Furlough prolonged till March and self-employed assist boosted once more

Third self-employment support grant boosted

The Government has already announced one extension to the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) this week. On Monday, it doubled the support available in November from 40% to 80% of trading profits, which increased the overall level of the third SEISS grant to 55% of trading profits, capped at £5,160.

Now it’s announced that it’s increased the grant, which is available across the UK, again:

  • The third SEISS grant will now be worth 80% of trading profits for three months, capped at £7,500. This has gradually risen since the scheme was first announced – from 20%, to 40%, 55% and now 80%. At 80%, it’s the equivalent of the support offered through the furlough scheme.
  • Applications will still open on Monday 30 November. This hasn’t changed since it was announced earlier this week. The third grant covers 1 November 2020 to 31 January 2021, but you apply for it in one go and it’s paid in a single instalment.
  • You can claim if you’re actively trading OR were until recently and are temporarily unable to claim due to coronavirus. This latter option is new – and is likely to have been added so that self-employed people who’ve recently had to stop trading, for example due to the new national lockdown in England, are still eligible. 
  • Eligibility for the third grant hasn’t otherwise changed – so the excluded are sadly still excluded. You’ll need to declare you’ve been affected since Sunday 1 November by reduced demand due to coronavirus in order to claim. And crucially you must have been eligible for grants one and two, even if you didn’t apply – so you must have filed a tax return for 2018/19, earn more than 50% of your total income from self-employment, and your average trading profit must be no more than £50,000/year. See full SEISS eligibility requirements.
  • A fourth grant will still cover February to April. Nothing’s changed on this today. We still don’t know what it’ll be worth, when applications will open or if eligibility criteria could be different – the Government’s previously said it reserves the right to change eligibility for the fourth grant “to respond to changing circumstances”.

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