The Government has announced updates to the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme Extension, offering enhanced economic support to protect businesses and income impacted by the additional restrictions required as a result of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

The profits covered by the two forthcoming self employment grants will be increased from 20% to 40%, meaning the maximum grant will increase from £1,875 to £3,750.

The Self-Employment Income Support Scheme Grant Extension provides critical support to the self-employed in the form of two grants:

  • One covering November 2020 to January 2021; and
  • One covering February 2021 to April 2021.

What will the first grant cover?

  • Covers a three-month period from 1 November 2020 until 31 January 2021;
  • The taxable grant covers 40% of average monthly trading profits;
  • Paid out in a single lump sum instalment, covering 3 months’ worth of profits;
  • Capped at £3,750 in total; and
  • The grant is subject to National Insurance contributions.

What will the second grant cover?

  • Covers a three-month period from 1 February 2021 until 30 April 2021; and
  • The Government will review the level of the second grant and set this in due course.

Who can claim for the scheme?

This new phase of the scheme will differ from the first two SEISS grants, specifically in its updated eligibility criteria that now includes the requirements that an individual must be actively continuing to trade, whilst still facing reduced demand due to coronavirus.

To be eligible for the Grant Extension self-employed individuals, including members of partnerships, must:

  • Have been previously eligible for the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme first and second grant (although they do not have to have claimed the previous grants);
  • Declare that they intend to continue to trade and either:
  • Are currently actively trading but are impacted by reduced demand due to coronavirus; or
  • Were previously trading but are temporarily unable to do so due to coronavirus.

The requirements to be ‘actively trading’ and ‘impacted by reduced demand’ are new to the scheme. Further guidance is due to be published, providing more clarity on the revised criteria and what this means for those claiming through the scheme.

How do you apply for the scheme?

The online service for the next grant will be available from 14 December 2020. HMRC will provide full details about claiming and applications in guidance on GOV.UK in due course.

Should you have any queries on the above or require any help or support, then please either get in touch with your usual M+A Partners contact or email and we will be happy to help.