Driver Announcements

An update on COVID-19 financial assistance

April 16 / South Africa

The last few weeks have been hard for everyone. But we know they have been particularly tough for drivers and delivery people like you. With fewer people moving around, many of you are earning less than usual. During this time we  are working hard to understand how we can service the South African communities’ needs.

We are working with preferred vehicle partners to ask that they support drivers in need by reducing the overall cost of their vehicles. Recently, we announced a delivery solution for businesses looking at either introducing or further extending on their logistic efforts. This solution leverages off the driver-partner network to further increase the reach, speed and the amount of deliveries of essential goods that can be done daily. Uber Eats launched the delivery of essentials goods, including that of groceries, toiletries and select medication, that can now be purchased and delivered via the app. We’re also looking at ways to assist you in finding the correct sources of information, which would allow you to request financial assistance from the government.

If you’re still on the road, you are providing critical services during this period—like getting essential workers to their jobs or getting food to people at home. To help keep you safe, we are assisting with sanitiser reimbursement and working on sending details on how to make cloth face masks at home. We also launched COVID-19 Resources, an in-app resource centre dedicated to safety information and updates from us.

Over the last month, we’ve provided financial 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. 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 and delivering during this crisis.
  2. We are expanding eligibility to include drivers and delivery people who have been told to individually quarantine 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 and delivery people in South Africa starting today. If you are a driver or a courier under a fleet partner, the financial assistance will be paid to the fleet partner’s account. You will have to ask your fleet partner to transfer this amount to you.

Applying for assistance 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 preexisting health conditions that put you at higher risk of serious illness due to COVID-19

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 criteriaDrivers and delivery people could be eligible if they had completed one trip or delivery in the 30 days before March 6, when we announced the policy. You will need to have completed at least one trip or delivery in the 30 days before the date on your submitted documents or the date you first 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 deliver and face greater risks during this crisis.
Time period used to calculate paymentWe calculated the payment for an individual driver or delivery person based on their average weekly earnings over the 6 months before March 6. We’ll look at your average weekly earnings over the 3 months before your application for assistance.
Maximum amount of individual paymentWe paid up to 14 days of support based on an individual driver or delivery person’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 city.

We know that establishing a maximum payment per person means some of the most active drivers and couriers 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.

Please note, we will also continue our policy of giving you a minimum payment of R350 if you drive or deliver in South Africa even if you have only done one trip in the 30 days prior to your application. 

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 and act on feedback, and we’ll return with an updated financial assistance policy on or after May 10, 2020.

The details above summarize our global approach to financial assistance for drivers and delivery people 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.