Local Uber driver having issues filing for unemployment

BRYAN, Tex. (KBTX)- Uber and Lyft drivers now qualify for unemployment.

Don Lively is an Uber driver in Bryan/College Station. He's retired and has been working for Uber for more than a year, but with the COVID-19 outbreak, he can no longer work.

"It's just really really hard," said Lively.

In Texas, Governor Greg Abbott said these workers qualify under his disaster declaration. Nationally, the Senate's $2 trillion coronavirus bailout bill includes help to gig-economy workers.

Lively says he's been having trouble filing for unemployment.

"This morning I went on the website. I put in all the information and it said they can not accept this employer," said Lively.

He has tried to talk to someone, but that also led him nowhere.

"About two to three dozen phone calls to get through, and I get a message that says to go to the website. So it's an endless loop and there's no way to get through or talk to anybody," said Lively.

The helpline is closed on the weekends. KBTX has reached out to the Texas Workforce Commission but have yet to hear back.