Self-employed Earnings Assist Scheme (SEISS) to be prolonged at 40%

The next round of the Self-Employed Income Support Scheme won’t be as generous as the previous rounds

The government is getting ready to extend the Self-Employed Income Support Scheme (SEISS) to support freelancers and the self-employed through to April 2021.

Two further grants will be offered:

  • The first covers November 2020 to January 2021 at 40 per cent of trading profits, capped at a total of £3,750
  • The second covers January 2021 to April 2021, the level is yet to be announced

SEISS is being reintroduced as England prepares to go back into lockdown from November 5th until December 2nd, though this could be extended.

How does this compare to the previous SEISS grants?

The third round isn’t as generous as the first and second. The second grant round covered 70 per cent of trading profits, capped at £6,950. The first grant covered 80 per cent of trading profits, capped at £7,500.

Am I eligible for the next Self-employed Income Support Scheme grants?

You must have been eligible for the first and second rounds of SEISS to apply. You must also declare that you were trading (but are unable to do so due to coronavirus) and plan to continue trading.

The online application service for the next grant will open on December 14th 2020 and HMRC will be providing more information and how to apply in due course.

What about other emergency coronavirus funding?

Business groups are also calling on Sunak to further extend the Microbusiness Bounce Back Loan Scheme (BBL) which has thus far been extended until the end of November 2020.

The Treasury is being warned of an impending December cash crunch after state aid lawyers revealed Brussels has cleared the path for more help, according to the Telegraph. Officials have blamed EU state aid rules for preventing the loan guarantee and start-up schemes from continuing after November 30th, but experts said there is no longer any blocks to another extension.

Rishi Sunak says he is replacing the £62bn loan guarantee schemes in January with a successor after the Brexit transition period, but that leaves a month’s gap without business support.

Following Johnson’s announcement on October 31st, the national chairman of the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB), Mike Cherry, said:

“We will now need the government to match this scale of ambition, incorporating lessons learned from earlier this year – a second wave support package to offset the impact of a second wave of restrictions.

“Alongside greater use of grants, there should be an extension of emergency loans – including both the application period and allowing a second application for those who originally applied for a lower amount in Bounce Back Loans than they were entitled to.”

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