Government income support for self-employed during COVID-19
The government recently announced support to help self-employed people during the current COVID-19 pandemic.
To help you understand which support might be available to you and how you can access it, we have compiled this guide.
Self-Employed Income Support Scheme (SEISS)
If self-employment was your main source of income between April 2018 and April 2019, you could be eligible for a grant through this scheme. The scheme will allow you to claim a taxable grant worth 80% of your trading profits up to a maximum of £2,500 per month for the next 3 months. This may be extended if needed.
If you haven’t yet completed your tax return, you have until the 23rd April. You can submit your tax return here.
How it works:
HMRC will contact you directly if you are eligible. You will then be invited to apply online. After you have applied, HMRC will contact you to let you know how much you will get and how it will be paid. If you claim tax credits, you will need to include this in your claim as income.
For more information click here.
Employment Support Allowance (ESA)
If you are unable to work because of COVID-19, if you have a disability or health condition that affects how much you can work, possibly if you are looking after an unwell child, or self-isolating yourself and you are under state pension age and if you have paid enough National Insurance contributions in the last 2-3 years, you may be eligible for Employment Support Allowance (ESA).
However, you cannot get an ESA if you are getting statutory sick pay (SSP) from an employer.
ESA gives you money to help with living costs if you are unable to work and also support to get back into work if you’re able to. You can apply for ESA if you’re employed, self-employed or unemployed.
How it works:
If you are already receiving Universal credit, sign in to your Universal credit account.
If you are not receiving Universal credit, call 0800 3285644 (option 2) or textphone 0800 328 1344 (option 2).
You will then receive a text, phone call or letter within 10 working days to invite you to a telephone interview. You will then make an agreement to look for work and will be advised how much you will receive. If your application is rejected, click here to challenge the decision.
For more information, click here.
If you’re unable to work or you are working on a reduced income due to COVID-19, you may be able to claim Universal Credit or receive more money from an existing Universal Credit claim.
You can apply if the following applies to you:
- On a low income or out of work
- 18 or over
- You or your partner are under State Pension age
- You reside in the UK
- Your household has less than £16,000 in savings
If you can work, your universal credit will decrease by 63p for every £1 that you earn.
How it works:
Once you apply online, you will then be given a number to call to book an appointment for a telephone interview. To see the whole process in video form, click here.
If you need help completing the online form, you can call the helpline on 0800 328 5644, Monday-Friday between 08:00-18:00.
To apply, click here.
For more information, click here
Guidance for Tenants & Landlords
If you are a tenant or landlord, click here for further guidance.