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Uber's revised financial assistance for U.S. drivers set to be extended to the rest of the world

Uber Technologies Inc. announced an update on its COVID-19 financial assistance package by way of two new policies for drivers and delivery people in the U.S. and says it will be extended to those on their platform around the world in the next couple of weeks.

Over the past month Uber announced it was providing assistance to drivers and delivery people diagnosed with COVID-19 or ordered to self-quarantine or self-isolate by a doctor or public health authority.

Since then, the company announced via a blog that they had to move quickly to put together the initial policy in such limited time because they believed the most important thing to do was to provide support as soon as possible.

A spokesperson for the ride-sharing giants, said on 10 April: "Since then, many of you [drivers & delivery personnel] have told us that the policy we originally launched supported too few drivers and the process to get funds has been complicated. Today we're revising our policy in 2 ways."

The company has confirmed that one of those two ways will mean they will be focusing their assistance on those who are still actively driving and delivering during the crisis.

The second revised area of the policy will see the eligibility of applicants to include drivers and delivery people who have been told to individually quarantine because they have pre-existing conditions that put them at a higher risk of suffering serious illness from COVID-19.

Uber have said because of the new policy changes, they've chosen to establish a maximum pre-season payment to make the policy more sustainable.

Applying under the new policy

To be eligible, you must provide written documentation from a licensed doctor or government public health official showing that:

  • You have an active case of COVID-19; or

  • You were individually ordered to self-quarantine because you're suspected to have an active case of COVID-19; or

  • You were individually ordered to self-quarantine because you have pre-existing health conditions that put you at risk of serious illness due to COVID-19.

How the financial assistance policy is changing

Eligibility criteria; Previous policy: Drivers and delivery people could be eligible if they had completed one trip or delivery in the 30 days before March 6, when Uber announced the policy.

New policy: You will need to have completed one trip or delivery in the 30 days before the date on your submitted documents or the date you reached out to Uber for financial assistance, whichever is earlier. Uber say they are making this change to focus their support efforts on those who are continuing to drive and deliver and face greater risks during this crisis.

Time period used to calculate payment; Previous policy: Uber calculated the payment for an individual driver or delivery person based on their average weekly earnings over the 6 months before March 6.

New policy: Uber will look at your average weekly earnings over the 3 months before your application for assistance.

Maximum amount of individual payment; Previous policy: Uber paid up to 14 days of support based on an individual driver or delivery person’s historical earnings alone.

New policy: While Uber will continue to offer up to 14 days of financial assistance, they will set a maximum payment amount. The maximum amounts differ by city because they are based on typical earnings for drivers and delivery people in each city.

A spokesperson for Uber, said: “We know that establishing a maximum payment per person means some of the most active drivers and delivery people will receive less than what they typically earned before COVID-19 was widespread. But by expanding eligibility, we hope this assistance can provide a modest form of relief for more drivers and their families. “As our communities face a crisis unlike anything we’ve seen in generations, you are doing essential work, and we are committed to supporting you. We are learning as we go. Because we can’t predict what another month will bring, we will continue to listen, act on feedback, and regularly review our financial assistance policy for changes.

"The new policy is in effect in the US starting today and will be implemented in the rest of the world over the next week and a half."

Image credit: TaxiPoint


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