively by employee payroll deductions. In 2006, Rhode Island's Temporary Disability Insurance Program processed more than 47,000 claims, resulting in payouts of more than $160 million. Only four other states-California, Hawaii, New Jersey and New York, as well as the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico-have TDI programs.

To be eligible for TDI, an individual must be medically certified as unable to work for at least seven consecutive days. A Qualified Healthcare Provider, such as a physician, nurse practitioner, physician assistant, midwife or psychiatric clinical nurse specialist, determines the anticipated duration of a temporary disability. Also, an individual must meet certain earnings requirements to be eligible for TDI. Most individuals in Rhode Island are covered by TDI, with the exception of federal, state and some municipal employees, as well as partners and non-incorporated self-employed workers.

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.



The Rhode Island Department of Labor and Training offers a wide array of employment and training services to both the general public and to individuals with unusual barriers to employment. DLT is ready to assist any job seeker, whether the goal is a first job, a better job, or a career change. Rhode Island's work force is protected through the enforcement of labor laws, prevailing wage rates, and work place health and safety standards. Temporary income support is available to unemployed, sick, or injured workers and a comprehensive rehabilitation program is available to those injured on the job.

DLT is dedicated to the growth and competitiveness of Rhode Island industry, administering a variety of training grants, tax credits, and apprenticeship programs to help employers. Economic indicators and labor market information are available for long-range planning. The Agency engages in active outreach, helping large and small employers retain their best workers or retrain their existing work force. At no cost to the employer, DLT will also screen job applicants, post job vacancies, and help businesses institute cost-sharing programs that can avert layoffs.

For more information on the innovative programs and services available to all Rhode Islanders at the Department of Labor and Training, please call (401) 462-8000 or visit the web site at www.dlt.ri.gov