Learn How To Apply For Unemployment Claims With our Help

As an independent and private company, we are proud to help our users learn about the benefit application process.

  • Get Free Information with Our Guide
  • Take our optional survey to receive, based on your answers, related offers from our partners!
  • Keep Updated with Curated Content

We Are Here to Help

Our FREE guide provides helpful information about how to apply for benefits. Learn more about us here.

Clear & Simple
Free and easy

Ready to get your free guide?


Unemployment Insurance Eligibility in Rhode Island

“What are the requirements to get unemployment in Rhode Island?” is one of the most frequently asked questions among unemployed workers. Your eligibility for unemployment will depend on a variety of factors regarding your income and the circumstances of your termination.

Filing an initial claim can be intimidating, but you will need to understand the following issues to understand how to qualify for unemployment in RI:

  • Who is eligible for the unemployment insurance program in Rhode Island?
  • Basic unemployment eligibility requirements in Rhode Island
  • Looking and registering for work in Rhode Island
  • Working and collecting unemployment benefits in Rhode Island

Rhode Island Unemployment Resources

Who is eligible for the unemployment insurance program in Rhode Island?

The standards regarding unemployment insurance eligibility in Rhode Island are fairly easy to comprehend. The unemployment insurance program provides financial assistance to workers who have lost their job through no fault of their own. An applicant who qualifies for unemployment can file claims online or over the phone, and the amount he or she receives will be based on his or her past earnings. The amount that an unemployment insurance claim beneficiary receives will more than likely be less than his or her regular salary, and filing a claim every week is mandatory.

Basic Unemployment Eligibility Requirements in Rhode Island

Your eligibility for unemployment in Rhode Island will depend on the amount of money you earned while working. One of the qualifications for unemployment states that you must have earned a minimum of $12,120 during a standard base period. This figure can change, especially if the minimum wage is raised, so you will need to know the current minimum before you file. When it comes to who qualifies for unemployment, applicants can circumvent the minimum wage requirement if they meet all of the following standards:

  • Your earnings totaled at least $2,020 during one of your base period quarters.
  • The total amount of your earnings during your base period is at least $4,040.
  • The total amount of your base period wages is equal to or greater than 1.5 times the amount of your highest quarterly earnings.

In the majority of states, including Rhode Island, you can only receive unemployment insurance coverage if you were terminated through no fault of your own. This means that if you were fired for conduct or performance-related issues, the state would more than likely deny your claim. In addition, if you were fired for any of the following reasons, you will probably not meet the unemployment insurance eligibility requirements:

  • Work quality
  • Attendance or punctuality
  • Failure to follow company rules or regulations
  • Disregarding safety standards
  • Engaging in criminal acts

The reason for your termination will be extremely important to the state, and the Department of Labor and Training does have the right to verify any information you provide with your previous employers.

Looking and Registering for Work in Rhode Island

Your unemployment insurance eligibility in Rhode Island will depend on your willingness to find a job. The RI unemployment insurance benefits you receive from the state is only temporary, and the Department of Labor and Training urges all beneficiaries to find new employment as soon as possible. To continue meeting the RI qualifications for unemployment, former workers are required to do the following:

  • Actively look for employment on a regular basis.
  • Keep detailed, written records of job applications and offers.
  • Apply to at least three jobs (contacts) a week.
  • Visit a Career Center periodically (counts as a contact).

If a jobseeker fails to engage in the activities listed above, he or she will not meet unemployment insurance eligibility, and will be denied benefits for the week. When recording job contacts, you will need to provide the department with the name and address of each contact. You will also need to explain the manner in which you applied (ex: online, by mail, in person) and give details about the position for which you applied. If you lack this information, your eligibility for EDD benefits could be negatively impacted.

Your eligibility for unemployment in RI will also depend on you registering for work with the Rhode Island Department of Labor and Training. You will do this by posting your resume on the department website within six weeks of filing your first claim. If you do not post a resume, the state has the right to deny your Rhode Island unemployment claim for benefits. Periodically, the department holds re-employment seminars to assist unemployed workers with finding work. If you are selected to attend one of these seminars, you must show up on the scheduled date or risk losing benefits. These seminars can help you develop your interview, resume writing, and job search skills.

Working and Collecting Unemployment Benefits in Rhode Island

Not having a job is one of the qualifications for unemployment in Rhode Island, but you are allowed to work part-time while receiving benefits. As long as your gross wages amount to less than your weekly benefit amount, you will be eligible for partial benefits. The state calculates that amount you are entitled to by subtracting your weekly salary from your weekly benefit amount and paying you the difference in addition to 20 percent of your overall benefit rate.