FAQ
What are U-Brix?

U-Brix are "time dollars" that you can choose to earn and spend in addition to, or instead of, money. One U-Brix is equal to one hour of work. We suggest new U-Helpers accept both U-Brix and cash to reach the largest pool of hirers. You can set a monthly limit for the number of U-Brix you earn on your Add Services page.  

Introducing U-Brix
What are U-Brix?

U-Brix are "time dollars" that you can choose to earn and spend in addition to, or instead of, money. One U-Brix is equal to one hour of work. We suggest new U-Helpers accept both U-Brix and cash to reach the largest pool of hirers. You can set a monthly limit for the number of U-Brix you earn on your Add Services page.
 

Are U-Brix Taxable?

Unlike bartering, equal exchanges of time through a time bank like The Urban Helper's are not taxable. We are not required to issue Form 1099-B to our members and are not obligated to file a copy with the IRS, making the process of giving and finding the help you need straightforward and easy.

Are there other methods of payment available?

Yes! You may choose to earn or spend U-Brix, dollars, or a combination—whatever is the best for you!

Can I donate my U-Brix?

You can donate U-Brix to anyone in the Urban Helper community or to one of the organizations on our approved nonprofit list.

Can I donate my U-Brix to someone who is not a member?

Yes! You may choose to pay or earn U-Brix, dollars, or a combination—whatever is the best for you!

What is the Value of a U-brix?

One U-Brix = 1 Hour of work, spent or earned.  

Why is my hour of work the same value of someone else’s

When thinking about time banking people often have a gut reaction that their time is worth more or less than someone else’s.  

The following are some different ways to look at this:

If you are not busy why not choose to help someone who could not typically afford your services by accepting U-Brix rather than doing it pro-bono, devaluing your rate or undercutting the market.

There are more people that cannot afford your services than can. If you are underemployed then accepting U-Brix from this larger, untapped customer base can lead to future work or referrals and be worthwhile.

The personal worth of a U-Brix is a little different from it’s Value of one hour. For example, if you spend it on getting a chore done when you have plenty of time on your hands then it has very little personal worth. Spend it on the same chore when you are very busy and it has great personal worth.

You don’t have to earn U-Brix doing what you do for a profession.  U-Brix are also there to earn and spend sharing the things you love to do and would like to learn or receive.

 

Do I begin with a balance of U-Brix

Yes, when you register to use the Platform you are given 2 U-Brix to get started with.  To spend the U-Brix you need to sign up as a U-Helper.

How do I accumulate U-Brix
When helping someone for U-Brix you invoice, through the app, just like you do when earning $.  It is seamless and easy.  The U-Brix are deposited into your account on the platform.  By going to transactions, you can see your incoming U-Brix, outgoing U-Brix and your current balance.  It's just like a regular bank account ledger but for U-Brix!
Urban Helpers
How do I become an Urban Helper?

It's simple and free to become a U-Helper. You can sign up to accept $, U-Brix, or both. As a starting bonus, you receive 5 free U-Brix to spend. 


 
Are U-helpers employees of the Urban Helper?

No. The Urban Helper is merely a platform that facilitates the exchange of services among its users. All U-Helpers are independent contractors, to the extent they accept credit card payments or U-Brix in exchange for services. In no circumstances are U-Helpers employees of The Urban Helper, whether they accept cash or U-Brix.

I’m a licensed and bonded worker—can I become a U-Helper?

Yes, you can, and for no extra charge. If your service requires a crew, then your crew members will need to be registered as U-Helpers. Your crew will be paid, by cash or U-Brix, by you.

No one has hired me. What can I do?

In every area we operate, we have at least one non-profit that needs on-going help and has U-Brix to spend. Please search our database for a non-profit near you and reach out to them via our website. 

Do U-helpers with Background Checks get requests for work more than those without?

Yes, you are more likely to receive requests for service.  These background checks need to be performed by Checkr.com via The Urban Helper website and are offered at a discounted rate. 

I am a visitor to this country. Can I become an Urban Helper
Yes, visitors can earn U-Brix but not dollars.  To earn dollars on The Urban Helper, you must either be a citizen; a permanent resident alien, green card holder; or have a valid work visa.  Visitors cannot be background checked at this time.
 
Who are U-Helpers
U-Helpers are independent contractors who are available to help you by the hour for a particular task.  They can work virtually or in person and can accept $, via our secure payment portal, and/or Ubrix via our Time Bank. 
What is a backup U-Helper?

Backup U-Helpers will be automatically notified if your first choice U-Helper does not respond within the time you specified on the Job Details page or if your first choice U-Helper declines the job. You may choose as many backup U-Helpers as you like. 

General
How does The Urban Helper Work?

The Urban Helper is a platform that connects service providers (U-Helpers) with people who want to hire them.
 
You can be a U-Helper, you can hire U-Helpers, or both! You can pay or be paid in dollars through our secure payment portal or through our Time Bank using U-Brix (time dollars).
To provide services, you need to register as a U-Helper.
 
If you only want to hire helpers, just search for the services you need and hire a U-Helper.
 
 

What’s the difference between time banking and bartering?

When you barter, a value is placed on the goods or services you exchange. For example, if we decide that I will give you two apples for your one banana, the apples and banana take on a value in this transaction: one banana is worth two apples. The same applies to bartering services. If we decide that my services are worth half the value of your services, I’ll work two hours for your one hour. A time bank does not assign values for transactions, but instead uses the equal exchange of units that carry a constant value. The Urban Helper uses U-Brix units, which function as “time dollars,” where 1 U-brix always equals 1 hour, regardless of the service provided. The exchange is therefore equal and non-taxable.
 
Additionally, because The Urban Helper is a time bank, not a bartering exchange, The Urban Helper is not required to report transactions involving U-Brix to the IRS.
 

Do I have to help the same person that helped me?
No. Because you are not exchanging services with the U-Helpers you hire, you can spend your U-Brix in any way—and with any U-Helper—you like.
Can I accept both U-Brix and dollars for a job / Can I pay for a job in both U-Brix and dollars?

Yes! If someone who has hired you for a job does not have enough U-Brix in his or her account to complete a job, then they can hire you in a separate transaction to finish the job for dollars. The time a job will take is discussed and agreed upon in text chat before the job commences.

What are The Urban Helper's fees?

It is our mission to make the Urban Helper as financially accessible to as many people as possible.

Earning U-Brix and $ is always free to the Urban Helper.

In our current phase there are no fees for spending U-Brix on the Platform. When this period is over the following Fee will apply. When you spend U-Brix on The Urban Helper, then we charge a nominal fee of $5 for a 30-day period. It does not matter if you spend 1 U-Brix or 100 U-Brix in that time period—the charge is only $5. BONUS: you are not charged for using the 2 U-Brix you were awarded for joining the platform! 
 
On credit card transactions, Urban Helper fees are built into the hourly rate. The hirer is charged 3% + $0.30 per transaction to cover the credit card processing fees. 

The credit card processing fees on reimbursements are 3% + $0.30 and are paid for by the hirer. There is no charge by The Urban Helper for reimbursements

 

 



 

Non-Profits

Helping non-profits that accept U-Brix trumps volunteering alone.  You still get the good internal feel after helping but walk away with some U-Brix to spend on what you need.  The non-profits are donated U-Brix by The Urban Helper.  If you have a non-profit you would like us to consider, please let us know by emailing nonprofit@theurbanhelper.com Please note we retain the right to refuse membership to any organization.   We donate U-Brix to non-profits that allign with our core values.

U-Helper didn't show up?

Please try to contact the U-helper yourself.  If they do not respond or arrive, let us know.  Stuff happens, but if a U-helper makes this a pattern, they will no longer be eligible to provide services.

Why should friends join The Urban Helper?
Sometimes it gets a bit hard to keep asking the same friends for help, and sometimes friendships can suffer when one party feels they are doing more than their fair share.  U-Brix allow you to help friends but also gain parity.  Plus, let’s face it - you may entrust your kids to a friend’s care, but you really don’t want to ever take care of theirs!  With The Urban Helper, you don’t have to directly reciprocate with the person that helped you.
 
Review Policy
The Urban Helper believes that everyone has value and deserves to be treated with respect.
The integrity and worth of our platform relies on all community members — both Helpers and Hirers, who reflect our core values (see our mission statement) in their honest and transparent reviews.

We reserve the right to remove any review that does not reflect the spirit of The Urban Helper community. For guidance, see our content policy and community rules.

Urban Helpers and Hirers can review each other and have five days to do so. Neither party sees the others review before both parties have published or before the five days have expired. All reviews on The Urban Helper are verified reviews, which means that they can only be given by people who have either hired the Helper they are reviewing or vice versa.

Reviewing a Community Member
  • When writing a review please be straightforward and to the point, use a kind tone, and offer constructive feedback.
  • The reviews you leave, either as a Hirer or a U-Helper, not only impact future opportunities on our platform for both parties, but are also available for other U-Helpers or Hirers in our community to view.
  • Hirers: Once you approve a U-Helpers invoice (either U-Brix or $), you will be given the option to leave a review and a rating of 1 to 5 stars or
  • U-Helpers: Once you have had your invoice approved you will also be given the option to leave a review and a rating of 1 to 5 stars.
  • U-Helpers and Hirers have the right to respond to any review.
  • Responses to reviews are public and viewable by potential Hirers or U-Helpers in your community, so please think carefully about how you respond.
  • Not every review will be entirely positive. If a reviewer has included constructive feedback in a review, take a moment to thoughtfully consider the reviewers point of view.
  • If you feel that the feedback is valid, consider providing information on how you plan to improve; apologize if appropriate.
  • If you feel that the feedback is unfair, politely state your case.
  • Do not contact a Hirer or U-Helper to discuss a review you are unhappy with. Either respond to the review using our Core Values to guide you, or, if you feel that the review is a violation of our posted policies, flag the review.
  • Reviews are encouraged but not required. If you do not rate or leave a review we will send you one follow up reminder via email.
  • If someone you have worked with asks you to remove a review, please do not respond. Contact us immediately at reviews@theurbanhelper.com
Review Moderation: When We Get Involved
  • If you feel that a review violates the policies and spirit of The Urban Helper, please flag the review within 48 hours of its posting. It will be taken down and reviewed by our staff.
  • Do not contact a Hirer or U-Helper to discuss a review you are unhappy with. If you feel that the review is a violation of our posted policies, flag the review.
  • We reserve the right to remove any review or review response that we feel does not reflect the spirit of the The Urban Helper community.
  • We will review postings that we feel violate our policies as well as those flagged by the community for review.
  • Postings that are under review will be hidden during the review process.
  • If there is a possible Content Policy violation we will contact both parties to discuss. The poster may be given the opportunity to alter their post.
  • The Urban Helper will make the final decision to remove or repost a review. The Urban Helper’s decisions are final.
How do I apply to be added to the approved nonprofit list?

Please email 

What is the cancellation policy?

A booked job can be cancelled up to 24 hours prior to the start date without penalty. Jobs cancelled within 24 hours of the start date will carry a 1-hour penalty for the cancelling party. The penalty will be charged based on the currency, U-Brix or dollars, used for the booking.

For jobs booked within 24 hours of the start date there is a 10-minute grace period during which either party can cancel without penalty. After the grace period, The canceling party will be charged a 1-hour penalty.

Why should I complete all transactions through The Urban Helper?
Complete All Transactions Through The Urban Helper

When you signed up for The Urban Helper, you agreed to complete your transactions with community members through the site. Staying within The Urban Helper gives you important benefits and peace of mind. 

  • Payment Protection. We place a hold on any fee (dollars or U-Brix) detailed in an agreed-upon job proposal. This means you don't have to chase after slow or deadbeat hirers for work you've done.
  • Assistance with Conflicts. We can help mediate conflicts or disagreements about a work or payments.
  • We will know where you were working and who you were working with in the event of an emergency.
  • Reviews from community members increase your chances of getting hired again. Only jobs completed through the site are open for reviews.
  • Report any attempts by community users to hire or pay you outside of the site. Doing so is a violation of our Terms of Serviceand involved accounts will be suspended from the platform.
Safety
Background Checks

Firstly, we highly recommend that you take all the precautions you typically use when contracting with a stranger.

The Urban Helper performs random background checks on its U-Helpers at no expense to the U-Helper. 

To keep our fees affordable, we do not background check everyone who signs up for The Urban Helper. Many people who sign up will not end up using the site; some jobs, like standing in line for someone, may not require a background check, and some U-Helpers you may already know and trust.

Passing a background check can increase the chances of being hired and of getting a response to a job query. Any Hirer can request and pay for a check on a U-Helper who is under consideration for work; U-Helpers may request and pay for a check on a Hirer they are considering working for.

To read our full Background Policy please click here.

 

 Basic  Basic - $12

Identity Verification

 

Sex Offender Registry Check

 

Global Watch List Check

 

National Criminal Records Check

 

Basic Driver  Basic Driver - $20

Identity Verification

 

Sex Offender Registry Check

 

Global Watch List Check

 

National Criminal Records Check

 

Driving Records Check

 

Comprehensive  Comprehensive - $38

Identity Verification

 

Sex Offender Registry Check

 

Global Watch List Check

 

National Criminal Records Check

 

Unlimited County Criminal Records Check

 

Pro Driver  Comprehensive Driver - $48

Identity Verification

 

Sex Offender Registry Check

 

Global Watch List Check

 

National Criminal Records Check

 

Unlimited County Criminal Records Check

 

Driving Records Check

 





Is there any Insurance coverage through The Urban Helper?

No. To keep costs to you low we do not offer any insurance.  You need to follow all the normal practices you would in contracting someone directly.  This website only makes introductions, facilitates payment and keeps records.