The House of Commons has published a briefing paper, 'Coronavirus: Self-Employment Income Support Scheme’ which provides answers to 19 common questions on how the scheme works, who is eligible, and how to claim.

The Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) was announced in March 2020 for self-employed businesses adversely affected by COVID-19. The first grant was payable for the period from 1 March to 31 May 2020. It was then extended by three months to 31 August, with a reduction in the amount which may be claimed for the second grant period. A further six month extension was announced on 24 September 2020 as part of the Chancellor's Winter Economic plan

The initial scheme provides for taxable grant payments of the lower of:

  • £7,500 (if claiming for the first grant) or £6,570 (if claiming for the second grant) and
  • 80% of average monthly profits over the three years 2016/17, 2017/18 and 2018/19 for the first three-month grant period, reducing to 70% of the same average profits for the second three-month grant period.

The extended scheme provides for two further taxable grants:

  • The first, for the three months to 31 January 2021 is to be 20% of average monthly trading profits capped at £1,875.
  • Details of the second grant under the extended scheme have not yet been decided.

As the scheme has been rolled out and extended over the past few months, the self-employed have had many questions about how it works, when it applies and how much they can claim. The FAQ’s answered by the guidance include:

  • What if I have fewer than three years’ worth of tax returns?
  • Why is there a £50,000 cap?
  • Can I continue to trade or get a second job?
  • How does the Scheme apply to people subject to the Loan Charge?
  • What do I have to do after I receive my grant?
  • What support is available to those not eligible for the SEISS?

This is a fast-moving area and anyone wishing to rely on the guidance after the original publication date of 23 June 2020 should check for updates and take professional advice where necessary, as penalties may be due if you think you have been paid too much and you do not tell HMRC.


COVID-19: Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS)
COVID-19 Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS). HMRC's claims portal for the second grant opens in August 2020. 

COVID-19: Government support tracker
This tracker covers measures announced by the government to support individuals and businesses, as we get through COVID-19.

External link

Coronavirus: Self Employment Income Support Scheme