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Disaster Unemployment Assistance

The Rhode Island Department of Labor and Training is coordinating Disaster Unemployment Assistance for those who have become unemployed due to the severe storms and flooding that began March 12, 2010.

Disaster Unemployment Assistance is a federally funded program for those who would otherwise not be eligible for unemployment insurance, including the following:

  • Those injured in the disaster and unable to work
  • Those whose workplaces were damaged, destroyed or made inaccessible due to the disaster
  • Those for whom transportation to work is unavailable
  • Those whose transportation route is inaccessible due to the disaster and for whom other means of transportation are unavailable
  • Those, such as self-employed workers, who derive most of their income from areas affected by the disaster, and have experienced a decline in business a result of the disaster

Special claims-filing sessions for Disaster Unemployment Assistance will be held at all netWORKri one-stop centers, Tuesdays through Thursdays, April 6-8 and April 13-15 from 4 to 8 p.m. and Saturdays, April 10 and 17 from 8 a.m. to noon. More claims-filing sessions will be scheduled in the future, dependent on community need. Please note that Disaster Unemployment Assistance claims filing must be staff-assisted and cannot be done online or by telephone.

The netWORKri locations are as follows:

  • Pawtucket: 175 Main Street
  • Providence: One Reservoir Ave.
  • West Warwick: 1330 Main St.
  • Woonsocket: 219 Pond St.
Directions to each of the centers are available online at

Those attending the special claims-filing sessions must bring the following information with them to the one-stop centers:

  • Social Security number
  • Driver's license or a Rhode Island I.D.
  • Mailing address and zip code
  • Income tax for 2009 with profit and loss statement
  • Business license
  • Telephone number where the worker can be reached for additional information
  • Alien registration card, if applicable
  • Names and addresses of any other employers (in addition to self-employment) during the past 18 months

IMPORTANT: Please note that employees of businesses that have laid them off temporarily due to flooding may be eligible for regular unemployment insurance; they do not need to attend the special claims-filing sessions, and may simply file online for unemployment insurance at, indicating that their unemployment is due to flooding. If their employer is registered as eligible with the department, then the employees' one-week waiting period for unemployment insurance will be waived.

Rhode Island residents have through May 6, 2010 to apply for Disaster Unemployment Assistance.

More information about unemployment insurance can be found online at

All Rhode Islanders in need of flood disaster assistance in addition to unemployment insurance benefits should register with FEMA at or 1-800-621-3362 (TTY 1-800-462-7585).

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