Rhode Island is one of the few states that provide temporary disability insurance (TDI) for employees through a state-run program (and was actually the first to do so). Employees fund the program through paycheck withholding (a 1.1% employee wage deduction up to a certain amount). Employees who are unable to work due to a temporary disability, including pregnancy, are eligible for partial wage replacement. Employees who are unable to work due to an on-the-job illness or injury must collect benefits through the workers' compensation program instead.
A few years ago, Rhode Island added a temporary caregiver insurance (TCI) program, which pays benefits to employees for up to four weeks of parenting leave. The earnings requirements and benefit amounts are the same for both programs.
There are two alternate salary requirements to qualify for either TDI or TCI. An employee is eligible for benefits if either of the following are true:
To qualify for TDI benefits, your healthcare provider must certify that you are unable to work due to disability (including pregnancy). For TCI benefits, you may have to provide proof of parenthood. You may take TCI parenting benefits only during the first year after your child's birth.
You are entitled to receive 4.62% of your wages during your highest-paid quarter during the base period for each week of your TDI claim, subject to a minimum payment of $98 and a maximum payment of $867. (These amounts went into effect in 2019; they change periodically.)
The number of weeks for which you can collect TDI benefits depends on your base period earnings and weekly benefit amount. The maximum time for which you can receive benefits is 30 weeks.
For TCI (temporary caregiver insurance), you can receive up to four weeks of benefits.
To file a TDI or TCI claim, go to the website of Rhode Island's Temporary Disability Insurance program. You can file an application online or print a paper application and mail it in.
If you believe you were improperly denied TDI or TCI benefits, or you believe your employer has mistreated you because of your pregnancy, other disability, or parental responsibilities, you may want to consult with an experienced employment lawyer.