Unemployment Insurance: A Drivers Union - Drivers Union

Unemployment Insurance: A Drivers Union Guide

Thanks to your advocacy through Drivers Union, UBER and LYFT drivers in Washington can be eligible for unemployment benefits when they're not able to work. Read on to understand how Unemployment Insurance can work for you, and click here for support filing an Unemployment Insurance claim.

Are rideshare drivers covered by unemployment protections? Yes! If you lose work through no fault of your own, you may be eligible to claim unemployment benefits while you look for work.   

  • Drivers Union can help you navigate the unemployment insurance program to know your rights and responsibilities under the law. 

What is my “reason for separation?” Rideshare drivers can lose work for a variety of reasons – your car is out of service, lack of available work, or a sudden deactivation without notice. Your eligibility for unemployment depends on your reason for separation, but sometimes it can be difficult to interpret questions about reasons for separation in the rideshare industry.  

  • Drivers Union can help you understand what the questions mean and how they apply to your situation.  

Is rideshare driving self-employment? Different laws have different definitions for how rideshare driving is classified. Under Washington’s unemployment rules, driving for rideshare companies is considered covered employment, not self-employment. Uber, Lyft and other rideshare companies are required by law to pay premiums to ensure you are covered by unemployment benefits if you lose work due to no fault of your own and meet eligibility criteria.  

  • Report rideshare work under the company (or companies) you worked for, NOT as self-employment.  

Why is my work history not showing up when I apply?  Uber and Lyft only recently started reporting work history to the state.  So when you apply for benefits, your complete work history may not yet be in the system.  

  • If you don’t see a rideshare company you worked for when you apply, use the “Search for my Washington employer” tool to add them on your application.  
  • After you apply, send 1099s or pay summaries covering the previous 5 full quarters of your work for any rideshare company that didn’t show complete records of your work history. Use the “Send a Message” link in eServices to send documents.  
  • Drivers Union can help you provide documentation of your work history, so you receive the highest benefit you qualify for.   

Can I apply for unemployment if I am still working part-time? Yes, but your eligibility will depend on your specific circumstances. If you are eligible, your benefits will be reduced.   

  • You must report any work you did during any week you claim. Rideshare driving should be reported as covered employment under the company you worked for, NOT as self-employment.   
  • When you claim, report your gross earnings and hours worked. Washington’s unemployment rules define reportable working time as double your time with a passenger, NOT online hours.  
  • If you are eligible, your benefits will be reduced by approximately 75% of what you earned that week.   

Do I need to be able and available for work?  Yes. To be eligible for unemployment benefits, you must be able and available for work.  

Do I need to search for work? Yes. You must complete three job search activities each week you claim unemployment benefits. A list of approved job search activities is available here: https://esd.wa.gov/unemployment/job-search-requirements  

How do I apply? There are two ways to apply:  

  1. Online (Laptop or Desktop) athttps://secure.esd.wa.gov/home/   
  2. By phone at 1-800-318-6022  

What information do I need to apply? When you apply, have this information ready:  

  • Companies you worked for last 18 months:   
  • Uber Technologies: 1455 Market Street,San Francisco, CA 94103  
  • Lyft:185 Berry St #5000, San Francisco, CA 94107  
  • HopSkipDrive: 1320 E 7th St Suite #200, Los Angeles, CA 90021  
  • Via: 10 Crosby Street Floor 2, New York, NY 10013  
  • The dates you worked for all companies in the past 18 months  
  • 1099s or pay summaries covering previous 5 full quarters of work for a rideshare or other gig economy company  

Can I get help? Yes. Contact Drivers Union to schedule a free unemployment consultation.

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  • Kerry Harwin
    published this page in News 2024-05-03 09:47:05 -0700

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