Self-Employment Support

Support for Self-Employed People:

We know many self-employed people are deeply anxious about the support available for them. Alongside other measures, the Chancellor has announced a new Self-Employment Income Support Scheme – helping many of our country’s self-employed workers adversely affected by Covid-19: the musicians, the sound engineers, the plumbers, the electricians, the taxi drivers, the hairdressers, the childminders, and many others.

Self-Employment Income Support Scheme:

  • Through this scheme, the Government will pay self-employed people a grant worth 80 per cent of their average monthly trading profits over the last three years, up to £2,500 a month. The grant will be paid out in a single instalment covering 3 months and is capped at £7,500 altogether. The value of the grant is based on a 3-year average of trading/partnership trading profits, from the tax years 2016-17 to 2018-19.
  • The scheme will only be open for those with average trading profits up to £50,000, who make the majority of their income from self-employment, and, to minimise fraud, who are already in self-employment, and who have a tax return for 2018-19. This means around 95% of individuals who are mainly self-employed could benefit from this scheme – around 3.4 million individuals.
  • HMRC began contacting individuals in early May if they could be eligible for the scheme, and have invited them to claim online. The online service opened on Wednesday 13 May, ahead of schedule, and those eligible will have the money paid within six working days of completing a claim.
  • On Friday 29 May, the Chancellor announced an extension to the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) for those people whose trade continues to be, or is newly, adversely affected by COVID-19 (Coronavirus).
    • Eligible self-employed people will be able to claim a second and final SEISS grant in August; this will be a taxable grant worth 70% of their average monthly trading profits for three months, paid out in a single instalment and capped at £6,570 in total.
    • The eligibility criteria for the second grant will be the same as for the first grant.
    • People do not need to have claimed the first grant to claim the second grant: for example, their business may have been adversely affected by COVID-19 (Coronavirus) more recently.
    • More information about the second SEISS grant will be available on 12 June.
  • Claims for the first SEISS grant, which opened on 13 May, must be made no later than 13 July.
    • Eligible self-employed people must make a claim before that date to receive the first SEISS grant (a taxable grant of 80% of their average monthly trading profits, paid out in a single instalment covering 3 months’ worth of profits, and capped at £7,500 in total).
    • Over 2.7 million people worth £7.7 billion have been approved.
  • Claim a grant through the Coronavirus Self-Employment Income Support Scheme here.
  • The online service opened on Wednesday 13 May, ahead of schedule, and those eligible will have the money paid within six working days of completing a claim. Over 2.7 million people worth £7.8 billion have been approved. 
  1. Find out who can claim.
  2. Check if you’re eligible.
  3. Find out how HMRC works out your grant.
  4. Make your claim.
  5. Find out when you’ll get the money paid into your bank and how to record the grant.

In the meantime, please help us reach those self-employed people who could benefit from a SEISS grant now, by encouraging anyone you think might be eligible for the first grant but hasn’t yet made a claim to do so ahead of 13 July.  For more details please visit GOV.UK.

Time to Pay (HMRC)

  • All businesses and self-employed people in financial distress, and with outstanding tax liabilities, may be eligible to receive support with their tax affairs through HMRC’s Time To Pay service.
  • This support is available now, and arrangements are agreed on a case-by-case basis and are tailored to individual circumstances and liabilities.
  • HMRC has set up a helpline to support businesses and self-employed people concerned about not being able to pay their tax due to Coronavirus.
  • Anyone who is running a business or is self-employed and is concerned about paying their tax due to COVID-19 (Coronavirus), can call HMRC’s helpline for help and advice: 0800 024 1222. More guidance is available on GOV.UK
  •  As of 15 June, there were over 70,000 new deferrals in place related to Covid-19, accounting for £11.63 billion of tax liabilities.

Further Self-Employment Support

  • For self-employed people, the Government has also:
    • deferred income tax self-assessment payments for July until the end of January 2021
    • suspended the minimum income floor for twelve months, meaning self-employed people can now access Universal Credit at a rate that is equivalent to Statutory Sick Pay for employees.
    • Those on contributory ESA will be able to claim from day 1, instead of day 8. The Government has relaxed the requirement to physically attend a jobcentre, everything can be done by phone or online.
    • Many self-employed people will also be able to access loans through the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loans Scheme.
    • See 'support for individuals' page for further avenues of financial support such as help with mortgages and energy bills.

To quickly and easily find out about what financial support you may be available for, use the Government's Coronavirus Business Support Finder,

Page Last Updated: 17/07/20.