The Rhode Island Department of Labor and Training announced today that Unemployment Insurance customers with an approved claim may now choose to certify for weekly benefit payments using a new internet-based application. The internet-based application, available through the department's web site at www.dlt.ri.gov, gives claimants an alternative to certifying via the telephone-based "TeleServe" automated payment system.
During the first week of December, the Rhode Island Department of Labor and Training disbursed more than $11 million in payments through its regular Unemployment Insurance, federal extended and state extended benefits programs.
Each week, claimants must certify their eligibility for unemployment insurance in order to receive benefits. Prior to the implementation of the internet application, customers' only option for certifying was to call (401) 243-9100 or (401) 243-9600 after business hours.
"Each week, more than 85 percent of our claimants would call the phone system between 12:01 am Saturday evening to 6:00 a.m. Monday morning to certify for payment," explained Raymond Filippone, assistant director of Income Support at the Department of Labor and Training. "By implementing TeleServe online, we hope to make it easier for customers to certify and to take some of the pressure off the telephones."
Unlike phone-based certification, which is only available after business hours, internet-based certification is available 20 hours each weekday and 24 hours on weekends. Also unlike phone-based certification, which has a limited number of lines, the internet-based application can accept an unlimited number of certifications at any given time.
Online certification is available during the following hours: Weekdays from 7:01 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. and from 9:01 p.m. to 5:30 a.m.; and weekends from 12:01 a.m. to midnight.
It is important to note that in order to use internet-based certification, a claimant must first obtain a unique Personal Identification Number (PIN). Any claimant who has used the phone-based system to certify for payment already has a registered PIN and does not need to register for a new one. However, brand new claimants who do not already have a PIN number must first designate one by calling TeleServe at 243-9100 or 243-9600.
The $175,000 internet-based certification application is funded through Unemployment Insurance Administration monies made available through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. The online TeleServe application was adapted from the phone-based application by First Data Corporation, and was implemented in collaboration with the Department of Administration's Division of Information Technology.
In Rhode Island, an unemployment insurance claimant can receive a maximum of 99 weeks of unemployment insurance benefits-26 weeks through regular unemployment insurance, 53 weeks through federal extended benefits, and 20 weeks through state extended benefits. Claimants can only collect through one unemployment program at a time.
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.