Rhode Island Temporary Disability Benefits (TDI)

Rhode Island is one of a handful of states with a short-term disability program for injuries or illnesses.

By , Attorney · UC Law San Francisco

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. Rhode Island was the first state to provide a TDI program for employees.

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. (Some states have a program for SDI, or short-term disability insurance, but Rhode Island's program is called TDI.)

Who Is Eligible for TDI Payments in Rhode Island?

You are eligible for Rhode Island TDI payments if you made at least $14,700 in the year before you apply for TDI (or between 15 months ago and 3 months ago, which is called your base period). Or, 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 earned at least $4,900 in your base period.
  • You earned at least $2,450 in one of the quarters of your base period, and
  • Your total base period earnings are at least 150% of your highest quarter of earnings.

To qualify medically for TDI payments, 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.

How Much Can I Collect in RI TDI Benefits?

You are able to collect a weekly payment of between $114 and $1007, for a maximum of 30 weeks.

Your 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.

Note that you will get paid for the days you weren't working during the waiting period. TDI payments are tax-free (not subject to state or federal taxes).

Can I Collect Other State Benefits While Collecting TDI in Rhode Island?

You can't 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.

How Do I File a Claim for a TDI in RI?

You can apply online by going to the RI TDI website. You must provide the following information:

  • name
  • address
  • phone number, and
  • the date you were first unable to work (you cannot apply ahead of time if you know you'll be off work).

If you have trouble using the Internet, you can request a paper application by calling (401) 462-8420. After you complete the application, you'll send it to RI TDI, P.O. Box 20100, Cranston, RI 02920. Your doctor must also send in certification that you are unable to do your job.

Note that you must file a claim within 90 days of your first week out of work due to illness or injury.

When Will I Get My RI TDI Payment?

Most people who apply online for TDI get their first payment within three weeks of applying. You can check the status of your claim here.

The Department of Labor and Training no longer sends checks; instead, you'll receive an electronic payment card, or, you can sign up for direct deposit.

Can I Appeal If I Get Denied TDI?

If you were denied TDI benefits, you can appeal by submitting a written request to the 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.

Updated July 20, 2022

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