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DoorDash Unemployment: Who Is Eligible & How To Apply

Learn how unemployment works for Dashers, including if you're eligible while Dashing, how driving impacts current benefits, and more.

Key Takeaways

  • DoorDash drivers, as independent contractors, usually don’t qualify for unemployment.
  • Earnings from DoorDash can affect existing unemployment benefits.
  • Income must be reported; misreporting can lead to legal issues.
  • CARES Act temporarily allowed gig workers unemployment benefits during the pandemic.

Can You Get Unemployment as a DoorDash Dasher?

Gig workers, including DoorDash drivers, typically have an independent contractor status and do not usually qualify for unemployment benefits.

However, specific circumstances, like changes in legislation during the pandemic, allowed contractors to qualify for unemployment under certain conditions.

Additionally, in exceptional situations such as natural disasters, DoorDash drivers may be eligible for Disaster Unemployment Assistance.

For example, Dashers in Louisiana affected by Hurricane Ida could apply for DUA if they met certain criteria, such as being in a designated disaster area and unable to work due to the disaster.

Who Is Eligible for Unemployment?

For every state, the requirements might slightly differ. For example, if you live in California and want to apply for unemployment as a DoorDasher, here are the requirements:

  • Be totally or partially unemployed
  • Be physically able to work
  • Be available to work
  • Be unemployed through no fault of your own
  • Be ready and willing to accept work immediately
  • Have earned enough wages during the base period

If you fulfill all these requirements, you can file for unemployment benefits. Otherwise, you won’t be granted any benefits.

Can Driving With DoorDash Impact Existing Employment Benefits?

Driving with DoorDash can potentially impact unemployment benefits. If you earn more from DoorDash than you receive from unemployment benefits, you may become ineligible for these benefits.

Any income earned from DoorDash, especially if it’s a part-time job, will lead to an adjustment in your unemployment benefits, often resulting in a reduction.

However, this eligibility varies by state. Some states allow you to earn a certain percentage of your unemployment benefit without losing it, while others have stricter regulations.

How to Report Your Income

When filing an unemployment claim, the officer will provide you with a link to an online app where you’ll be required to add all the earnings. You’ll have to report the earnings monthly, without the need to visit the office in person.

You’ll also have to report all the changes in your employment status. For example, if you lose your part-time job, you have to state that. Even if you change from one gig to another, you have to inform your unemployment officer about it.

When you gain a full-time job, you must stop requesting weekly benefits to avoid being charged with unemployment fraud.

Brett’s Take: Thoughts From an Expert

First off, ALWAYS report your income while on unemployment.

It is mandatory to report any income earned from DoorDash while receiving unemployment benefits. Don’t even consider trying to avoid it.

Some DoorDash drivers use creative accounting to minimize reported earnings and maintain unemployment benefits. However, this practice is risky and can lead to legal consequences.

Misreporting earnings from DoorDash while receiving unemployment benefits is considered fraud and can result in serious legal repercussions, including fines and repayment of benefits.

Second, carefully consider taking on additional gigs and earning a side income.

Some individuals view DoorDash as a supplementary income source during unemployment, but the earnings can sometimes be considered substantial enough to disqualify them from unemployment benefits.

It’s important to understand how even short-term gig work can impact your benefits status before taking on the role.

How to Apply for Unemployment as a Dasher

If you fulfill all the requirements while working as a Dasher, you must follow four easy steps to file an unemployment claim.

Step 1: Check Your State’s Program

Find and contact your state’s unemployment insurance program as soon as you’re unemployed. While there’s no time frame, the faster you do it, the better for you.

Step 2: File the Unemployment Status

File the unemployment status. Generally, you should file the claim with the state you’ve worked in.

If you worked in a state other than the one you currently live in or worked in multiple states at once, ask for more information about your status. You can send an email to your state’s unemployment insurance program.

Step 3: Gather Your Documents

When filing the claim, you’ll be asked to bring multiple documents that’ll prove your former employment. To make sure your claim isn’t unnecessarily delayed, obtain all the documents before filing the claim.

Step 4: Wait for Approval

It generally takes up to two weeks from the filing of your claim to receiving your first beneficial check. Now, you only have to wait for them.

Unemployment Eligibility for Gig Workers Under the CARES Act

Under the CARES Act, a $2 trillion relief package, gig workers such as independent contractors, freelancers, and self-employed individuals became eligible for unemployment benefits due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

This was a notable expansion of the unemployment insurance system in 2020, which included an extra $600 weekly on top of the standard unemployment payments.

The Act extended benefits until September 6, 2021, and increased the duration of unemployment insurance by 13 weeks, allowing people to receive benefits for over nine months.

Eligibility criteria varied by state, often including minimum earnings, legal work authorization in the U.S., being unemployed or having reduced work hours, and readiness to accept job offers.

The Act and its associated Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program, offering 39 weeks of benefits, concluded on September 6, 2021.

After this date, those still unemployed could seek benefits under the PUA program.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can You Have Multiple Part-Time Jobs While Receiving Unemployment?

Yes, as long as you don’t get over a certain earnings threshold, you can still receive unemployment benefits.

However, if you work multiple part-time jobs but receive more than the threshold in your state, you must stop requesting unemployment benefits to avoid future consequences.

Are DoorDash Drivers Full-Time Employees?

No, DoorDash drivers are independent contractors. You can’t work as a full-time driver for DoorDash, as the company only acquires full-time employees for their offices.

Wrapping Up

As a Dasher, you’re eligible to get unemployment, but you need to make sure to report your earnings. This way, you’ll get the most out of your benefits while keeping this legal.

1 thought on “DoorDash Unemployment: Who Is Eligible & How To Apply”

  1. Are there any benefits offered from DOL if I am unable to work due to breaking my ankle and getting surgery while working for doordash?


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