On this page, we provide information about the financial support self-employed people can get from the Government and local authorities during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS)
If you’re self-employed or a member of a partnership, you can apply for a grant via the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) to replace income you’ve lost because the coronavirus has affected your business.
The scheme was first set up in March 2020, and after providing three grants throughout 2020 is now in the process of offering a fourth and fifth. The Chancellor announced on 3 March 2021 that more than 600,000 people, many of whom became self-employed in 2019–2020, may now be able to claim direct cash grants under SEISS.
The details of SEISS are set out in full on GOV.UK. However, the key information is as follows:
- The fourth SEISS grant will now be worth 80% of average trading profits for three months, capped at £7,500 (in total). The value of the grants has varied since SEISS was launched, but the next grant, which is supposed to cover February, March and April 2021, will be worth 80%. Applications for this grant will be open from late April 2021 until 31 May 2021.
- More than 600,000 newly self-employed people may now be eligible to apply, as the Government has said it will widen its eligibility criteria. While previously you must have filed a tax return for 2018–2019 to apply, you may now be eligible if you have filed a 2019–2020 return.
- A fifth and final SEISS grant will be also be available, covering May to September 2021. The value of the grant will be determined by a turnover test. If your turnover has fallen by 30% or more, you’ll continue to receive the full grant worth 80% of three months’ average trading profits, capped at £7,500 (in total). If your turnover has fallen by less than 30%, you’ll receive a 30% grant of three months’ average trading profits, capped at £2,850 (in total). You can claim the final grant from late July 2021.
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 Loan Scheme (BBLS) and the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS).
How to apply
You apply for SEISS through the Government’s online service.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.