What Costs Does Uber Cover
As an independent contractor, you are responsible for all of your gas costs, car repairs and maintenance costs, and any other car-related expenses. But there are certain costs that the company does reimburse for its drivers.
For instance, Uber charges riders a fee if there is any damage to the driver’s vehicle, whether that’s to the interior or exterior. This includes any time a rider spills something or vomits inside an Uber driver’s car. Uber makes a full assessment of the cost of cleaning and charges the rider. This fee is then passed on to the driver.
Uber also reimburses drivers for any tolls incurred while they are on any driving trips. Toll charges are added to the rider’s fare when they pass through a toll bridge. Both riders and drivers can see the breakdown in their receipts and statements.
New Law Brings Big Questions
Aside from all the snags and delays, if you do apply for unemployment compensation, it will make its way to you eventually. Will you get enough to pay your bills? What if you dont? Even with the extra $600 per week, most full time drivers wont be making as much as they did before the COVID-19 crisis knocked us flat.
Another burning question is, what happens if you work while youre collecting unemployment? If you list this extra income in your weekly or bi-weekly claim, will your benefits be reduced? Will you still get the $600 per week from the Feds?
We at Gridwise really wish we could answer these questions for everybody with one simple answer, but unfortunately that isnt possible. Like most everything else related to unemployment benefits, the answers you need depend on the state in which you live and work. What we can do is provide you with information weve collected from all the states. So read on
What Kind Of Car Do I Need To Join Uber
Each city has its own regulations for vehicles. Uber will let you know what your city’s regulations are after you sign up to drive. Depending on the city you live in, your vehicle must be 15 model years old or newer. Typically, nicer or busier cities require you to drive a more recent model. It must be a four-door sedan that seats four or more passengers, not including the driver. The vehicle must not have a salvaged, reconstructed, or rebuilt title and cannot be a painted taxi.
There are other tiers of Uber, including UberXL and Uber Black, which have additional vehicle requirements. For example, an UberXL driver must have a vehicle that seats six or more, and an Uber Black driver must have a luxury class vehicle within a certain age range.
If you do not have a car that meets Uber’s requirements, you can consider buying a used vehicle that qualifies. If you buy a new car for your Uber position, be aware of the potential wear and tear on the car. Depending on your budget and how much Uber driving you plan on doing, a used car might be a better option.
You can also research leasing a car, but know the mileage limitations before signing a lease. Uber has also partnered with car rental and leasing companies that offer discounts and deals to Uber drivers.
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Information For Driver Screening
Uber will require you to complete an online screening to review your driving record and criminal history. Uber will need your Social Security number to perform the screening and for tax purposes as well.
If you recently moved to a new state, you might be required to submit extra information to verify your driving history. Be sure to have your old states drivers license and insurance on hand.
Faqs For Drivers Who Make Most Of Their Earnings Through A Mix Of Gig Economy Self
I dont have a traditional full-time job but I do have several gig economy jobs. My income is down across the board. Am I eligible for the new PUA program?
Yes. The CARES Act was intended to provide assistance to workers who experience partial unemployment as a result of COVID-19. Guidance from the U.S. Department of Labor says that drivers who have lost income due to unsustainable losses in rider demand should be eligible to receive some types of unemployment assistance regardless of whether that lost income is from total unemployment, or because the COVID-19 public health emergency has severely limited your ability to continue performing your customary work.
Do I have to stop driving completely to apply?
As above, DOL guidance indicates that you do not need to stop driving completely to be eligible for PUA assistance. The CARES Act was intended to provide assistance to workers who experience partial unemployment as a result of COVID. Even if you are still receiving some earnings, the guidance indicates that the new PUA program may make up the difference.
How do I know if Im eligible for PUA?
In order to qualify for the new PUA program, you must primarily rely on earnings through self-employed work, like driving with Lyft, and you must be unable to work because of COVID-19. There are a couple of qualifying reasons beyond the ones you may expect, and they include:
Am I self-employed?
What is a gig-economy worker?
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Who Pays More Postmates Or Ubereats
Uber Eats deducts around 25% to 35% as their own profit cut. Considering all this, you can expect to earn somewhere between $8 to $12 per hour. For Postmates, drivers start out with a basic $1.35 per order. Then, each minute they have to wait earns them $0.10, and each mile traveled an additional $1.03.
Am I Eligible For Ui Now That Prop 22 Passed
Unemployment insurance is based on the 18 months of employee earnings previous to when you file your claim. So your current claim? Safe – it was based on your best quarter of 18 months previous to your claim – all worked all workedwhile we still had basic labor rights as drivers – and rights to UI.
Once Prop 22 comes into effect, the work you do will NOT be employment under CA law, so that work will not qualify you in the future for UI. BUT – you may qualify for UI based on work you did BEFORE the law came into effect.
If you are already on UI, the passage of Prop 22 has no impact on your current benefits because your current benefits are based on work you did in the past as an employee.
If you need to apply for UI for the first time, your work as an app-based driver anytime before mid-December will count toward UI. This chart shows the driving that will qualify you for UI if you file for the first time in 2021:
Qualifying Months Month You Apply
The yellow highlights show the TNC driver work that is qualifies someone for UI benefits, if you begin your claim in 2021. This chart is adapted from a form from the EDD Fact Sheet:
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How Much Money Will I Get
Like we said, it depends on your states policies. In most cases, youll get at least 50% of your normal income. Plus, the federal government is sweetening things with that additional $300 per week on top of normal unemployment compensation.
Also, if you havent already, youll get a second stimulus payment. The first payments, $600 per individual taxpayer, rolled out in January 2021. There may or may not be more to come. It will depend on how fast the economy recovers, and decisions a new Congress might make.
With all that money as a cushion, staying at home may sound like an attractive proposition.
But before you get too cozy, curled up on the couch with a bag of your favorite snacks, remember the unemployment compensation cushion wont be there forever.
The Loans Came As Uber And Gig Economy Companies Added Billions To Their Stock Values After Defeating An Effort To Make Drivers Employees
Tens of thousands of Uber and Lyft drivers received at least $80 million in government assistance during the coronavirus pandemic making them among the largest groups of beneficiaries of a little-known government grant and loan program established to help small businesses weather severe economic disruptions.
The drivers benefited from the Economic Injury Disaster Loans program of the U.S. Small Business Administration, money intended to help struggling businesses, entrepreneurs and other workers stay afloat during the pandemic. Policy experts said it was unusual for such a vast pool of workers under the umbrella of multibillion-dollar corporations to tap into that money. But gig workers qualified because they are classified as independent contractors under the law, a designation companies such as Uber, Lyft and DoorDash fought last year to maintain.
When the pandemic hit U.S. soil roughly a year ago, tens of thousands of gig workers were left without employer support as work opportunities dried up and the risk of contracting the coronavirus kept many off the road. Ride-hailing trips dropped as much as 80 percent in major cities, according to data released in the companies earnings calls and quarterly reports.
But some gig workers said they struggled to access government relief because of the ambiguity of their status.
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$1200 Stimulus Payment In April
As long as you filed your 2019 taxes and you showed some income from $1 to $75,000, you will receive $1,200 in April.
If you did not file your 2019 taxes yet, then the IRS will look at your 2018 tax return.
If you dont meet either of those requirements, then I suggest you file your 2019 taxes right away. It may be worth $1,200 to you. The funds will be direct-deposited to your bank account if the IRS has your banking information.
In my case, the IRS does not have my banking information. However, we will be provided instructions on how to get that information to the IRS. This is directly from the IRS website:
The IRS does not have my direct deposit information. What can I do?
In the coming weeks, Treasury plans to develop a web-based portal for individuals to provide their banking information to the IRS online, so that individuals can receive payments immediately as opposed to checks in the mail.
Recent Guidelines From The Government
The Department of Labor recently released some guidelines related to Pandemic Unemployment Assistance . Essentially they state that covered individuals are those individuals not qualified for regular unemployment compensation, extended benefits under state or Federal law, or pandemic emergency unemployment compensation, including those who have exhausted all rights to such benefits.
So far, so good.
They go on to state that if someone is unable to work due to one of the several categories. Most of them are related to being diagnosed, having someone in the family who was diagnosed, being unable to go to work because of emergency orders or work being closed due to emergency orders.
But there is one paragraph that specifically applies to us:
Let’s break that down a little.
The first part of this is official sounding mumbo jumbo. It states an independent contractor may qualify for benefits if he or she is unemployed, partially employed, or unable or unavailable to work because the COVID-19 public health emergency has severely limited his or her ability to continue performing his or her customary work activitie, and has thereby forced the individual to suspend such work activities.
In other words, if the effects of the pandemic have impacted your ability to earn and have forced you to stop, you would qualify.
The problem here is, how do you determine what exactly severely limited’ really means?
How would that apply to delivery work?
More mumbo jumbo, I know.
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Documents You Will Need
You will need to share the following documents with Uber:
- A valid U.S. drivers license
- Proof of residency in your city, state, or province
- Proof of auto insurance and car registration
- Driver profile photo
Many localities, such as New York City, also require you to have a commercial driver’s license and commercial auto insurance to work for a car-hire service.
There’s One Major Problem Even In States That Might Support Unemployment For Gig Workers
It’s all based on income.
Early after passage of the CARES act, states including California were slow in offering unemployment for gig workers because how do you verify income?
Here’s the issue: Income for independent contractors isn’t based on the money coming from Doordash, Grubhub, Lyft, Uber Eats or others. Income is based on profit.
On what’s left over after expenses.
Think about this: How is a gig company supposed to report information for independent contractors? All they know is the revenue sides of our business. They don’t know the expense side.
The only thing they could know is the miles we drive.
But what if I accept one offer from Grubhub and the next from Uber Eats? Both are tracking my miles.
So, if each is reporting my expenses based on duplicate miles, it shows me earning even less. Great for taxes, not good for getting benefits.
I think that’s part of the tricky thing for gig workers. How do they gather and report the information that the state can use?
On the tax side, the miles we drive help us a lot on taxes. It helps on our taxes that we can claim more for our miles than what it costs for most of us. Unfortunately, that lowable taxable income can become the basis of the unemployment we qualify for.
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Uber And Lyft Drivers Win Ruling On Unemployment Benefits
A federal judges decision in New York is a key victory in efforts to secure the protections extended to other workers.
- Read in app
Drivers for Uber and Lyft won a key victory on Tuesday in their continuing effort to be treated like other workers when a federal judge in New York ruled that the state must promptly begin paying them unemployment benefits.
Many drivers have waged a long legal and political battle with the companies over their employment status. Uber and Lyft have maintained that drivers are independent contractors who are not entitled to standard employment protections, such as a minimum wage, overtime pay and unemployment insurance.
The companies have gone to elaborate lengths to prosecute this argument, including spending tens of millions of dollars on a ballot measure that would exempt their drivers from a California law that effectively classifies them as employees.
In her ruling, Judge LaShann DeArcy Hall appeared to come down firmly on the side of drivers in this broader debate, citing an avoidable and inexcusable delay in the payment of unemployment insurance.
The ruling resulted from a lawsuit filed in late May by drivers and an advocacy group called the New York Taxi Workers Alliance, who argued that the state was taking months to pay unemployed drivers while typically processing benefits for other workers in two to three weeks.
Some States Are Trying To Get Gig Workers Covered By Unemployment
Okay, some states are trying to go beyond that, and make us employees.
California passed AB5 September last year. That law established guidelines around when you can or cannot use contractors. It seems clear to me, based on some of the rhetoric I saw, that it was aimed at gig companies like Uber, Doordash, Grubhub, etc.
How much of that legislation is really meant to make things better for workers? How much of it is a power grab? Is it more about the state getting more tax money or unemployment insurance premiums? How much was to benefit unions?
That’s probably another discussion for another time.
Update: In the November 2020 election, voters in California approved Prop 22 which allows gig apps to continue to use contractors. Meanwhile, many are pushing for ProAct, which is national legislation that would implement the same ABC test as AB5.
In November 2019, New Jersey fined Uber $649 Million for unemployment insurance fees, disability taxes and penalties. The state department of labor assessed those fees, however the matter has not been settled yet by the court system.
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Drive For Uber And Lyft
While delivering food seems safer, the more I think about it, the more I feel driving for Uber and Lyft sounds safe and certainly more enjoyable.
With food delivery, you have to get out of your car, walk into a restaurant, wait, handle packages, and then deliver.
With rideshare driving, I have complete control of my environment. I dont have to engage with any restaurant nor packages. Instead, all I need to worry about is that my passenger is wearing a mask, I keep a window open to circulate air, and I drive safely from one destination to the next.
I like the control I have of my situation. I like that I dont have to jump in and out of my car.
I also like that I can make more money transporting people than delivering food. To be safe regardless of whatever type of driving you do, be sure to have a good mask and plenty of extra masks handy in case your passenger does not have one.
Not sure what kind of masks to buy? Here are some options: