Rhode Island Works is Rhode Island’s cash assistance program for families with children up to age 18 as well as pregnant women.
Other benefits include health coverage, child care assistance, food assistance through SNAP, and employment support services for enrolled parents.
This cash assistance is, however, limited to no more than 24 months out of any 60 month period with a lifetime total of 48 months.1
Families who reach a time limit may apply for a “hardship extension” based on disability, homelessness, domestic violence, or statewide economic conditions. Two additional extensions of 3 months each may be granted.
- How much cash assistance will I get in RI?
How much money you get in RI largely depends upon your family’s income and size. Typically, eligible families of three with zero income may receive $554 each month in cash benefits.
- How to apply for welfare in RI?
You may apply for RI Works online at HealthSource RI or in person at your local DHS office. Once your application is received, an eligibility worker will set up a face-to-face interview to screen your likely eligibility.
If eligible, you’ll receive one half of the monthly cash benefit twice a month through an electronic benefits transfer (EBT). With your EBT card, you can withdraw cash at bank ATMs and make eligible purchases like you would a debit card.
- Am I required to work?
Because the overall goal of RI Works is to encourage families to work and become self-sufficient, most parents are required to participate in job search.
Single parents must work or prepared for work an average of 20 or 30 hours per week depending on the age of the youngest child.
If you don’t meet the work requirements, your cash benefit could be reduced for up to 3 months or until you comply. After 3 months of non-compliance, you’ll lose the entire cash benefit.
For additional details about RI Works, please call
- The lifetime limit for RI Works is 48 months [↩]