Coronavirus: information and updates

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Self-employment support during coronavirus

The Self-Employment Income Support Scheme helps people who are self-employed and struggling with income because of coronavirus. If you’re not eligible for the scheme, you may be able to apply for other support such as benefits.

Self-Employment Income Support Scheme

The first 2 grants in the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme have closed. The Self-Employment Income Support Scheme grant extension is available from 1 November 2020 to April 2021. It supports you if you are continuing to trade, but have reduced demand because of coronavirus.

The extension offers 2 taxable grants. The first grant is available from 1 November 2020 until the end of January 2021. It:

  • is a single payment that covers 3 months’ worth of profits
  • covers 80% of your average monthly trading profits
  • is capped at £7,500 in total

This is similar to the government support given to employees through the Job Support scheme.

The second grant will cover 3 months from February 2021 until April 2021.

Self-employment Income Support Scheme grant extension (GOV.UK)

Check if you can claim Self-Employment Income Support

To be eligible for the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme grant extension, you must:

  • be eligible for the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (you do not have to have claimed previous grants)
  • declare that you are trading and intend to continue to trade
  • declare that you have reduced demand due to coronavirus between 1 November and the date of your claim

Self-Employment Income Support Scheme eligibility

You will be eligible if you’re either:

  • a self-employed individual
  • a member of a partnership

and all of the following apply. You:

  • have submitted your Self Assessment tax return for the tax year 2018 to 2019
  • traded in the tax year 2019 to 2020
  • are trading when you apply or would be except for coronavirus
  • intend to continue to trade in the tax year 2020 to 2021
  • have lost trading profits due to coronavirus

Your self-employed trading profits must also be:

  • at least equal to your non-trading income
  • less than £50,000

If you’re still not sure if you’re eligible, you can check using the Government’s online tool. Your tax agent or adviser can do this on your behalf.

You’ll need your:

  • Self Assessment Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR) number
  • National Insurance number

Check if you can claim Self-Employment Income Support (GOV.UK)

Warning Watch out for scams

You’ll never get an email, text message or phone call from HMRC which:

  • tells you about a tax rebate or penalty
  • asks for your personal or payment information 

Report suspicious emails, texts and phone calls to HMRC (GOV.UK)

Government support if you’re self-isolating

From 28 September, the Test and Trace Support Payment scheme will be available in England. If you have to self-isolate but cannot work from home and you meet the criteria, you could get a single payment of £500. Local authorities will be responsible for the payments.

Eligibility for financial support when self-isolating (GOV.UK)

Other coronavirus support

You may also be able to get help with your Council Tax or rent.

Council Tax support during coronavirus

Financial support for renters during coronavirus

Money worries can be stressful and hard, it’s also important to get support if you need it.

Mental health and coronavirus

Scope’s online community

Last reviewed by Scope on: 05/11/2020

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