Rhode Island Unemployment Benefit Eligibility Requirements

Eligibility_RequirementsThe Rhode Island DLT pays Unemployment Insurance (UI) benefits to workers who are unemployed through no fault of their own and, have sufficient wages in their base period and, are able, available, and actively seeking full-time work.
Earning Requirements for Rhode Island Unemployment Insurance Benefits

The minimum wage requirement is currently $9,600 in your Base Period.  This figure will change each time the minimum wage is increased.  If you did not earn this amount, you may be eligible if you meet all of the following:

  • You earned at least $1,600 in one of your Base Period quarters, and
  • You earned total Base Period wages of at least one and one-half times your highest single quarter earnings, and
  • You earned total Base Period wages of at least $3,200.

The Base Period is the first four of the last five completed calendar quarters before the starting date of your new claim. Your claim normally begins the Sunday before the date on which you call to file the claim; provided you did not work or worked and earned less than your Weekly Benefit Rate during that week. This begins your Benefit Year, a 52-week period. Any additional claims (refiles) you request during this period will have the same Benefit Year as your first claim.

How Soon To File for Rhode Island Unemployment Insurance Benefits
If you become unemployed you should file a claim within seven (7) days of your last day of employment to avoid jeopardizing or delaying your first payment.
How Much Will I Receive? Your Benefit Rate is your basic weekly payment amount, excluding Dependency Allowances. It is equal to 4.38% of the average of the total wages in the two highest quarters of the base period, not to exceed the defined maximum amount. Once your Benefit Rate is determined, it remains the same for your entire Benefit Year. We will send you a Benefit Rate Decision, which shows your rate and the wage information used to determine it. For Benefit years beginning on or after July 1, 2012 the maximum weekly benefit rate is $566.00. 
Information Needed to File 
When you call to file an unemployment insurance claim in Rhode Island you will need to provide your social security number and the full name, address and telephone number of all employers you have worked for in the last two years. 

First Unemployment Insurance Benefit Payment
Most eligible customers receive their first payment during their third week of unemployment.

Taxation of Unemployment Insurance Benefits in Rhode Island
You do not pay for Unemployment Insurance; your employer pays for it through Employment Security taxes. Any Unemployment Insurance benefits you receive are fully taxable. Taxes are not withheld from your benefit payments, but you may request that they be withheld if you wish.
Emergency Unemployment Compensation
Emergency Unemployment Compensation 08hereafter referred to as EUC, is a federal program that provides extended unemployment insurance benefits to qualified individuals during increased periods of unemployment as established by the Federal Government. read more

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