I Drive for an App-based Company

I Drive for an App-based Company

Do you drive for an App-Based company?

If you are a driver for Doordash, Lyft, Uber, Grubhub, and others, you should now be eligible for regular unemployment compensation benefits.

Don't think you are eligible for benefits?

Now you are! A recent Pennsylvania Supreme Court case decided that app-based drivers were not self-employed, meaning that you should now qualify for regular unemployment compensation because your income from those jobs will count towards your financial eligibility.

What happens after I apply?

You will receive a Notice of Financial Determination that finds you ineligible for benefits.  This is because the government does not have a record of your earnings from app-based work.

You will need to appeal and provide proof of your earnings.

Frequently Asked Questions

Apply for regular unemployment compensation benefits if you have:

  • Been fired (deactivated from the app)
  • Lack of work (have less work due to COVID-19)
  • Voluntary quit/leave of absence. You had to voluntarily stop driving because:
    • You have a health condition that prevents you from driving
    • You are high risk for COVID-19 or share a household with someone who is high risk
    • You have lost childcare or must supervise young children during virtual school
    • You no longer have access to a vehicle

You should get more money on regular unemployment compensation because your weekly benefit rate is based on your gross income rather than your net income.

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court found that an UberX driver had his work controlled and directed by Uber and that when driving, he was not engaged in his own business. The Court considered the following factors important:

  • the driver received assignments only thought a mobile app
  • there were predetermined rates for trips or assignments
  • customer reviews were used as a reason to deactivate his account 
  • there were negative consequences for declining an assignment/trip
  • the company used GPS tracking to follow his movements
  • the driver was not allowed to share his account login and therefore could not subcontract his workt
  1. Apply for unemployment compensation. 
  2. After you apply, you will receive a Notice of Financial Eligibility finding you ineligible.
  3. Appeal that notice in the online portal or by emailing [email protected]
  4. Include in your email:
    • Your full name and mailing address
    • The mailing date of the determination that you are appealing
    • Last four digits of your social security number (XXX-XX-1234)
    • Evidence of your earnings from each driving company you work for

You have to report your earnings to the government because the app companies you work for refuse to give your wages to the government.

After you appeal you will receive a confirmation in your portal.  You may also be sent a fact-finding form about your work for the company.  If the Department finds you eligible, you will receive a new Notice of Financial Determination.  If they do not find you eligible, you will receive a Notice of Determination saying that your earnings can not be included. You can then appeal that determination and make your case to a UC Referee.

If you need help with this process, apply for help from Philadelphia Legal Assistance.