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FAQ - How taxis and flat rate drivers can apply for unemployment

Our union has been advocating in Olympia and Washington D.C. to make sure taxi and flat-rate drivers are eligible for unemployment benefits. Our work is starting to pay off! Drivers are starting to receive benefits through Washington State's Employment Security Department.

This is the latest as of Monday, April 20, on what you need to know to apply. Be sure to access more detailed instructions on our emergency Unemployment Guide here.

1. I already applied, do I need to apply again?

No. Log on to your account, and look for Covid-19 PUA Claim in your alerts. Have your 2019 tax return or other documentation of your earnings ready to upload. For the full unemployment guide, go here.

2. The website is crashing or it's timing out. What do I do?

Website and phone lines are experiencing tens of thousands of hits, and that is causing problems. Try at off-hours, and always save your application before moving on to the next screen so you don’t lose your work. 

3. What do I need before I apply?

Documentation of your 2019 earnings. You will also need an estimate of your net earnings for each quarter.

4. Do I need to file my 2019 taxes before I apply?

No. You can provide your tax documentation or other documentation of your earnings that you would rely upon to calculate your income.

5. What do I list as my primary occupation?

Taxi Drivers and Chauffeurs. (Code 53-3041.00)

6. What date should I start my claim?

You should start your claim on the first day you began losing work due to Covid-19. You may be eligible for back pay back to the first date of your eligibility.

7. How much will I receive?

If you normally work full-time, you should receive $235 per week plus $600 per week benefit enhancement. Once your earnings are reviewed, you may receive up to $1,390 per week including back pay starting from your date of eligibility.

8. I made a mistake on my application. What do I do?

Call ESD on their toll-free number 1-800-318-6022. You should expect long wait times.

9. Should I request "Standby"?

No. The job search requirement is waived, so you should not request “Standby”.

10. I finished my application and was approved. Do I need to do anything else?

File a claim every week to keep getting paid.


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