Relief for employees | Rhode Island Commerce

Relief for tenants and employees

Información en espanol

Housing Help RI

Housing Help RI is a statewide homelessness prevention initiative to assist Rhode Islanders who are experiencing housing insecurity. The program provides emergency housing assistance to very low-income renters who have been impacted by the COVID-19 emergency and are at immediate risk of homelessness. Learn more here.

Financial Institution Pledge

More than 20 financial institutions, from our state’s largest banks to our valued credit unions, have pledged to offer significant and much-needed relief to Rhode Island homeowners. You can learn more about this here.

Unemployment and disability insurance

The Rhode Island Department of Labor and Training (DLT) has waived the waiting period for COVID-related unemployment insurance claims. If employees are laid off from their position due to COVID-19, they may be eligible to apply for unemployment insurance. This includes temporary business closure or other circumstances where they are not self-quarantined, but are out of work. Employers and employees should refer to the DLT’s COVID-19 Workplace Fact Sheet.

COVID-related unemployment insurance claims are processed faster and can be more generous than temporary disability insurance (TDI) or temporary caregiver insurance (TCI) if you are out of work due to COVID-19. File a TDI/TCI claim online.

You may also contact the Rhode Island DLT with questions via email at or phone at (401) 462-2020. Companies must abide by the new Families First Coronavirus Response Act with respect to family and medical leave. Businesses with fewer than 50 employees may be exempted. The U.S. Department of Labor provides guidelines here.

Contract (1099) workers

Gig economy workers, contract workers, small business owners, workers for hire, self-employed, or others ineligible for regular unemployment insurance benefits can apply for emergency covid unemplomyent insurance with DLT here.

Contract workers may also qualify as sole proprietors for SBA economic injury disaster loans. For details and application information, see our COVID-19 Disaster Loan FAQ. If you have registered in Rhode Island to file as a S corporation, LLP or as an LLC, you should have an EIN associated with the office/studio/home that you registered, and can apply for an economic injury disaster loans through the Small Business Administration like any other business.

Employment opportunities

Rhode Island companies are hiring by the thousands to meet the workforce demands of COVID-19. EmployRI has been established to help if you’ve lost your job due to COVID-19. See job openings and more resources here.

Low-cost health insurance

If you lost your health coverage through your job and need to sign up for insurance, you can through HealthSourceRI. To enroll visit Call 1-855-840-4774 to learn more or view their fact sheet here or here in Spanish.

Quick Links

SBA loan information:

Unemployment insurance and employer information:
Department of Labor and Training

Jobs available now:

Public health information:
Department of Health

Business regulations
Department of Business Regulation