On Thursday 22nd October, the Chancellor announced changes to the Self-Employed Income Support Scheme (SEISS) with a doubling of the amount of profits which may be covered by the Scheme.
The next and the third SEISS grant will now cover 40% of trading profits for three months, capped at £3,750. This is an increase from the 20%, capped at £1,875, that was due to be paid – it is half of the 80%, up to £7,500, offered by the first grant. The level of the fourth grant has yet to be set.
You will need to declare you've been affected since Sunday 1 November by reduced demand due to coronavirus in order to claim. This is an important change – with previous grants, you only had to declare that you'd been "adversely affected", which in addition to a reduction in trade, could for example, have covered staff illness, extra PPE costs or if you were shielding or self-isolating.
The Government says it has made the change as its priority is now to support self-employed people who were actively trading to help them during the winter months. There's no detail yet on exactly how reduced demand will be defined.
To be eligible for the Grant Extension self-employed individuals, including members of partnerships, must:
have been previously eligible for the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme - first and second grant (although they do not have to have claimed the previous grants)
declare that they intend to continue to trade and either:
- are currently actively trading but are impacted by reduced demand due to coronavirus
- were previously trading but are temporarily unable to do so due to coronavirus
- The extension will last for six months, from November 2020 to April 2021. Grants will be paid in two lump sum instalments, each covering a three-month period
- The first grant, paid under the extended scheme, will cover a three-month period from 1 November 2020 until 31 January 2021. The Government will provide a taxable grant covering 40% of average monthly trading profits, paid out in a single instalment covering 3 months’ worth of profits, and capped at £3,750 in total
- The second grant will cover a three-month period from 1 February 2021 until 30 April 2021. The Government will review the level of the second grant and set this in due course
- The grants are taxable income and also subject to National Insurance contributions
How to claim
HMRC will provide full details about claiming and applications in guidance on GOV.UK in due course.