Although there are common elements to the many PFL regulations, there are also differences in the way each state designs its plan and coordinates it with other leave types. Here’s what you need to know about PFL and state disability in Rhode Island.
Paid Family Leave
The TCI program is a paid family leave program that provides up to four weeks of partial wage replacement when an employee takes time off to:
- Bond with a new child within 12 months of birth or placement via adoption or foster care
- Care for a seriously ill family member
A family member includes child, spouse, domestic partner, parent, parent in-law, or grandparent.
In July 2013, Governor Lincoln Chafee signed this benefit into law, which took effect for employees in January 2014.
In addition to TCI, most employees working in the State of Rhode Island are also eligible for Temporary Disability Insurance (TDI). There are some exceptions with federal, state, and some municipal employees. Employees are eligible for TCI and TDI benefits after meeting the following eligibility requirements:
- Earned wages in the state of Rhode Island and contributed to the TDI/TCI fund.
- Earned at least $13,800 in their base period or an alternative base period. An employee can still be eligible if they didn't hit this amount but did meet the following:
- They earned at least $2,300 in one of their base period quarters,
- Their total base period taxable wages are at least 1.5 times their highest quarter earnings, and
- Their base period taxable wages equal at least $4,600
A base period is the time period that is used to determine if an employee has earned sufficient wages to be eligible for benefits. It is defined as the first four of the last five completed calendar quarters before the claim was submitted.
An alternative base period is used if an employee is not eligible using their base period. This time period is defined as the last four completed calendar quarters before starting the claim. Please note that the same earnings are required.
No. Employees covered by TDI are also covered by TCI.
Voluntary plans are not allowed. Only the state administers TCI and TDI.
Employees fund the benefit through payroll deductions. The 2021 withholding rate is 1.3% of the first $74,000 of annual earnings.
TCI benefits paid to an employee are subject to Federal and State income taxes. Employees will receive a 1099-G at the end of the year indicating the amount received in benefits, which will also be reported to the IRS.
In general, employees must be out of work for seven consecutive days. Once the waiting period has been met, an employee will receive a weekly benefit rate that will equal 4.62% of the wages paid to the employee in the highest quarter of their base period. The 2021 maximum benefit rate is $887 per week and a minimum benefit rate of $107 per week.
No. The state's legislation allows for coordination of benefits with part-time work under the TDI program but does not have the same allowance for TCI.
Yes. Employees covered by the state program are entitled to job protection while on leave.
For a full list of steps and resource on how to apply for TCI,
download this guide.
Temporary Disability Insurance
Temporary Disability Insurance (TDI) provides benefit payments to employees working in Rhode Island for weeks they are unable to work due to a temporary disability or injury.
Enacted in 1942, TDI was the first of its kind in the United States.
Employees must have earned at least $13,800 in base period wages. If this requirement is not met, employee must meet all the following: earned $2,300 in one of the base period quarters, total base period wages are at least 1.5 times the highest quarter’s earnings, and total base period earnings is at least $4,600. The base period is the first four of the last five completed calendar quarters prior to claim, or the last four completed quarters, if needed to meet minimum earnings requirement.
Insured or self-insured voluntary plans are not allowed in Rhode Island. All benefits are payable by the state.
TDI and Temporary Care Insurance (TCI) are funded entirely by employee payroll deductions. As of January 1, 2021, the withholding rate is 1.3% of the first $74,000 in earnings. Employees aged 14 and 15 are exempt from wage deductions and coverage.
TDI benefits are not subject to federal or state income taxes; therefore, employees will not receive a G-1099 form.
The program provides 30 weeks in any benefit year. However, when used with paid family leave, the benefits cannot exceed 30 weeks.
In 2021, employees will receive at least $107 per week, but not more than $887 per week. The maximum benefit increases to $1,150 for those with up to five dependents. Benefit rates change every year on July 1.
No. RI TDI does not provide job protection, but employees may be protected under other laws, such as FMLA.