Unemployment Guide for Taxi & Flat-Rate Drivers

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Starting on Saturday, April 18th at 8PM, taxi and flat-rate drivers can begin applying for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance. 

STEP 1: APPLY (AND GET DENIED) FOR REGULAR STATE UNEMPLOYMENT

“Get denied so you can be approved.”  It sounds weird, but it’s true.

In order to unlock access to federal Covid-19 PUA (Pandemic Unemployment Assistance), you must first apply (and get denied) for regular state unemployment.

There are two ways:

  1. Online at https://secure.esd.wa.gov/home/(Easiest way. Use computer or laptop to register.)
  2. By phone at 1-800-318-6022 (very long wait times)

Many questions on the application won’t make sense to your job, but answer to the best of your ability. If driving taxi or flat-rate is your only job, DO NOT list any employer on your application

If you experience technical difficulties with your online user account, click here.

STEP 2: SUBMIT A COVID-19 PUA CLAIM & PROVIDE DOCUMENTATION

After you have been denied regular state unemployment, an alert will show up in your online account allowing you to Apply for a Covid-19 PUA Claim. When you apply, you need to submit documentation of your earnings for the past year.  So you should compile that documentation before you apply.  The best types of documentation include your 2019 tax filing, 1099 forms, or other formal tax documentation.

After you have applied, you will start earning $835/week right away, which is the minimum payment under the PUA program ($235/wk base payment + $600/wk enhancement). 

Once a claims agent has reviewed and verified your earnings documentation, you will then be paid your full benefit amount, including retroactive payments back dated to March 29 or your date of eligibility. 

STEP 3: FILE WEEKLY CLAIMS

File a claim every week to continue receiving benefits.

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  • Yulia Issa
    published this page in News 2020-04-20 20:43:55 -0700

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