If you have applied for unemployment or the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program through the Washington State ESD please click here to take this short survey on your experience of the application process.
DEMAND FASTER RELIEF NOW!
Over the past few weeks, we have heard from many of our members in Washington who are struggling financially because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
As a self-employed app-based driver (independent contractor), you may be eligible for up to $1,390 per week from the federal government’s Pandemic Unemployment Assistance Program (PUA) starting now through the end of the year. PUA provides up to 39 weeks of financial assistance for workers who are not eligible for regular unemployment benefits. Congress specifically made this financial assistance available to independent contractors, including app-based drivers and other “gig-economy” workers.
Unfortunately, workers in WA are still waiting to see this money because of delays by the Washington State Employment Security Department (ESD).
Even more disturbing, we have seen news reports suggesting that ESD is not planning to use the streamlined process for PUA that other states are setting up, opting instead for a complicated approach that will delay our payments in an attempt to gain leverage in a years-long disagreement with members of the business community. These actions could threaten our status as independent contractors and prevent us from getting federal relief through the SBA and other agencies.
It does not have to be like this! In California, Governor Newsome is setting up a program that allows gig-workers like us to self-certify our status as independent contractors and get access to the PUA funds within 24-48 hours. Washington must do the same!
We need to urge Governor Inslee, and your State legislators to tell ESD to set up a clean and efficient self-certification process -just like the one our colleagues in California will have - to allow us to file for assistance as an independent contractor, and to not use workers as pawns in a dispute with some companies.
We believe in driver independence
At Drive Forward we believe independent drivers are critical to the success of rideshare and app-based delivery services. Our goal is to support independent driver’s businesses through education and advocacy. By educating and empowering our members we give all drivers a voice to help shape their communities and keep Washington in motion. We’re a strong community that supports each other’s success and we demand a say in our future.
Here’s why we want to stay in control of our own businesses:
- We want to stay in control of our businesses
- We want the freedom to choose which platforms to partner with
- We demand the flexibility to drive when and where we want
- We control our earning power and the ability to meet our individual goals
- We use innovative technology to connect riders with safe, dependable transportation and delivery services