Financial help for self-employed during coronavirus

Find out what government financial support is available during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic for people who are self-employed, and how to apply.

Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS)

The Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) was first set up in March 2020, and has gone through some changes since then.

The scheme is currently offering its third grant and opened for applications on 30 November 2020. A fourth grant will become available in February 2021.

If you’re self-employed or a member of a partnership, you can apply for a grant to replace income you’ve lost because the coronavirus has affected your business.

How much you get

Covering the period from November 2020 to January 2021, the grant will amount to 80% of three months’ average monthly trading profits (up to a maximum of £7,500, or £2,500 per month) and be paid as one lump sum. HMRC will use your tax returns from the previous three tax years to calculate how much you should get.

The grant is taxable income and also subject to National Insurance contributions.

Eligibility

There are conditions you have to meet to qualify for SEISS. You must:

  • have been eligible for the first and second SEISS grants (even if you didn’t claim them)
  • declare that you:
    • intend to continue to trade
    • reasonably believe that your trading profits will be significantly reduced
  • have traded in:
    • the 2018–2019 tax year (and have submitted your self-assessment tax return for that year by 23 April 2020)
    • the 2019–2020 tax year
  • be affected by the coronavirus, either because it has:
    • reduced demand for your business while you continue to actively trade
    • caused you to stop trading temporarily

If you’re not eligible for SEISS, you might be able to apply to the Government’s coronavirus loan schemes for financial support. Visit the British Business Bank’s website for information on the Bounce Back Loans Scheme (BBLS) and the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS).

How to apply

You apply for SEISS through the Government’s online service. You must make your application between 30 November 2020 and 29 January 2021.

Claim a grant through the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme

More information

Read the Government’s up-to-date guidance on SEISS

 

Local Restrictions Support Grants

As part of its COVID-19 Winter Plan, the Government will continue to offer the Local Restrictions Support Grant to businesses in England that are forced to close under the revised tier system.

The grant, which is made available through local authorities, is slightly different depending on whether your business is required to close or allowed to remain open while local restrictions are in force.

Local Restrictions Support Grant (Closed)

This grant is to support businesses that had to close during the national lockdown (5 November to 2 December 2020) and during periods of local Tier 3 restrictions.

If your business is eligible, you’ll receive a cash grant from your local council for each 14-day period you’re closed.

The grant will be based on the rateable value of your business property on the first full day of local restrictions and extended to cover each additional 14-day period of closure.

Find more information on the grant and how to apply

Local Restrictions Support Grant (Open)

This grant is for those businesses that are allowed to stay open but whose trade is severely affected by Tier 2 or Tier 3 restrictions.

If your business is eligible, you may be able to claim a cash grant from your local council for each 28‑day period you trade while under local restrictions. The awarding of the funding is at the council’s discretion.

The grant will be based on the rateable value of your business property on the date the local restrictions first come into force.

Find more information on the grant and how to apply

 

Additional Restrictions Grant

As well as the Local Restrictions Support Grants, the Additional Restrictions Grant provides extra funding for businesses that have either closed, or whose trade has suffered, as a result of the local tier restrictions.

Your local council has the discretion to set its own eligibility criteria for the grant.

Find more information on the grant and how to apply

 

Other financial support

You might be able to get a Test and Trace Support Payment of £500 from your local council if you have to self-isolate and doing so means you won’t be able to work (and will lose income as a result).

Find more information on the Test and Trace Support Payment

 

Support for people in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland

The above grants and payments are only available to businesses in England. The governments in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland – the devolved nations – have their own schemes for providing support to businesses in their countries.

You can find more information at the following websites:

 

 

Disclaimer: While we make reasonable efforts to keep the information on this page up to date, we do not guarantee or warrant (implied or otherwise) that it is current, accurate or complete. The information is intended for general information purposes only and does not take into account your personal situation, nor does it constitute legal, financial, tax or other professional advice. You should always consider whether the information is applicable to your particular circumstances and, where appropriate, seek professional or specialist advice or support.

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