An update on COVID-19 financial assistance

April 17, 2020 / India

The last few weeks have been hard for everyone. But we know they have been particularly tough for drivers like you.

With India in lockdown, most of your earnings have come to a standstill. In response, we launched a new Work Hub in the Driver app, which can help you find more work opportunities, these could even be at another company. We’re also developing resources to help make it easier for you to request financial assistance now available from many governments.

If you’re still on the road for services such as Uber Medic, Uber Essentials or Deliveries, you are providing critical services during this period—like getting essential workers to their jobs or getting essential items to people at home. To help keep you safe, we’ve begun distributing free disinfectants to drivers, and we’ve purchased millions of earloop face masks. Availability is limited, but we’re working hard to get these supplies to drivers, starting with cities in the most need. We also launched COVID-19 Resources, an in-app resource center dedicated to safety information and updates from us.

Over the last month, we’ve provided financial assistance to drivers diagnosed with COVID-19 or ordered to self-quarantine or self-isolate by doctors from government medical institutions. We moved quickly to announce this policy, even though acting quickly meant moving forward with limited information because we believed the most important thing to do was to provide support as soon as possible. 

Since then, many of you have told us that the policy we originally launched supported too few drivers and the process to get funds has been complicated and confusing. Today we’re revising our policy in 2 ways:

  1. We are focusing our assistance on those of you who are still actively driving during this crisis.
  2. We are expanding eligibility to include drivers who have been told to individually quarantine by doctors from government medical institutions because they have preexisting conditions that put them at a higher risk of suffering serious illness from COVID-19. Because this will mean more people are eligible than under the old policy, we’ve chosen to establish a maximum per-person payment to make this new policy more sustainable.

The new policy is in effect for all active drivers in India starting today. 

Applying for assistance under the new policy

To be eligible, you must provide written documentation from a 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 preexisting health conditions that put you at higher risk of serious illness due to COVID-19
  • You are not eligible for claims under the Hospicash Policy facilitated by Uber

Instructions on how to apply for financial assistance are here. We’ll aim to process your request within 7 business days. Before you apply, please carefully review all the requirements listed in the site linked above. When you apply, your Uber account will be temporarily put on hold as a safety measure to help limit the spread of COVID-19. Even though your account is on hold, we’ll still need to review your application to determine if you qualify for financial assistance. 

How our financial assistance policy is changing

Previous policyNew policy

Eligibility criteria
Drivers could be eligible if they had completed one trip in the 30 days before March 6, when we announced the policy.You will need to have completed one trip 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. We’re making this change to focus our support efforts on those of you who are continuing to drive and face greater risks during this crisis.

Time period used to calculate payment
We calculated the payment for an individual driver person based on their average weekly earnings over the six months before 6th March. We’ll look at your average weekly earnings over the 3 months before your application for assistance.

Maximum amount of individual payment
We paid up to 14 days of support based on an individual driver’s historical earnings alone. While we will continue to offer up to 14 days of financial assistance, we will set a maximum payment amount. The maximum amounts differ by the city because they are based on typical earnings for drivers in each city.

We know that establishing a maximum payment per person means some of the most active drivers 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 details above summarize our global approach to financial assistance for drivers should they become diagnosed with COVID-19 or get placed in individual quarantine by a public health authority. Individual countries may have specific requirements needed to comply with local laws, regulations, or business practices on issues such as documentation from medical providers, public health orders, or taxation of financial assistance payments. Specific country requirements are not covered on this site, and the eligibility criteria and assistance details provided above are subject to Uber’s need to make such country-specific adjustments. India and the United Kingdom are subject to different policies. Given that circumstances are changing rapidly, we also may modify this approach, including the amount of assistance given and the criteria, as conditions change.