FAQs about Filing a New Claim/Refiling a Claim for Unemployment Benefits
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a. You were paid at least $2,020 in one of your base period quarters, and
b. You were paid total base period taxable wages of at least one and one-half times your highest single quarter earnings, and 3. You were paid total base period taxable wages of at least $4,040. Also, if you have had a previous claim, you must have worked again since filing that claim and must have been paid taxable wages of at least eighty times the R.I. minimum hourly wage of $10.10, or $808.
You must be unemployed through no fault of your own. You must be able to work, available for work and searching for full-time work. You must always be willing to accept a suitable job while you are claiming benefits.
January 1 through March 31
April 1 through June 30
July 1 through September 30
October 1 through December 31
If wages from one of these quarters had to be used to establish a previous claim using the alternate base period, that quarter's wages cannot be used again to compute your current claim. If you submit a new claim and you do not meet the minimum earnings requirements in the regular base period, we will re-compute your claim using an alternate base period. This period consists of the last four completed calendar quarters before the starting date of your claim. While you must still meet the same overall earnings requirements, the alternate base period will allow some of your more recent wages to be counted towards establishing your claim.
Most eligible customers receive their first payment during their third week of unemployment.
Once you've filed a UI claim, you must request/certify for a payment every week you are unemployed or under-employed and must meet the eligibility requirements. You will only be paid for the weeks in which you certify for your payments. This payment service is used by everyone receiving unemployment benefits and claiming benefits for the previous completed calendar week.
You must request/certify for benefits weekly while your claim is in pending status. If you are allowed benefits, your payments will be released by a claims representative and transferred into the payment method you chose when you filed your claim. If you are denied benefits and plan to appeal the decision, you must continue to request/certify for benefits weekly or you may not be entitled to those benefits.
You have two options to certify for your weekly unemployment benefits.
1. Certify online at https://teleserve.dlt.ri.gov, or,
2. Call the TeleServe automated payment system at (401) 243-9600.
Effective 7/1/19, the minimum is $53 and maximum is $586.00, not including dependency allowance.
By law, the maximum weekly benefit rate will remain at $586 until that figure represents, equal to or less than 57.5 percent of the average weekly wage of all workers covered by the Employment Security Act. Moving forward from that point, the maximum weekly benefit will continue to be calculated at 57.5 percent. Your weekly benefit rate remains the same throughout your benefit year.
If you have dependent children under 18 years of age you may be entitled to a dependency allowance. Handicapped children over 18 may also qualify for the allowance. The dependency allowance is limited to 5 dependents and is equal to 5% of your weekly benefit rate for each dependent. There is a $15 minimum per dependent.
The dependency allowance established at the start of your benefit year remains the same even if the number of children should change during the year. (If 2 or more parties make claim for the same dependent for the same week, the person who has physical custody receives the allowance.)
If you worked less than full time and your gross wages are less than your weekly benefit rate, you should qualify for a partial benefit payment as well as a partial earnings incentive.
If you return to work in the middle of a work week, you may be paid a lag payment. The lag payment would be 1/5th of the benefit rate for each work day preceding the return to work date. You must have been in receipt of 2 full weeks of benefits for the weeks immediately preceeding your return-to-work.
If you quit your job without good cause, you will be denied benefits until you work and earn an amount equal to or greater than eight times your benefit rate and are unemployed through no fault of your own.
If you are fired for proved misconduct connected with your job, you will be denied benefits uuntil you work and earn an amount equal to or greater than eight times your benefit rate and are unemployed through no fault of your own.
If you refuse a suitable job offer, you will be denied benefits until you work and earn an amount equal to or greater than eight times your benefit rate and are unemployed through no fault of your own.
If you become unemployed because of a labor dispute, you may be denied benefits.
Whenever a question arises about your eligibility for benefits, you will have an opportunity to present your side of the case. You may bring witnesses or someone to represent you. You should bring any documents or other evidence that will support your claim. You will receive a decision that will either approve your claim or tell you why, and for how long, you are denied benefits. You have the RIGHT TO APPEAL any decision with which you do not agree. Decisions may be appealed ONLINE, by submitting a request in writing to the Central Adjudication Unit at PO Box 20067, Cranston, RI 02920-0941 or by FAX at (401) 462-8318.
You may email questions about adjudications to DLT.firstname.lastname@example.org. Please place “Adjudication” in the email subject line. Your case will be assigned to a Referee (Hearing Officer) at the Board of Review who will schedule a hearing at which time you may state your argument in detail. Information on preparing your case, and the procedure for an appeals hearing can be found on the Board of Review website. The Board is an impartial authority not under the direction of the Department of Labor and Training.
If you owe child support payments, a deduction may be made from your benefit check and sent to the Office of Child Support Services.
If you are called for jury duty while you are fully employed, you may not collect unemployment benefits as you are still attached to the employer and do not meeting the definition of an unemployed individual.
Once you are released from Workers' Compensation, if you are unemployed, you can file for Unemployment benefits. You will need to be able and available for full time work and released from your doctor with written authorization to return to work. Eligibility will be determined after you file a claim.
You will be eligible for a partial payment if your weekly severance amount is less than your benefit rate. If this is the case, the weekly severance amount will be deducted for the number of weeks of severance pay received.
Your employer should provide the severance amount and the number of weeks that the severance represents. If your employer does not provide this information, the severance pay will be allocated using your benefit rate.
Yes, the law requires that you keep an active work search record for each week you are requesting benefits. If your work search is requested, the department will need to verify the following criteria:
- Your work search record documents 3 work search contacts for each week you requested benefits. Visit work search requirements.
- Your work search record lists netWORKri one-stop career center visits for no more than one contact each week. If your work search record includes use of an employment website (i.e. craigsList, Monster.com, etc.), that record must provide additional information, such as the company name and the specific position for which you applied.
If you have a definite return to work date within 12 weeks of your last day of work, are a member of a labor union that uses a "hiring hall", or are in a department approved training program, you may be exempt from looking for work.
The Department conducts ongoing Reemployment programs that identify individuals that may need additional assistance in finding reemployment. If selected you must report to a Career Center as instructed. Failure to report could cause a delay or loss of your benefits.
DISCLAIMER: FAQs are presented for informational purposes only. They do not carry the full force and effect of the law.
- Guide to Filing a Claim
- Your Benefit Rights
- Status Updates
- Set-up a PIN
- Most Recent Payment
- Work Search Requirements
- Returning to Work
- Board of Review
For Job Seekers