PROVIDENCE – Beginning Sunday, Jan. 5, Rhode Island workers could begin applying for Temporary Caregiver Insurance, which provides up to four weeks per year of job-protected leave to care for a new child or tend to a seriously ill relative.
Under the Temporary Caregiver Insurance law, approved by the General Assembly in July, Rhode Island joins California and New Jersey as the only states requiring companies to offer parental and family leave paid out of a pool of employee paycheck contributions.
The law amended the state’s existing Temporary Disability Insurance program to allow employees to collect short-term disability benefits to care for a seriously ill child, spouse, domestic partner, parent, parent-in-law or grandparent, or to bond with a newborn, adopted or foster child.
To receive temporary disability benefits while on parental or family leave, employees must file an application with the R.I. Department of Labor and Training and notify their employer at least 30 days before the leave will begin, unless unable to give notification due to unforeseeable circumstances.
A claim cannot be filed until the individual has been out of work for at least seven consecutive days due to the need to care for a seriously ill family member or to bond with a new child, according to the DLT. Bonding claims may be filed by both parents but only during the first 12 months of parenting.
Eligible individuals can access program details and the Temporary Caregiver Insurance application at www.dlt.ri.gov/tdi. Proof of a parent-child relationship is required at the time of application, if requesting leave to bond with a new child.
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