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Self-Employment Income Support Scheme makes up to £7,500 in support available to self-employed

03/12/2020

The coronavirus has hurt most people financially, and none more so than the self-employed, who were unable to take part in the furlough scheme during the worst of the pandemic.

Some good news, then. The Government has just announced that extra funding is being made available to support the self-employed who have been impacted by the pandemic, through a third round of grants as part of the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme.

In this article, we will explore what the extra support for the self-employed is, how much it could be worth to you, how to find out if you qualify, and how to apply for extra support if you do.

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What is the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme?

The Self-Employment Income Support Scheme is a Government initiative created to financially support self-employed people whose work had been negatively impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.

First launched in May this year, the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme allows self-employed people to apply for a series of grants to replace the income they’ve lost due to the pandemic.

The first round of grants was worth up to 80% of your income, based on your average monthly trading profits over a period of three months, and closed on the 13th of July 2020. The second round was worth up to 70% of your income over three months, and closed on the 17th of August 2020.

Given that we’re now well into the winter, and the pandemic is still with us, the Government has just opened up a new round of funding via the scheme.

Why are they making new funds available to the self-employed?

While the first two rounds of the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme have closed, the latest round – covering the periods from November 2020 to January 2021 – is now open.

HMRC has taken it upon themselves to contact everyone they believe is eligible for the latest grant and offer them a specific slot for applying. Even if you miss your slot, or you don’t receive the communication from HMRC, anyone who is eligible has until the 29th of January 2021 to make a claim.

How much is the new support worth?

The third round of the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme covers the period between November this year and January 2021, and could be worth up to £7,500.

Round three is offering up to 80% of a self-employed worker’s average monthly trading profits over a period of three months. The Government is capping the scheme at £2,500 per month, meaning each individual can receive a maximum total of £7,500 for the three months the scheme covers.

The Government is expecting high volumes of traffic from people trying to access the scheme through their online portal, so if you are considering making a claim, the earlier you apply, the better.

How do I know if I’m eligible?

As with previous rounds of grants, if you have been eligible for the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme before, then you will continue to be eligible.

To be eligible for the third grant, you must either be a self-employed individual, or self-employed as a member of a partnership – meaning you won’t qualify if you trade through a limited company or trust.

In order to qualify, you must also:

– Earn at least 50% of your income through being self-employed
– Have an average trading profit of less than £50,000 per year
– Have filed a tax return in the year 2018/19
– Have suffered a new or continuing impact from coronavirus that you believe will cause a ‘significant’ reduction in trading profits over the period the grant covers (1 November 2020 to end of January 2021)
– Intend to continue trading

Unfortunately, if you did not qualify for the scheme during previous rounds, you will not be eligible for support during the latest round.

To check if you qualify for a grant, you can read the full Government guidance on eligibility criteria
here.

How do I apply?

In order to claim a grant in round three of the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme, you will first need the following information:

– Self Assessment Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR)
– National Insurance number
– Government Gateway user ID and password (An ID generated by HMRC to allow you to access online Government services)
– UK bank details, including:
– – Bank account number
– – Sort code
– – Name on the account
– – Address linked to your bank account

Once you have the appropriate information, you will:

1. Visit the Government’s Self-Employment Income Support Scheme landing page ( here)
2. Scroll down to the ‘How to claim’ section
3. Click ‘Start now’
4. Fill in your details, starting with your Self Assessment Unique Taxpayer Reference

The timeframe for lodging a claim is between the end of November and the end of January. You can claim from the 30th November 2020, and must ensure you have made your claim by the 29th of January 2021.

What if I still need help with my finances?

This year has been difficult for everyone, especially financially. If you are self-employed but don’t qualify for the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme, or it doesn’t offer you enough for you to keep your head above water, you may be wondering where to turn.

Creditfix can help. Throughout the pandemic, our team of money advice specialists have helped hundreds of people who have felt backed into a corner financially. They can help you too.

If you just want some friendly financial advice, or think you might need a debt repayment plan, talk to us now on 0800 0431 431. We have the knowledge and expertise needed to put you back on a sound financial footing.

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