9th March 2021 | Coronavirus


SEISS: Support for the self-employed extended to include the newly self-employed

The Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak, announced during this year's Budget (3 March 2021) the fourth grant payment in the Self-Employed Income Support Scheme (SEISS). It will cover lost income due to the coronavirus pandemic from February to April 2021. 

The fourth grant will now be open to those who became self-employed in the 2019 to 2020 tax year as well as the existing self-employed. Eligibility will be based on your 2019 to 2020 tax return. This means the amount you receive could be higher or lower than previously. All other eligibility criteria remain the same.

The grant will be set at 80% of 3 months’ average trading profit and will be paid out in one instalment, with a maximum payment of £7,500.

Claims can be made from late April 2021 until 31 May 2021. If you are eligible, HMRC will make contact with you in mid-April with your personal claim start-date.

The Government has also announced there will be a fifth grant available to cover May to September. Claims will be open in July and further details will follow.

More details can be found here.

Scotland: The Newly Self-Employed Hardship Fund and the Mobile & Home-Based Close Contact Services Fund

The Scottish Government has announced two new funds to support the self-employed in Scotland. Grants of up to £4,000 are available for applicants, which can include complementary healthcare service providers who meet the qualifying criteria.

Newly Self-Employed Hardship Fund (NSEHF)
The first fund is the Newly Self-Employed Hardship Fund (NSEHF) which is for those who became self-employed:

  • on or after 6 April 2019 but before 17 March 2020, or
  • between 1 October 2018 and 6 April 2019 but are ineligible for the UK Government’s Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS).

You can see the full eligibility criteria and apply here. The closing date is 16 March 2021.

Mobile & Home-Based Close Contact Services Fund
The second fund is the Mobile & Home-Based Close Contact Services Fund. This is for owners and operators (not employees) of mobile and home-based close contact services who:

  • have been operating your business before 17 March 2020
  • have lost income as a result of Covid-19 restrictions
  • meet all of the eligibility criteria.

You can see the full eligibility criteria and apply here. The closing date is 16 March 2021.

Northern Ireland Newly Self-Employed Support Scheme (NSESS) 

The Newly Self-Employed Support Scheme closed for applications on 19 February 2021.

Furlough scheme extended until end of September 2021

The UK Government has also extended its furlough scheme to the end of September 2021. The scheme will continue to provide up to 80% of employees’ pay to a maximum of £2,500 per month until the end of July 2021 when the amount will reduce.

The level of grant will be reduced from 80% to 70% in July 2021 and to 60% in August and September. If you are an employer you can find out more and apply here.

Self-Isolation Support Payment

If you are required to self-isolate and cannot work from home, you may be eligible for some financial support from your local council or other funding organisation.  

England: You can apply for a £500 payment. Full details for can be found here.

Northern Ireland: You may be able to apply for a Discretionary Support self-isolation grant. Full details can be found here.

Scotland: You can apply for a Self-Isolation Support grant. Full details can be found here and you can apply here.

Wales: You can apply for a £500 payment. Full details can be found here.