Self-employed workers can now apply for government support if their income has been affected by Covid-19. HMRC started accepting claims for the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) on 13 May.
If you are self-employed or a member of a partnership you can apply for a taxable grant worth 80% of your average monthly trading profits, capped at £2,500 a month.
To qualify you need to have submitted a self-assessment tax return for the 2018/2019 tax year. You must also have traded in the 2019/2020 tax year and plan to continue doing so this year. In addition, you must earn at least half your income through self-employment and have trading profits of no more than £50,000 a year.
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HMRC estimates that around 3.5 million self-employed people could be eligible for the scheme. It is easy to check if you are one of them. Find your National Insurance number and your self-assessment unique taxpayer reference (UTR). Then complete the eligibility check at gov.uk/hmrc/self-employment-income-support-scheme.
If you do qualify you will need to log in to your Government Gateway account – the same one you use when filing your tax return. You then enter your bank details and if your claim is approved the money should be in your account within six working days.
Ruth Jackson-Kirby is a freelance personal finance journalist with 17 years’ experience, writing about everything from savings and credit cards to pensions, property and pet insurance.
Ruth started her career at MoneyWeek after graduating with an MA from the University of St Andrews, and she continues to contribute regular articles to our personal finance section. After leaving MoneyWeek she went on to become deputy editor of Moneywise before becoming a freelance journalist.
Ruth writes regularly for national publications including The Sunday Times, The Times, The Mail on Sunday and Good Housekeeping among many other titles both online and offline.
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