Senate passes Lawson’s bill that increase temporary caregiver benefits


STATE HOUSE – The Senate passed legislation tonight sponsored by Sen. Valarie J. Lawson (D-Dist. 14, East Providence) which would increase temporary caregiver benefits for Rhode Islanders.

The bill (2021-S 0688) increases temporary caregiver benefits to six weeks in a benefit year starting January 1, 2022 and would increase temporary caregiver benefits to eight weeks in a benefit year beginning January 1, 2023.

“Temporary caregiver benefits have been a lifeline to so many in our state who are going through difficult times and their need and usefulness have only increased since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.  While people are still struggling with the negative health and financial impacts of the pandemic, it is crucial that we provide the needed support necessary for our families to recover from these difficult times.  This bill provides that support and it will continue to help our families for the foreseeable future,” said Senator Lawson.

Rhode Island was the third state in the nation to pass a paid family leave program when it enacted the Temporary Caregiver Insurance program in 2013. It provides up to four weeks of partial (about 60 percent) wage replacement for workers who need to take time from their jobs to care for a seriously ill family member or to bond with a newborn, adopted or foster child. The worker’s job and seniority are protected while the worker is on leave.

The bill now heads to the House of Representatives for consideration where House Majority Whip Katherine S. Kazarian (D-Dist. 63, East Providence) has sponsored the legislation (2021-H 6090).