Rhode Island Short-Term Disability and Pregnancy

Rhode Island has a temporary disability insurance program (TDI) and a paid family leave program (TCI).

Rhode Island is one of the few states that provide temporary disability insurance (TDI) for employees through a state-run program. Employees fund the program through paycheck withholding. 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.

Eligibility for Benefits

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:

  • The employee earned at least $11,520 during the base period (the earliest four of the five complete calendar quarters before the employee makes a claim; employees can also use an alternate base period, consisting of the last four complete calendar quarters, which counts the employee's most recent income).
  • The employee earned at least $1,920 in one of the quarters of the base period; earned at least $3,840 in taxable wages during the entire base period; and earned at least one-and-a-half times the employee's wages in the highest quarter of the base period during the entire base period.

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.

Benefit Amount and Duration

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 $89 and a maximum payment of $817. (These amounts went into effect in 2016; 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, you can receive up to four weeks of benefits.

Filing a TDI or TCI Claim

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 Need a Lawyer

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.

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