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How Long Do I Have to Work For to Collect Unemployment in Rhode Island?

There is no minimum amount of time or wages an employer has to meet in order to qualify under unemployment compensation.

To qualify for unemployment insurance in RI, you must have worked during a minimum of two quarters of the base period. Also, your total base period earnings must be at least 1.5 times your HQW as well as 400 times RI’s minimum wage. You must have an HQW of  at least 200 times RI’s minimum wage.

RI’s minimum wage is $8

Therefore, your HQW must be at least $1,600 and your total base period earnings must be at least $3,200.


Your total base period earnings must be at least $1,200 times RI’s minimum wage, which amounts to $9,600.

Rhode Island offers an alternate base period, which considers the last four completed calendar quarters in the base period (instead of the first four). RI also offers an extended base period for those who received worker’s compensation and requested job reinstatement to a position that no longer exists. For those who qualify, the base period is moved to the date of injury/disability.

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