Unemployed Rhode Islanders can now collect jobless benefits for up to 99 weeks.
President Barack Obama on Friday signed a $24 billion economic stimulus bill into law that gives 14 more weeks of benefits to the unemployed, and an additional 20 weeks of benefits to people out of work in high-unemployment states like Rhode Island.
The state Department of Labor and Training says more than 16,000 people who receive federal or state benefits in Rhode Island may be eligible once their current unemployment insurance benefits run out.
Rhode Island had an unemployment rate of 13 percent in September, third worst in the country.
The national unemployment rate hit 10 percent in October for the first time since 1983.