I am unemployed as a result of COVID-19. What benefits are available to me?
Under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, Congress expanded unemployment compensation for workers who have lost income, contracts, or their jobs as a result of COVID-19. The CARES Act:
Yes. While every unemployment situation is unique, individuals who have already exhausted some, or all, of the standard 26 weeks of unemployment compensation may still be eligible for the additional 13 weeks of benefits created by the CARES Act. This is true even if the unemployment is unrelated to COVID-19, and individuals will receive the extra $600 included in weekly payments through July 2020.
The exact amount you can receive through unemployment benefits depends on your previous earnings. Through July 2020, an additional $600 will be added to most weekly unemployment benefits, so individuals receiving unemployment benefits should receive no less than $600 per week.
The Rhode Island Department of Labor and Training has announced that this $600 boost will be paid retroactively, starting the week beginning March 29, 2020.
Yes. Employees who participate in Rhode Island’s WorkShare program will also receive the additional $600 in weekly payments through July 2020. The CARES Act includes 100 percent federal funding for work-share programs for 2020 in states like Rhode Island with programs already in place. These programs provide struggling companies with the flexibility to reduce hours while ensuring participating employees keep their jobs and receive a portion of unemployment insurance benefits to make up for lost wages.
For more information or to apply for unemployment insurance, visit the Rhode Island Department of Labor and Training’s Website.