Employment Plan

Eligibility for the RI Works (RIW) program is based on a family's income and resources. For more information, please make an appointment to see a DHS worker at a local DHS office.

A lab student using a microscope.

Am I required to work?

All parents who receive cash assistance must enter into and comply with an employment plan to prepare for and enter employment as soon as possible. The first activity for most parents will be a job search. Other employment, education or training may be possible.

Work Activities

  • Employment
  • Subsidized employment
  • Unpaid work experience or community service
  • On-the-job training
  • Job search
  • Job readiness
  • Vocational education training (not to exceed 12 months)
  • Adult education in an intensive work readiness program (not to exceed 6 months)

If an individual is already doing at least 20 hours per week of a core work activity (see list above), they also have the option to do one of the following:

  • Job skills training
  • Education (may be full-time for a youth under 20 years old who does not yet have a High School diploma or general equivalency diploma)

If you don't meet work requirements

If you do not meet work requirements, as defined in your individual employment plan, you will be notified in writing that you may be subject to a financial penalty unless you contact DHS and can prove good cause for not participating.

If you don't comply with the employment plan, your cash benefit could be reduced for up to 3 months or until you comply. After 3 months of non-compliance, the entire cash benefit to the family is ended.

Parents may reapply but must demonstrate compliance with their employment plans for a minimum of two weeks before they receive benefits again. Benefits will be restored on the first of the month, following the month of demonstrated compliance with work requirements and employment plan activities.