Rhode Island has a state-run program that provides temporary disability insurance (TDI) for employees, paid for by a special tax withheld from employees’ pay. Eligible employees who are unable to work due to illness, injury, or pregnancy can get a cash benefit to partially replace their lost wages. The TDI program is operated by the Rhode Island Department of Labor and Training.
You are eligible for Rhode Island TDI payments if you made at least $9,300 in the year before you apply for TDI (or in between 15 months ago and 3 months ago, which is called your based period). If you didn’t earn this amount, you can be eligible if you fulfill the following three requirements, the last of which is a bit complicated.
You must also be unable to perform your regular work duties. Note that you don’t have to be unable to do any type of work, just your customary work. You must be unable to work for at least seven days, called your waiting period.
You are able to collect a weekly payment of between $72 and $736, for a maximum of 30 weeks. You will get paid for the waiting period (for claims filed after 6/30/2012). TDI payments are tax-free.
Payments are calculated based on the amount of money you made in the year before you apply for TDI benefits. Your weekly payment will be 4.62% of the wages you made during the highest quarter of earnings of your base period. (This works out to about 60% of your weekly pay, since there are 13 weeks in a quarter (4.62% x 13 = 60%).)
The number of weeks your benefits will continue depends on your base period earnings and weekly benefit amount.
You may not collect unemployment benefits at the same time you’re collecting TDI. You can collect TDI while your workers’ comp claim is pending, but the TDI payments may be taken out of any workers’ comp settlement you eventually get.
You can apply online by going to the TDI website, or you can print an application from the same website and send it in to TDI, P.O. Box 20100, Cranston, RI 02920. Your doctor must also send in certification that you are unable to do your job.
If you were denied TDI benefits, you can appeal by submitting a written request to TDI Appeals Coordinator at PO Box 20100, Cranston, RI 02920. A hearing will be scheduled at the Board of Review. You can bring a disability lawyer or a family member or relative with you to the hearing.