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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.

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 four grants throughout 2020 is now in the process of offering a 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:

  • A fifth and final SEISS grant is available, covering May to September 2021. The value of the grant is 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.
  • While with previous grants, 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.

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 for SEISS

You apply for SEISS through the Government’s online service.

Claim a grant through the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme

Additional Restrictions Grant

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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