CRANSTON – Rhode Island’s three month average unemployment rate of 8.9 percent disqualifies the state from receiving the Federal Emergency Unemployment Compensation program’s fourth tier of extended unemployment insurance benefits, said the R.I. Department of Labor and Training.
The EUC program offers varying periods of unemployment insurance benefits through the tier system. Tier 1 and Tier 2 provide a maximum of 14 weeks of benefits while Tier 3 provides a maximum of nine weeks and Tier 4 provides a maximum of 10 weeks. States that have an unemployment rate below nine percent for three month do not qualify for Tier 4 benefits.
The EUC program in Rhode Island is currently serving 6,600 claimants, 1,200 of whom receive Tier 4 benefits.
The state will discontinue offering Tier 4 benefits as of August 10. Job seekers who do not enroll by then will no longer have the opportunity to collect the 10 weeks of additional benefits.
This lowers the total amount of insurance benefits a claimant in Rhode Island can collect from federally funded and state funded programs from 73 weeks to 63 weeks.