What Are All of The Unemployment & Loan Programs for Lyft & Uber Drivers?

Oh my gosh! The number of unemployment and loan programs during this pandemic will make your head spin. There’s the CARES act, there’s the EIDL advance, there’s the PUA and the PPP, and there’s a whole bunch more acronyms. Confusing!

In this video and article, I’m going to present to you about 10 of these acronyms and tell you exactly what they are, and what they mean to you and me as rideshare drivers. And stick around, because at the end I’m gonna share with you my favorite program.

We have been getting a lot of questions about all the different programs, and in particular about all the different acronyms. For instance: what exactly is the PPP and how is it different than the the EIDL? We’re going to jump on my computer here. I made a nice little presentation for you and we’re going to jump in to all of the key acronyms and what they mean for you.

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Let’s start where it all started, which is with the CARES act: The Coronavirus Aid Relief and Economic Security Act, also known as the CARES Act. This is where the $2 trillion was allocated to help out with the pandemic. This was signed into law on March 27th.

The PPP and HCEA

The Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act. This was also known as ’round two’ because some of the programs ran out of money so fast that they had a second bill that added $350 billion. More about the PPP later.

UI and PUA

You hear UI a lot. That’s just a simply means unemployment insurance. People also refer to it as unemployment benefits. And as it says, it’s a type of state-provided insurance that pays out when you lose your job. And must meet certain eligibility requirements.

Typically independent contractors such as you and me were not entitled to unemployment insurance. But with the CARES Act was the creation of the PUA: Pandemic Unemployment Assistance. This is a program that expanded unemployment insurance coverage in a lot of different ways. One of the ways was that self-employed workers, freelancers, independent contractors, and part time workers, could apply for UI.


The Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation. This is the part of the PUA that says that anybody who’s on unemployment insurance or PUA pandemic unemployment assistance gets an extra $600 per week for the timeframe of March 29th through July 31st.

I’ve been saying that 16 weeks, cause it’s four months, but I looked on my calendar here and it turns out it’s 18 weeks. So it adds up to $10,800. And some of us are starting to see that those funds. I’ve been approved and I can see it in my account on the computer, but I can’t see it in my bank account because I don’t have the card yet.


This is Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation. This is the part of the PUA that says instead of getting the normal 26 weeks, we get an extra 13 weeks on top of that for a total of 39 weeks. So again, they’re just sweetening the deal because so many people are unemployed and this has been such a devastation for so many people. And they realize 26 weeks probably won’t be enough. So they’ve basically added 50% to it. So now it’s a total of 39 weeks.


So the SBA is the Small Business Administration, and think of it as the parent company of some of the loan programs. So the money comes from the government, goes into the SBA and the SBA disperses it through a couple of different programs. Some of you may be familiar with the SBA because you might’ve gotten an email recently. It was an update if you happen to apply for the EIDL, which we’re going to get into that in a second.


The Economic Injury Disaster Loan program. It’s a loan program that can provide up to $2 million of financial assistance for small private or nonprofit organizations that suffer substantial economic injury due to a disaster. It has a component to it called the EIDL advance, which is what all of us have applied for.

Initially it was promoted as a $10,000 advance. It’s actually a grant, which means if you get it, you don’t have to pay it back. Then they changed the rules and they said we’re going to give you a thousand dollars per employee. Now, for most of us, that’s one cause we’re the only employee. And on Monday, many, many drivers reported to us that they got the $1,000 grant.

That was myself included. That’s basically a free money and you don’t have to worry about paying that back. And if you happen to put 10 employees, you would’ve gotten $10,000 a free and clear, but you would probably would have been lying about it. So best you honest and put the amount of that’s accurate for you. You never know who’s going to be checking this out years down the road. Right? You don’t want to be looking over your shoulder.


PPP is the Paycheck Protection Program. This is a new loan program that provides loans on behalf of the SBA for small businesses. It’s very much like the EIDL, it’s a small business program, but the difference with this one is that it’s got a forgivable component to it which means that as long as you use the money for certain activities such as paying payroll, then it’s forgivable.

Meaning you don’t have to pay it back. Now for most of us, if we were to get this loan, we would just write a check to ourselves and boom, that’s paying payroll and we wouldn’t have to pay the money back. It says that the bottom paragraph that, “..the amount that is forgiven will be determined by the amount borrowers spends during the eight week period, on payroll, interest, rent and utilities with no more than 25% of the loan amounts spent on non-payroll costs.

So as long as you just cut yourself a check for the full amount, you’re not going to have to pay that one back. To apply for the PPP, I have recommended a company called Lendio.com. You don’t have to have a previous relationship with them and they will submit your application. Basically you’re looking at getting two a half times your monthly payroll.


So you’ve heard me say EDD quite a bit because I’m in California, and you’re wondering what the agency is in your state? It’s probably called something different, but our EDD is the Employment Development Department. It’s a California department and it handles all of the unemployment insurance benefits and now also the PUA.

What’s My Favorite Program?

I promised you my favorite acronym, and I’ve already shown it to you: It’s the FPUC. The Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation. And why is that my favorite? Well, I circled it in red there: $10,800.  That’s pretty great. That’s the most likely money I’m going to get.

The PPP, that’s a shot in the dark. But the FPUC looks pretty solid at five figures, and that’s on top of a weekly amount you’ll get fro UI. But $600 a week for 18 weeks is pretty sweet deal. Now you’re up to date on all the acronyms.

Key Takeaways

Knowledge is good. It’s good to understand all these things and eliminate a lot of the confusion. If you still have questions, you know, put them in the comments below and again, and be sure and share your successes. We’d love to hear how drivers are getting some of this money from the government. You all go out and have a great day and I’ll catch you next time.

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