Unemployment Insurance, RI Dept. of Labor and Training
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Frequent Questions

School Employers / Educators

Teacher and students

What is reasonable assurance?
Reasonable assurance means a written agreement by the employer (school dept., educational agency) that the employee will perform services in the same or similar capacity during the ensuing academic year, term or remainder of a term. Reasonable assurance would not exist if the economic terms and conditions of the position offered in the ensuing academic period are substantially less that the terms and conditions of the position in the prior term.

RI General Law, Section 28-44-68
requires that eacheducational institution provide reasonable assurance in writing to individuals who will be unemployed during the school break but will return to work after the school break ends. It is the responsibility of each educational employer to determine any exceptions to this rule for non-professional education employees.

Click here for more information on reasonable assurance.


School employees and educators may be entitled to collect unemployment insurance but have a different criteria to determine eligibility for unemployment insurance.

Are you eligible to collect? Professional and non-professional employees of educational institutions, educational service agencies and certain other educational employers may be eligible for unemployment ONLY if they do not have a contract or if their employer has not provided written reasonable assurance of their employment for the following year, academic term or for the period following a school vacation. State law requires each educational institution to provide reasonable assurance in writing to those individuals who will be unemployed during the summer and will return to work once the summer break or vacation period ends. If teachers, professional and non-professional educational employees DO have a contract or written reasonable assurance of employment, they are ineligible to collect unemployment insurance benefits using their educational wages during the vacation period or the period between academic terms.

When should I file a claim for unemployment? If you have been notified by your employer that you are being laid off and you do not have written reasonable assurance of returning when school reopens, you should file an unemployment claim within seven (7) days of your last day of employment to avoid jeopardizing or delaying your first payment. Visit the UI FAQ page for more information. It is important to file as soon as possible because if you are found eligible for benefits, you must serve a one-week waiting period between filing for benefits and receiving your first benefit payment.

How can I file a claim for unemployment? There are two ways to file a claim for UI: you can file online or by phone at (401) 243-9100. Out-of-state claimants may call 1-866-557-0001 (toll-free). Please note that due to customer demand, telephone wait times may be longer on Mondays.

What questions will I be asked? Teachers and educational employees should be prepared to provide the information detailed below, as well as the information required of all unemployment insurance claimants.
Information about educational employment - be prepared to provide information and answer the following questions:
  • In the most recent academic year/term, have you been employed by a school or educational institution?
  • Is this a school summer vacation or term break period? If you are a school employee filing your claim May through August, you are required to answer "Yes".
  • Are you employed by a
    • City/Town
    • Private School
    • Daycare or Preschool
    • College/University
  • Employer Name
  • Last physical date of work
  • Your title/position
  • Contract Coverage
  • Your status for the past year
    • Permanent Full-time
    • Permanent Part-time
    • Substitute
    • Temporary Full-Time
    • Temporary Part-Time
  • Did you receive a termination letter prior to March 1st?
  • Are you returning to this same position in the next academic term?
  • Will you be working for a different school department in the next academic year?
  • Have you received written assurance that you will be recalled following the vacation period or upcoming academic term?

RI Department of Labor and Training
Center General Complex
1511 Pontiac Avenue, Cranston, RI 02920

Phone: (401) 462-8000
Fax (401) 462-8666
TTY via RI Relay: 711
12/11/18 MDF
State Seal
  DLT is an equal opportunity employer/program - auxiliary aids and services available upon request