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.
Eligibility for Benefits
There are two alternate salary requirements. An employee is eligible for benefits if either of the following are true:
- The employee earned at least $8,880 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 $1,480 in one of the quarters of the base period; earned at least $2,960 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.
Your healthcare provider must certify that you are unable to work due to disability (including pregnancy).
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 $69 and a maximum payment of $736. (These amounts went into effect in July 2012; they change periodically.)
The number of weeks for which you can collect benefits depends on your base period earnings and weekly benefit amount. The maximum time for which you can receive benefits is 30 weeks.
Filing a Claim for a Temporary Disability
To file a TDI 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 benefits, or you believe your employer has mistreated you because of your pregnancy or other disability, you may want to consult with an experienced disability rights lawyer.