COVID 19 - Personal Support for Self-employed

Self-Employment Income Support Scheme

The Self Employment Income Support Scheme supports self-employed individuals (including members of partnerships) whose income has been negatively impacted by COVID-19.

Claims for the third SEISS grant have now closed.

The fourth SEISS grant will be set at 80% of 3 months’ average trading profits, paid out in a single instalment, capped at £7,500. Eligibility for the scheme will now be based on your submitted 2019 to 2020 tax return. This may also affect the amount of the fourth grant which could be higher or lower than previous grants you may have received.

The fourth grant will be open to those who became self-employed in tax year 2019 to 2020 and meet the eligibility criteria. The online claims service for the fourth grant will be available from late April 2021 until 31 May 2021.

In order to claim, you must reasonably believe that you will suffer a significant reduction in trading profits due to reduced business activity, capacity or demand or inability to trade due to coronavirus during the specified period. You must keep evidence that shows how your business has been impacted by coronavirus resulting in less business activity than otherwise expected.

Before you make a claim, you must decide if the impact on your business will cause a significant reduction in your trading profits for the tax year you report them in. You should wait until you have a reasonable belief that your trading profits are going to be significantly reduced, before you make your claim.

The grant will be subject to Income Tax and National Insurance contributions but does not need to be repaid.

You can claim if you’re a self-employed individual or a member of a partnership and you:

  • have submitted your Self Assessment tax return for the tax year 2018 to 2019
  • traded in the tax year 2019 to 2020
  • are trading when you apply, or would be except for coronavirus
  • intend to continue to trade in the tax year 2020 to 2021
  • have lost trading profits due to coronavirus

You will need to confirm to HMRC that your business has been adversely affected by coronavirus. HMRC will as usual use a risk based approach to compliance.

If you have not submitted your Self Assessment tax return for the tax year 2018 to 2019, you must do this by 23 April 2020 or you will not be able to claim.

Grants under the Self Employment Income Support Scheme are not counted as ‘access to public funds’, and you can claim the grant on all categories of work visa. You should not claim the grant if you’re above the state aid limits or operating a trade through a trust.

The grant should be treated as income received on the day it’s paid for any Universal Credit or tax credit changes that you will need to report on.

Guidance on how different circumstances affect your eligibility has been updated with more information on what you must confirm to HMRC if you’re non-resident or have chosen the remittance basis.

Additional Financial Support

Please see below a short guide to applying for financial support if you are self-employed and affected by the Coronavirus/COVID-19 outbreak. This advice will be updated as necessary.

Key points:

  • If you are affected by the Coronavirus you will be able to apply for Universal Credit and can receive up to a month’s advance upfront without physically attending a Job Centre.
  • If you are suffering from the Coronavirus or are required to stay at home and want to apply for ESA, the usual 7 waiting days for new claimants will not apply. ESA will be payable from day one.
  • Self-employed claimants on Universal Credit who are required to stay at home or are ill as a result of the Coronavirus will not have a Minimum Income Floor (an assumed level of income) applied for a period of time while affected.

Understanding Universal Credit during Coronavirus

How to claim Universal Credit:

You will be expected to make your Universal Credit claim online.

Where this is not possible call the DWP helpline (free) on:

Tel : 0800 328 5644
Text : 0800 328 1344

Further Information and Support:

Citizens Advice

Holiday payments from mortgage/loan providers

Reduce your energy bills

The Turn2us Coronavirus Grant Fund has been set up to support people who have lost their income as a result of the Coronavirus and to meet their immediate basic household expenses.


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