COVID-19: Support for the self-employed

The Government has put in place a range of measures for self-employed individuals, including a Self-employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS), which will provide direct cash grants worth 80% of trading profits up to a maximum of £2,500 per month. If you’re eligible and want to claim the first grant you must make your claim on or before 13 July 2020.

On 29 May, the Government announced that SEISS will be extended, giving more security to individuals whose livelihoods are adversely affected by coronavirus. Those who are eligible will be able to claim a second and final grant in August, worth 70% of their average monthly trading profits, paid out in a single instalment covering three months’ worth of profits, and capped at £6,570 in total.

Check your eligibility for the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme.

Read safety measures guidance for businesses and employers.

Other support

Additional support includes:

Income Tax payment holidays/support

Income Tax payments due in July 2020 under the self-assessment system will be deferred to January 2021. You may also be able to agree a bespoke Time to Pay arrangement.

HMRC has set up a dedicated phone helpline to support businesses and self-employed people concerned about not being able to pay their tax due to COVID-19.

For help and advice:

  • Call 0800 024 1222 - Monday to Friday 8am to 4pm.

For more information on help with your taxes read HMRC tax information on GOV.UK

Business Interruption Loan Scheme

Self-employed individuals, particularly those who operate as a company, may be eligible for this scheme which supports SMEs with access to loans, overdrafts, invoice finance and asset finance of up to £5 million and for up to 6 years. 

Further information on COVID-19: Support for businesses

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

If you’re a director of your own company and paid through PAYE you may be able to get support using the Job Retention Scheme

Further information on COVID-19: Support for businesses

Claiming Statutory Sick Pay and/or Universal credit if self-employed

Self-employed people who are not eligible for Statutory Sick Pay, can now make a claim for Universal Credit or Contributory Employment and Support Allowance.

For the duration of the outbreak, the Government has suspended the universal credit minimum income floor for those with COVID-19 or who are self-isolating, ensuring self-employed claimants will receive support.

If you are self-employed and receiving Universal Credit and you have COVID-19 or are advised to self-isolate, the requirements of the Minimum Income Floor will be temporarily relaxed. This change took effect on 13 March and will last for the duration of the outbreak, to ensure that self-employed UC claimants will receive support.  

View 'New Style' Employment and Support Allowance

Financial support for artists, creative practitioners and freelancers

Arts Council England is making £20 million of financial support available to support artists, writers, creative practitioners, designers and freelancers. Eligible individuals will be able to apply for grants of up to £2,500 if they have a track record in publicly funded culture.

For more information read financial support for artists, creative practitioners and freelancers.

Council tax: COVID-19 Hardship Fund

Wandsworth Council has confirmed it will be relaxing its normal rules on rent arrears and non-payment of council tax. No enforcement or recovery action will be initiated against people who fall behind with their council tax payments.

As part of its response to COVID-19, the government announced in the Budget on 11 March that it would provide local authorities in England with £500 million of new grant funding to support economically vulnerable people and households in their local area. With some people facing reduced incomes or job losses as a result of the outbreak. Further information on this will follow.

Mortgage Payment Holidays

The Government has announced that all homeowners will be able to claim a three-month break from their mortgage repayments if they are unable to pay because of coronavirus.

Read about mortgage payment holidays.

Protection for renters affected by coronavirus

The Government has announced measures to protect renters affected by coronavirus. As a result, no renter in either social or private accommodation will be forced out of their home during this difficult time.

Further support