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Don't have an account? Under the law, known as Assembly Bill 5, an Uber driver and a Lyft driver have filed emergency requests for benefits like sick leave in California courts. Labor advocates worry that if drivers opt for PUA, which is a more straightforward process than getting UI, it will lend credence to the argument Uber and Lyft are making that their workers are indeed contractors, not employees. In addition to the state benefit, $600/week federal benefit will be added to regular UI benefits until the end of July. The UI process asks for your gross income month by month over 18 months. You’ll need to make sure you are filling in the bi-weekly certifications every week – see below. drivers have been getting conflicting advice about whether to apply for pandemic unemployment assistance (PUA) for independent contractors, or unemployment insurance (UI) for employees. So, understandably, there is a tremendous amount of confusion and frustration right now. Are you going to get a lawyer, try to like fight your case for you?’ ”. Question 4 can confuse people too: “Did you refuse any work?” You can answer NO even if you did not log into Uber or Lyft. Once the EDD verifies our income as drivers, we receive both UI and the $600. Updated 5/19/2020. (. Converting your PUA benefits to UI will probably fix your issue.Long Answer: Recently, many drivers on PUA have received correspondence from EDD asking for income verification for the purpose of ensuring the correct benefit amount. Should be easy. Because UI is determined by your highest gross earnings in a quarter, you may be able to secure a higher benefit if you break down your earnings for the last 18 months by quarter. Cross out the zeros and write in the appropriate amounts to the address listed on the upper left-hand corner of the Notice of Unemployment Insurance Award. “I just caved,” Wagle said. But the CA State guidelines on UI vs PUA (the support for workers NOT eligible for UI) are confusing (https://www.labor.ca.gov/pandemic-unemployment-assistance-pua-program/). The state Legislature codified that ruling into law with AB 5. Drivers are stuck in the middle of it all. “With the AB 5, we’re entitled to get the normal UI with the corporations of Uber-Lyft helping," he said. Claimant and similarly situated drivers (“Claimants”) sought unemployment insurance benefits when they ceased driving for Uber. Last fall, as soon as AB 5 garnered enough votes to pass, the city attorney in San Diego filed a lawsuit against Instacart, but that case is still snarled in the legal system. “You don’t want a bad precedent because the litigation wasn’t handled correctly.”. The California agency that regulates Uber and Lyft said in an order Tuesday that ride-hail drivers are employees under AB5, the state’s new gig-work law, marking a … Right now there are 2 things you have to do to  - on the web, and in the mail: (1) File a correction via the EDD Website:a) Log onto UI Online at uio.edd.ca.gov, click the UI Online button, and then click the “Contact Us” tab on the right side of the webpage.b) Select “Claim Questions” under the Question Category dropdown menu. If your benefit was smaller than it should be - and not based on ALL your lost earnings, this process will help you as well. The EDD did not respond to a request for comment. What am I going to do? 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 … Because Lyft & Uber have defied the law and issue 1099’s for us, we are considered “misclassified” – the state and EDD see us as employees, but our bosses don’t. This means we as drivers must directly REQUEST to be converted to UI, and TELL THEM that we were misclassified Lyft/Uber drivers.Why convert to UI? The New York Department of Labor (“DOL”) issued initial determinations, finding that the Claimants were employees of Uber and that Uber was liable for additional unemployment insurance contributions based on monies paid to Claimants. Are you eligible for unemployment? Drivers have tons of expenses — gas, wear and tear on their car, phone bills — meaning their gross is much higher than their net earnings,  which means they would earn more money through UI instead of PUA. Given the number of drivers in California, the amount to cover unemployment payments would likely be in the billions of dollars. 22 million filed for unemployment in 4 weeks 09:33. First, it’s almost certainly more money. Two reasons to convert to UI: No overpayment miscalculation, receive benefits longer. As we find out more, we will put that information here. In addition to California, at least three states — Illinois, New York and New Jersey — have deemed at least some Uber and Lyft drivers eligible for regular unemployment insurance. The state has promised to give benefits for all weeks we've applied for, back to February 1. This chart shows the driving that will qualify you for UI if you file for the first time in 2021: Qualifying Months (2020)       Month You Apply (2021). Makela Edwards, an Uber driver from Oakland, California, enjoyed the steady pay and flexible hours driving afforded after leaving her job as a public school teacher at the end of 2018. The state promised quick action on PUA (Pandemic Unemployment Assistance) – with an on-line application available on 4/28, and people quickly receiving payments. California Unemployment and Uber . You can certify in various ways: Here are our recommendations for filling out the questionnaire based on advice from Legal Aid at Work. Because Lyft & Uber have defied the law and issue 1099’s for us, we are considered “misclassified” – the state and EDD see us as employees, but our bosses don’t. We are not recommending drivers apply for PUA as under AB5 we are eligible for regular UI as misclassified workers – and will be better protected that way. Early after passage of the CARES act, states including California were slow in offering unemployment for gig workers because how do you verify income? In addition, many of the frontline phone operators at EDD don't have the correct information about misclassified workers like ourselves, or the process. So it should be easy, right? At the time, though, New York did not appear set up yet to process his claim, leaving Malik's application in limbo. Anwaar Malik, a driver for Uber and Lyft in Long Island, said he applied for unemployment aid in New York, the epicenter of the U.S. coronavirus outbreak, immediately after he learned that the CARES Act had become law. So I am just going to take the bone that I am thrown. In January, California Assembly Bill 5 became law, which makes it harder for companies to classify workers as contractors and avoid paying for things like workers' compensation or unemployment insurance. He has a family of five to support. I have to pay bills. That means California is going to pay the bill. Sign up for our daily newsletter. Gavin Newsom signed a controversial bill Wednesday, known as AB 5, after months of uproar from businesses and gig companies like Uber … Since there is no legal question over classification, getting PUA is less complicated, but UI offers almost certainly more money and potentially more long-term security. Lyft and Uber are among companies backing a California ballot measure that would keep drivers as independent contractors. I filed several weeks ago, but don’t have benefits yet. Uber drivers in Southern California sought enforcement of the new California law in an April protest so that they may qualify for unemployment insurance amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The hundreds of thousands of Uber and Lyft drivers in the state now have extremely limited or no work, and there's no money for them in the state unemployment fund. $11700 earnings in a quarter or more will give you the max. California is not the only state where many Uber and Lyft drivers have not received the employment protections to which they appear to be entitled. After nearly two months of applications and appeals, some Uber and Lyft drivers are getting unemployment insurance. The state’s attorney general, Xavier Becerra, has been far more reticent. He said it seemed like a miracle that his claim went through. The EDD website is being updated on a daily basis, but the basics are here - though this may be slightly behind. If you receive 1099s, you may receive a 1099K and a 1099Misc. Income Verification For App-Based Drivers On PUA: Will I Owe Money?Short Answer: No. If you're on PUA based on driving for Lyft or Uber before December 2020, you're actually SUPPOSED to be on UI, as you accrued those earnings under California law as an employee. Last year, the state of New Jersey sent Uber a bill for $650 million in unpaid unemployment insurance for its drivers. EDD just needs to make sure to convert all misclassified drivers to UI - and the error goes away. UI is awarded based on gross income, how much total income you bring in before expenses. Second, there’s concern over how long the PUA funding will last compared to UI benefits. Nearly a month after the CARES Act expanded jobless aid to include gig workers, drivers for Lyft and Uber sidelined by … Anyone with a work permit or green card or a citizen can apply for UI. Because it is considered an earned benefit, it does not fall under the “public charge” category, and will not count against future immigration status for documented workers. I am just going to go apply for this PUA. You'll have to go through a process with EDD to verify your earnings. Maia Wagle, a Los Angeles-based Lyft driver, has been trying to get unemployment insurance since early March. According to my 1099-MISC, I additionally earned $X,XXX in 2019, and $X,XXX in 2018. KQED spoke with one driver in Daly City who had gone through this whole process and who doesn’t want to use his name for fear of Uber kicking him off the app. Because the state wants to verify our wage data – and Uber and Lyft aren’t giving it to them. This is common for a part-time driver.Click “Submit”You can also watch this video to navigate you through this process at https://youtu.be/2W7e3P2lrO8. I was misclassified by the company(ies) as an independent contractor, and my notice of award does not reflect the wages I earned while working for ______. I usually file for unemployment but my last job I quit so Im ineligible. Uber and Lyft Officially Owe California Unemployment Money. Are we self-employed/independent contractors eligible for PUA? It's been a long road for Lyft & Uber drivers when it comes to the PUA (Pandemic Unemployment Assistance) and getting unemployment benefits. This includes up to 39 weeks of expanded unemployment insurance. Aside from the monetary implications, there's a looming legal question. Correct Success - Uber Drivers Are Employees, Entitled to Unemployment Insurance The best source of finance News She asked him a few questions, and then said he was approved. “Eventually when this calms down,” Vigne said, “we anticipate that the state will go after these companies who haven’t paid into the fund, who haven’t been reporting earnings on behalf of workers so that the fund could be paid back.”. For example, they receive no health care and no unemployment insurance. While this may or may not seem to affect you and yours, keep in mind that there is a huge backlog of workers trying receive unemployment because that is truly the only source of income they have. All PUA recipients who are getting more than the minimum of $167 are receiving the same instructions to verify their earnings. Gather your wage information: You’ll need to gather the information you will need for the process first. The California @CA_EDD will begin accepting online applications for Uber and Lyft drivers for PUA on Tuesday, April 28. Undocumented drivers should not apply. In both case, higher earnings equal more benefits. Your 1099K breaks down your monthly earnings so it’s easy to figure out your quarterly. One reason to make calculations before requesting conversion: If you’re earning the PUA minimum of $167. There's also a question of who pays for the benefits. Because PUA benefit amount is calculated based on NET income, some drivers are reporting a negative balance after turning in their income documents - as their benefit amount was calculated based on GROSS income. This can be official 1099s, or whatever tax information you receive through your drivers apps. Vigne said while it is right for drivers to apply for UI, the state is losing money by covering Uber and Lyft's bills. Even if they have not awarded you a weekly benefit yet you must respond. Uber calculates aid based on a driver's average weekly earnings for the six months preceding March 6. Stay in touch. The bill’s author, Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez, D-San Diego, has repeatedly said gig companies classifying workers as contractors is exactly the kind of labor arrangements the law was designed to stop. Every Lyft and Uber driver I have interviewed since January has asked me the same thing: If AB 5 is law, then why I am not an employee? To get UI, a driver has to apply, get told they qualify for zero dollars because their employer did not report earnings or contribute to the fund, then appeal that finding, and finally go through an audit where they have to prove to a representative of the EDD how much they earned and that they should be classified as an employee, not a contractor. Photographer: John Taggart/Bloomberg. It’s not right.”. “The state’s AG has resources to do this,” he said, adding that government entities are often underfunded when it comes to battles with large corporations. Save your tax documents, and your calculations for the quarterly totals, as you will need to share this data over and over again in this process. Wagle desperately needs the money. Then select “Missing Wages from Claims” from the Question Topic dropdown menu.c) Briefly state why EDD does not have your wage information. We understand that EDD is in agreement, that misclassified workers, like Lyft and Uber drivers, should have been put on UI. We are updating it regularly to match their updates: App-based drivers and other gig workers are considered employees and absolutely qualify for Unemployment Insurance (UI) in California. Worse comes to worse California unemployment will find out you were earning wages while collecting unemployment and garnish your paycheck until the wages are paid back. 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