Following the Prime Minister’s national lockdown announcement on 31 October and the economic support available through the extended furlough scheme, increases in self employed income support have been announced.

To date the government’s Self Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) has provided 2 grants since March with the third instalment covering the three months from November to January 2021, due in December. A fourth instalment is expected to cover February, March and April 2021 but there are no details yet as to the level of that fourth grant.

Changes to SEISS on 2 November

The level of the third grant was originally set at 20% of average monthly profits. This was revised to 40% and on the 2 November, increased to 80% for November – with December and January remaining at 40%. HMRC averages this to 55% of average monthly trading profits across the three-month grant period. The maximum grant cap was also increased to £5,160 and the claim date also brought forward from 14 December to 30 November.

Eligible to claim

To be eligible to claim, self employed individuals or members of partnerships must:

  • Have been eligible to claim the first and second SEISS grants (even if they did not claim them)
  • Declare that they intend to continue to trade and either:
    • Are actively trading but impacted by reduced demand due to coronavirus
    • Were previously trading but are temporarily unable to do so due to coronavirus

Wayne Thomas partner at Bates Weston comments:

“The improvement in the level of support for the self employed is intended to mirror the support provided for the employed through the extended Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme and its successor, the Job Support Scheme. We welcome this increase in support and the bringing forward of the claims window. Hopefully this will result in payments reaching the self-employed sooner to help them weather the winter period. In addition to these changes, the extension to application deadline for the Bounce Back Loan and Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Schemes to 31 January 2021 may give small businesses access to additional finance should they need it.”

Useful links:

Government guidance on SEISS grant extension