COVID-19 pandemic

Hold the Line: Best times to telephone RI Unemployment Insurance

The telephone help line for RI Unemployment Insurance has been so busy since the now-three-week “pause” beginning on November 30 that some callers are told by the automated attendant the queue is full and to call again later before it just hangs up on them. We reached out to the RI Department of Labor and Training (RI DLT), which operates the help line, and they said they are aware of the problem but are unable to quantify its extent.

DLT did, however, provide extremely helpful information that could guide strategy in when to call. Their volume is heavily weighted early in the day, so simply calling later is more likely to get through. As of August, the 401-415-6772 call center hours are Monday–Thursday 8am – 6pm, Friday 9am – 6pm, and Saturday 8am – 11:30am.

RI DLT UI call volume by hour (Data: RI DLT, Chart: Michael Bilow)

Claim-specific inquiries can be directed to the call center, but general information is available on the DLT website: