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Labor department launches website for unemployment insurance

December 4, 2021 GMT

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — Rhode Island’s labor department is allowing people to apply for unemployment insurance online.

The department said this week it’s rolling out a new unemployment insurance platform, UI Online, to allow people to apply online and track their claim. They can also receive reminders to certify for weekly payments, get alerts if they need to provide additional information and securely update their payment method.

The platform is available in English and Spanish, and was designed with anti-fraud measures to thwart fraudulent unemployment claims. The options available normally require a phone call.

Department Director Matthew Weldon said the past year and a half has made it clear that improvements to the 30-year-old unemployment system are necessary and long overdue. He said he has heard from countless people frustrated with the unemployment process.

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UI Online will be introduced to a small group of unemployment claimants so the department can get feedback and refine the system. Selected participants will receive an email invitation or be redirected to the new website when filing a claim or certifying for their weekly payment. They can opt out and use the existing system.

The department expects to use the system for all claims by early next year.