The Emergency Unemployment Compensation Program in Rhode Island
The Rhode Island unemployment extension program was created by Congress under the American Taxpayer Relief Act. This act required Congress to allocate almost $6 billion dollars in funds towards the EUC program. The EUC program was intended to provide unemployed workers with additional unemployment insurance funds during the Great Recession, but as the unemployment rate fell, government officials deemed the program unnecessary and expensive. Recipients of EUC funds received their last benefits in late 2013.
During a recession, it is to the advantage of the federal and state governments to enact an unemployment benefits extension program. If unemployment insurance coverage recipients do not have money to contribute to the economy, more jobs will be lost, and the unemployment rate will rise significantly. Out-of-work individuals may also be forced to seek additional financial assistance from the government to make ends meet as well. If these issues occur on a large enough scale, the conditions could create an economic depression.
The RI unemployment compensation extension program will only go into effect if certain standards set by the federal government are met. Unlike regular unemployment insurance benefits, which are issued by the state, the Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC) program is enacted during times of high unemployment.
When Congress elects to enact the program, each state is placed into a tier based on its unemployment level.
- Tier One: Provides up to 14 additional weeks of benefits for unemployed workers in all 50 states.
- Tier Two: Provides up to 14 additional weeks of benefits to workers in states with an unemployment rate of six percent or greater.
- Tier Three: Up to nine weeks of benefits are provided to workers in states with an unemployment rate of seven percent or greater.
- Tier Four: Up to seven weeks of additional benefits are provided to workers in states with an unemployment rate of nine percent or greater.
If you are already receiving Rhode Island unemployment benefits, you will automatically receive an unemployment extension from the federal government, and you are allowed to file claims until the program expires. However, you must continue to meet the qualifications for unemployment set by your home state.
The Extended Benefits Program in Rhode Island
Another Rhode Island unemployment compensation extension undertaking was called the Extended Benefits (EB) program. This program provided unemployment claimants with up to 20 additional weeks of benefits, and like the EUC program, states could only qualify if they reached a certain unemployment rate. Presently, the unemployment rate in Rhode Island is too low for anyone to receive these extended benefits. Unlike EUC benefits, Extended Benefits cannot be received indefinitely.
Unemployment Extension Alternatives in Rhode Island
If you are asking yourself “How can I extend unemployment in Rhode Island?” the information above may seem discouraging. Since there is no way to procure an unemployment compensation extension, many unemployed workers panic when their benefit year comes to an end. This is an understandable reaction, but the tips below may be able to help you weather the economic storm that comes at the end of the benefit year:
• Have you considered taking a career development seminar? Sometimes, unemployment recipients are required to participate in activities like this. Not complying will result in getting unemployment benefits denied. These courses are offered free by the state of Rhode Island, and they are held at Career Centers across the state. If you attend one of these seminars, a representative from the Department of Labor and Training will actually help you look for a job. If you attend one of these seminars, the state will give you a free work contact credit for the week.
• Registering with a temp agency can be helpful if you are unable to get an unemployment extension. These agencies help workers find temporary employment based on their current skill set and educational background. Many times, these temporary positions have the potential to turn full-time if an employee performs exceptional work.
• If you do not know how to get an unemployment extension in RI, the state will recommend that you take a job that does not meet your exact specifications. This may sound undesirable to many unemployed workers, but if your benefits are running out, working a temporary job may be unavoidable until you can find the right position.