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Rhode Island DLT Receives $235,737 Grant for Temporary Caregiver Insurance Program

PROVIDENCE, R.I.  Today, Governor Gina Raimondo, U.S. Senators Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse and Congressmen Jim Langevin and David Cicilline announced a $235,737 U.S. Department of Labor grant for the Temporary Caregiver Insurance (TCI) Expansion Project run by the Rhode Island Department of Labor and Training. The TCI program was signed into law in January of 2014 and provides up to four weeks of benefits for an individual who is caring for a seriously ill child, parent, spouse, domestic partner, parent-in-law or grandparent. Benefits can also be used to bond with a newborn child, adopted child or foster child within the first 12 months of parenting.

“Rhode Island is leading on leave through our innovative TDI & TCI programs, however, there is always room for improvement. This grant funding will help us chart a way forward,” said Governor Gina M. Raimondo. “As a mom, I know that the workplace must support families who have obligations at home and on the job. Paid family leave can benefit employers by reducing turnover and increasing productivity. This policy will benefit our economy by fostering a more productive workforce.”

“Rhode Island has shown tremendous leadership in providing paid family leave to workers. I believe this is the right thing to do for our workers and our economy. This grant will help fund valuable research that ensures we are taking an evidence-based approach. The nation is looking to learn from Rhode Island and further studying and evaluating our state’s program will help us continue to improve,” said Senator Reed, who supported the state’s grant application and is a cosponsor of the FAMILY Act, which would establish a national program of paid family leave.

“Workers shouldn’t lose their job or suffer serious financial consequences when they have to care for a loved one. That’s why I’m proud of Rhode Island’s leadership in supporting workers and their families through the Temporary Caregiver Insurance program,” said Senator Whitehouse, a member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee. “This funding will strengthen our temporary leave program and demonstrate how sensible family leave policies benefit workers and the economy alike. Congratulations to the Department of Labor and Training on this important federal award.”

“Families should never have to choose between caring for a sick loved one and keeping their job. Paid family medical leave policies like the Temporary Caregiver Insurance program ensure that Rhode Islanders can do what is right for their families and simultaneously provide financial, physical and emotional support,” said Congressman Langevin, who has been a stalwart advocate for respite care and other supports for family caregivers. The Lifespan Respite Care Act he authored was signed into law in 2006. “If we want to strengthen our economy in Rhode Island, we need a strong workforce, and that requires the expansion of sensible support programs like TCI.”

“The Temporary Caregiver Insurance Expansion Project provides critical resources for working Rhode Islanders who are forced to take time off from work in order to care for a loved one with a serious illness. I am proud that, as one of only eight states to receive this new federal grant, Rhode Island is continuing to lead the way on paid family leave for middle class families,” said Congressman Cicilline, who hosted U.S. Labor Secretary Tom Perez for a visit to Rhode Island last April to highlight the state’s leadership on paid leave. “I look forward to continuing the fight to improve paid leave policies for hardworking men and women in Rhode Island.”

Rhode Island was one of only eight states to receive U.S. Department of Labor funding to study the implementation and efficacy of paid family medical leave. According to the DOL, only 12 percent of private-sector workers have access to paid family leave through their employers.

“The United States is one of the few countries on Earth without national paid leave. Fortunately, we have seen remarkable progress outside of Washington, where innovative state and local officials are designing paid-leave policies that work for their citizens,” said U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez. “These studies will help further our understanding of the issue and design programs that work for our economy. We must expand paid family and medical leave, for the good of our families and the strength of our economy.”

 

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