PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — All Rhode Islanders are now able to file for unemployment under the emergency unemployment insurance CARES Act.
This opens the door for those who were not eligible for benefits under previous rules — self-employed individuals, gig workers, independent contractors, small business owners, and others.
The R.I. Department of Labor and Training (DLT) began accepting applications at 8 a.m. and officials tell Eyewitness News they had already received nearly 10,000 applications by mid-afternoon.
This is all part of the $2 trillion stimulus package passed by Congress and signed by President Donald Trump last month.
When you go to their website, there are two sections — the regular application for unemployment and the new emergency unemployment benefits.
To apply, you will need to provide basic information, your social security number, a recent tax return and a bank routing number.
The CARES Act will also give each person $600 a week on top of the money the system calculates for their unemployment benefits through the end of July.
“As you could imagine we are crushed with demand,” Gov. Gina Raimondo said. “We are receiving tens of thousands of requests a day but still, I am begging for patience because it could easily take us between a week or two week from when you apply and when you receive your check.”
Raimondo reminds people this is not for those who have quit their job, you would have had to have been laid off.
You can call the DLT if you need assistance applying for unemployment.