Latest Federal Updates

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This page contains the latest updates regarding COVID-19 federal unemployment assistance programs such as Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA). This page will be regularly updated when new information is available.

Last updated: 8/3/2021

IMPORTANT: On September 4, 2021, several federal unemployment programs will be ending per federal law. The following federal programs will be ending:

  • Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA): unemployment benefits for those who were not normally eligible for unemployment, such as independent contractors, small business owners, and people out of work due to COVID-19 related illness or quarantine.
  • Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC): an extension program for those who exhaust their 26 weeks of regular UI benefits. If you have been receiving regular unemployment benefits for more than 26 weeks, you are on PEUC.
  • $300 Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC): an additional $300 weekly boost that is automatically added to all unemployment benefits. This means that even if you will still be eligible to receive unemployment after September 4, your benefit payments will be reduced by $300 per week.

Currently, over 75% of unemployment claimants are on either PUA or PEUC and will be losing their benefits after September 4. The Department of Labor and Training (DLT) strongly advises all claimants take your job search seriously so that you can secure a source of income before benefits end. The state offers several free resources to assist you in getting back to work, including and


Unemployment benefits will continue be paid to eligible claimants under state law. To continue receiving benefits after September 4, you must be on regular unemployment insurance (not PUA) and have not exhausted your 26 weeks of benefits. However, because FPUC – the extra $300 boost – is ending, please be aware that your weekly benefit payments will be reduced by $300 per week.

All claimants will be impacted in some way. As a general guideline, if you have been been receiving unemployment benefits for more than six months as of September 4, you most likely will no longer be eligible for any benefits because you are either on PUA or have exhausted your 26 weeks of regular benefits.

Even if you remain eligible for regular UI, however, you will still lose the additional $300 per week boost.

If you are on PUA or PEUC, week-ending September 4 will be the final week for which you will be eligible for payment. You will certify for week-ending September 4 any time the following week (September 5 through September 11) and the payment you receive will be your last one.

Under state law, in order to be eligible for a new unemployment claim, you need to have gone back to work since filing your previous claim and have earned taxable wages of at least $920. That means if you haven't gone back to work at all since filing your initial unemployment claim, you would not be eligible for a new claim.

Unemployment benefits will continue be paid to eligible claimants. If you believe you may be eligible for a new claim, we encourage you to file a claim and DLT will review your eligibility. is the state’s job board and lists thousands of job opportunities pulled from all across Rhode Island. has numerous resources available to help you with your job search. You can schedule a one-on-one virtual meeting with a job coach, use the CareerCompass to get recommendations of careers that would be a good fit, enroll in vocational trainings, and attend virtual job fairs with employers.

There are also numerous other job sites, such as LinkedIn, Indeed, ZipRecruiter, and Monster.

The Rhode Island Department of Human Services (DHS) offers several financial assistance programs including SNAP and Rhode Island Works. For more information or to apply for these programs, please visit the DHS website.

DLT strongly encourages all Rhode Islanders to get the COVID-19 vaccine if you haven’t yet. Over 75% of adult Rhode Islanders are at least partially vaccinated, and cases in Rhode Island remain low. The vaccine is safe and free and is the best way to protect yourself and your family against COVID-19. There are numerous locations around the state where you can get the vaccine, and many are walk-in. Learn more at

You may also be interested in exploring remote work opportunities, as many employers have provided additional flexibility. We encourage you to meet with a job coach at to discuss job opportunities that may allow you to work remote.

You may be eligible to receive childcare assistance through the Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP). More information on this program is available on the DHS website.

Additionally, to find a list of childcare providers in the state, please click here.

If you or someone you love is going through a mental health or substance use crisis, there are resources available. For confidential support and to get connected to care, call BH Link at 401-414-LINK (5465) or visit the BH Link 24-hour/7-day triage center at 975 Waterman Ave., East Providence, RI.

Any updates or additional information will be posted at here. There is no need to contact the call center for general updates on these programs. Call center representatives will not have additional information.

For any issues regarding your individual claim, contact the UI call center at (401) 415-6772.