With a second lockdown coming into force in England later this week, there’s some good news for the self-employed.
The Self Employed Income Support Grant is being extended from 40% to 80% for the period of the lockdown, until 2nd December.
The extension to financial support for the self-employed means the government is providing a total of £4.5 billion worth of grants between November and January.
Because the grant will be calculated over three months, the maximum grant will be 55.33% of trading profits, including the 80% for the period of the lockdown.
Maximum grants increase to £5,160.
There’s a chance your grant will be paid faster, with the grant window opening a couple of weeks earlier, on 30th November instead of 14th December.
Support for the self-employed will be broadly equivalent to the financial support for employees, under the terms of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, or ‘furlough’.
To be eligible for the new grant, which is the third round of grant funding for the self-employed, you must have qualified for the first and second grants earlier this year.
You do not need to have claimed these earlier grants to be eligible for this new grant.
The grants are available to the self-employed and those in partnerships, but not for limited company directors.
To qualify, you must declare an intention to continue trading.
You will need to either be currently actively trading and experiencing reduced demand due to Covid-19, or have been previously trading but unable to do so now because of the pandemic.
The grant claim is based on your trading profits in the 2018/19 tax year, or average profits in 2018/19, 2017/18 and 2016/17.
Announcing the extended support, Chancellor Rishi Sunak said:
So far we’ve provided £13.7 billion of support to self-employed people through the crisis – and I’ve always said we will continue to do everything we can to support livelihoods across the UK.
The rapidly changing health picture has meant we have had to act in order to protect people’s lives and I know this is incredibly worrying time for the self-employed. That is why we have increased the generosity of the third grant, ensuring those who cannot trade or are facing decreased demand are able to get through the months ahead.