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Out of work due to Coronavirus? Here’s How to File for Unemployment

March 18, 2020

Are you out of work due to coronavirus? Here’s some helpful information about applying for unemployment.

The growing economic crisis brought on by the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) has many workers facing unemployment. How can employees cope with the loss of work? Here’s some helpful information.

How to file for unemployment in Rhode Island

Applying for unemployment varies from state to state, but for purposes of this article, let’s use Rhode Island as an example.

As of Tuesday March 17, more than 10,000 Rhode Islanders have filed for unemployment or temporary disability benefits due to the coronavirus pandemic. If you’re newly out of work and have yet to file for these benefits, here’s what you need to know:

Is your employer not operating or out of business due to the crisis?

If you’ve been laid off due to economic reasons, you can apply for unemployment insurance here. Make sure you check off your reason for being out of work is related to coronavirus.

Typically you can only apply for unemployment insurance if you’ve been out of work for seven days but Governor Raimondo has waived the waiting period.

How much do you receive on unemployment?

Once you apply, you’ll find out your exact eligibility but in general most workers are eligible for 50% of their wages for up to 26 weeks. There is a weekly dollar limitation of $586 per worker.

When will I receive my first check?

Your first payment should arrive between seven and fourteen days from applying.

What if I’m in self-quarantine?

If you’re out of work due to self-quarantine, or on behalf of someone in your family who has fallen ill, you should use your paid sick leave benefits if you have them at your place of employment. If you don’t, you should apply online for temporary disability insurance, or temporary caregiver insurance. IN general most workers who are eligible for TDI or TCI receive roughly 60% of their wages.

Visit our Coronavirus Resource Center for further information on the outbreak.

Questions? Contact us.

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