The Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) has been an invaluable source of financial assistance for the self-employed throughout the coronavirus pandemic. With details of the fifth grant now announced, the scheme continues to deliver funding to those businesses that remain negatively impacted, with their profits significantly reduced.

To date, £24.5bn has been paid in SEISS grants, with a total of 8.8m grants claimed. These sizeable figures reveal the extent of support needed to enable the self-employed to move past the numerous challenges they have faced and re-establish their pre-pandemic trading position.

The fourth grant had very specific eligibility criteria. Applicants were encouraged to carefully consider the requirements to have a ‘reasonable belief’ that their business will have a ‘significant reduction’ in trading profits. It was identified that 3.4 million individuals would be potentially eligible for the fourth SEISS grant, and by 9 May 1.7 million (50%) had made a claim – the value of these claims totalled £4.7bn.

The average value per claim for the fourth grant was £2,800, with the majority of these claimed by those in the construction industry (over a third of grants). 1.6 million did not meet one or more of the SEISS criteria, this was a slight decline on the third grant where 1.7 million were assessed as ineligible.

The fourth grant closed for new applications on 1 June, and a fifth grant will be available from the end of July, covering the period May to September 2021. Detailed information on the process for claiming the fifth grant and the amounts available are expected to be released at the end of June; however, it is thought the scheme will follow the current grant package.