Rhode Island Unemployment

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File for Unemployment in Rhode Island

Filing for unemployment requires creating a personal profile on the Rhode Island Department of Labor and Training website. When you create your profile, you will choose a username, a password, and a PIN.

This information will allow you to access your account at any time, including allowing you to register for work and make weekly claims for your benefits.

Filing can be done anywhere that you have access to the internet, including one of the many Rhode Island unemployment centers throughout the state. 

Unemployment Application and Initial Claim

File Your Unemployment Application and Initial Claim Process

  • Create a new profile and PIN at the online filing system.
  • Input your personal information, including your current address and contact information
  • Answer all questions about your former employers, including how long you worked for each one as well as your salary or compensation from each
  • Indicate, to the best of your knowledge, why you were let go from or quit each employer
  • Double-check all information and submit your form
  • Register for work (will be discussed in more detail below)

You can also file by phone, selecting “File A New Claim”, and entering the appropriate indicated number.

You can call on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., and on Fridays from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. The call centers are closed on Wednesday, Saturday, and Sunday.

Unemployed? We want to help.

Documents and Information Needed During Filing

  • W2 information
  • Your social security number
  • Your name, address, and email address
  • Driver’s license or state ID
  • Name and contact information for all employers you worked for in the last 18 months, or since last opening a claim
  • Union local name and number
  • Ex-Military DD214 member copy 4 to show proof of military service and wages
  • Forms SF-8 and SF-50 to show proof of federal civilian service and wages
  • Your alien identification number for non-U.S. citizens authorized to work in the U.S.

Claim Weekly Benefits

To receive continued unemployment compensation, you must perform the weekly claim process. This requires using your online employment profile information to login at Teleserve. Once here, you will have to answer a variety of questions to ensure that you still meet the eligibility criteria to receive unemployment insurance benefits.

File as soon as the previous week is over (as early as the next Sunday) to claim your benefits. Doing so ensures there is no delay in your payment and avoids cancellation of your benefits.

How to Claim Weekly Benefits

  • Login to Teleserve using your profile information, including your PIN
  • Answer the appropriate questions to verify your eligibility, including:
    • If so, input potential employer contact information here.
    • Why did you refuse? (if you did)
    • If so, how much? (input your wages here)
    • Were you able to work?
    • Were you available to work?
    • Do you search for work this week?
    • Did a potential employer offer you a full-time position?
    • Did you accept or refuse?
    • Were you able to earn any wages in a part-time job, pension, or retirement fund payments?
  • Submit your weekly claim

Claim Denials or Discrepancies

Employees and employers can appeal a denied or approved claim and sort through any discrepancies by appealing to the Central Adjudication Unit. This group oversees unemployment insurance claims in the state of Rhode Island.

Make your appeal as soon as possible in order to avoid losing benefits. You can make your appeal online or by calling the contact number on your determination notice. After about a week, you'll get notification of your hearing date.

Make sure to continually file weekly claims, even if you aren't receiving the money, should you receive a favorable appeal decision.

During this period, you should also be collecting evidence to prove your case. This can include written warnings from your employer, written firing slips, taped interviews, and even eye-witness testimony.

Submit this evidence to the court in writing by sending a description of it to the address listed on your form. Your evidence must be approved before it can be used in your case.

Approval is mostly a formality, though some types of evidence (such as gossip by someone who won't be at the trial) may be dismissed.

An attorney is not necessary, but should you want to use one, you must submit their name and contact information to the court in writing (on your initial appeal form) to get approval. Again, this is usually a formality, but it must be done.

Appeals Process for Denied Claims

  • Attend the hearing by appearing on-time and dressed in appropriate clothing
  • Present your case to the judge, including relevant evidence and witness testimony
  • Allow your employer to present their case
  • Cross-examine their witnesses and question their evidence
  • Finish your case with a closing statement
  • Wait to hear back from the judge who presided over the case

After about a week, you should receive a judgment notice. A successful appeal will automatically grant you access to your benefits (which is why continuing to file weekly during the appeal process is extremely important). However, a denied appeal will continue to prevent you from collecting benefits.

Appeal this decision to the Board of Review by submitting a new appeal form directly to them. You can also email them at DLT.BOR@dlt.ri.gov to learn more. You must do this within 15 days of the appeal or the original decision will stand.

Office of Appeals Contact Information

Central Adjudication Unit

1511 Pontiac Avenue

Cranston, RI 02920

Phone: (401) 462-8300

Fax: (401) 462-8318

Board of Review

Center General Complex

74 West Road, Hazard Bldg., 1st Floor

Cranston, RI 02920

Phone: (401) 462-9400

Fax: (401) 462-9401

Email: DLT.BORinfo@dlt.ri.gov