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The Rhode Island Paid Family Leave Act established the Temporary Caregiver Insurance Program (TCI) to provide individuals with up to four weeks of paid benefits during a 12-month period to care for a seriously ill loved one, such as an aging parent or in-law. As of 2018, caregivers are paid up to a maximum of $817 per week.
The program ensures that working families have financial support when they need to take time off work to care for a seriously ill family member. According to law, this program does not require an employer to hold an individual’s current position at work when a leave is taken, but a comparable position must be offered following one’s leave.
In addition to TCI, there are other state and federal programs that allow one to take leave to care for an ill loved one. The federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and the Rhode Island Parental and Family Medical Leave (RIPFML) programs exist to offer job and insurance protection. The FMLA offers eligible workers up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave during a 12-month period without risk of losing employment or employer-provided health insurance. RIPFML extends that timeframe to 13 weeks of unpaid job-protected leave within a 24-month period, while Rhode Island’s TCI Program provides partial wage replacement for up to four weeks.
The Temporary Caregiver Insurance Program is administered through the Rhode Island Department of Labor and Training.
Applicants must be legal Rhode Island residents to participate in the TCI program. However, it is not a requirement that the individual to whom they will be providing care also be a state resident. This means the applicant can leave the state to care for a loved one in another state.
Applicants must be employed in the state of Rhode Island. All individuals working in the private sector and most public employees are eligible provided they meet the financial requirements. In 2018, applicants must have earned a minimum of $ $12,120 (equal to $1,010 per month) in the year preceding their leave. This amount is the minimum they must have earned, there is no maximum income limit on eligibility. Note these financial requirements have been simplified to allow for a quicker understanding. Full formal criteria are available here.
The individual receiving care must be related to the individual taking leave to provide care by one of the following relations. The care recipient must be a parent, mother-in-law, father-in-law, grandparent, child, spouse, or domestic partner of the caregiver.
The care recipient must have a medical condition that requires care, as documented by a physician.
The TCI program provides up to four weeks of financial wage support during a 12-month period for a caregiver to provide care. Participants can receive up to $817 / week in financial assistance as a replacement for their current employment wages or salary.
The actual amount is calculated by multiplying their highest quarter (3 months) of earnings during the previous year by 4.62 percent. The minimum weekly benefit amount is $89.
Applicants who have children under 18 years of age may be eligible to receive a higher amount.
Applicants must apply for TCI benefits during the first thirty days after their first day of leave is taken. They must provide detailed medical information that their parent or loved one has a serious condition that requires their care.
For more information on TCI, call 401-462-8420, or visit the Rhode Island Department of Labor and Training website. One can also download the application here.