18 Mar Financial Benefits for TLC Drivers
Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, we understand that TLC drivers in New York have been and continue to be greatly affected. With fewer rides being requested and the City’s changing restrictions, drivers’ income from trips have taken a huge hit but there is financial support for you out there.
Please note: the following information is correct as far as INSHUR are aware at the time of writing (March 17 2021). We recommend you seek personalized advice to ensure you understand what you are eligible for.
The financial benefits available can be quite confusing. INSHUR aims to help you wherever possible, so we’ve compiled a simple list with information on each scheme and how to apply.
First up, there are a lot of acronyms that you may have heard if you’ve tried to navigate the help available before, so we’ve laid them out for you:
— DOL – Department of Labor
— EIDL – Economic Injury Disaster Loan
— FPUC – Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation
— PPP – Payment Protection Program
— PUA – Pandemic Unemployment Assistance
— SBA – Small Business Administration
— UI – Unemployment Insurance
EIDL (Economic Injury Disaster Loan)
This is a long-term, low-interest loan from the Small Business Administration (SBA) that provides economic relief to small businesses that are currently experiencing a loss of revenue temporarily during the pandemic.
Targeted EIDL Advance (Grant)
The COVID-19 Targeted EIDL Advance was signed into law on December 27, 2020, as part of the Economic Aid to Hard-Hit Small Businesses, Non-Profits, and Venues Act. The grant provides businesses in low-income communities with advance funds of up to $10,000 to ensure small business continuity, adaptation, and resiliency.
Click here for more information. SBA will reach out to those who qualify.
PUA (Pandemic Unemployment Assistance) / FPUC (Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation)
This is a federal program that was included in the CARES (Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security) Act. It provides a weekly benefit of up to $600 for Americans who are unable to work due to the pandemic but do not qualify for traditional Unemployment Insurance.
If you qualify for PUA, you may be eligible to receive:
- Up to 57 weeks of PUA benefits.
- An additional $600/week for weeks ending 4/5/2020 to 7/26/2020.
- An additional $300/week for weeks ending 1/3/2021 to 3/14/2021.
New Yorkers who are enrolled in the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program do not need to reapply for benefits if they continue to be unemployed when they reach the end of their initial benefit year. Instead, they should certify weekly while still unemployed.
PPP (Paycheck Protection Program)
PPP loans can cover the costs of payroll, employee compensation, continuation of health care benefits, utilities, commercial rent and mortgage interest.
2021 loans are now available for first time and second draw borrowers. The loans are low-interest and 100% federally guaranteed, with a 2-year term for loans made before 6/5/2020 or a 5-year term for loans made after 6/5/2020. Borrowers can apply for a loan of up to a maximum of $10 million (or $2 million for second draw borrowers) from participating lenders.
UI (Unemployment Insurance)
This is a federal program included in the CARES (Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security) Act and is the traditional financial aid for people who are unemployed. However, people who are self-employed, independent contractors and farmers could be ineligible for UI, so PUA extends this benefit to those people. New Yorkers who are receiving regular Unemployment Insurance benefits are eligible for up to 70 weeks of benefits. (This is made up of 26 weeks of regular benefits, up to 24 weeks of Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) and up to 20 weeks of Extended Benefits (EB).
You must certify for your weekly payments in order to receive them. You can do this online here. You can also learn how to certify over the phone in the same place.
SBA has a helpful tool for searching for coronavirus relief options that they offer, as well as options from other organizations.
It should be noted that as of December 27, 2020, no new Lost Wage Assistance (LWA) applications are being accepted, per federal law.
That was a quick summary of the financial benefits that are potentially out there for you. We recommend following the official guidance and information very carefully.
Additionally, you can click here for a useful article that explains how PPP, PUA and EIDL can work together, as it can get really complicated when you start using more than one program.
If you are struggling with your financial situation, you can book a free one-to-one financial counselling session via the New York City Department of Consumer Affairs by clicking here.
Other useful resources from INSHUR that aim to help TLC drivers in NYC:
- What you need to know about LaGuardia, Newark and JFK during COVID-19
- Where you can find a restroom during New York’s coronavirus lockdown
- Information on face coverings for drivers
- How rideshare drivers can transport riders safely during a pandemic
- How to stay safe during the coronavirus outbreak