From today many self-employed people will be able to apply for a second income protection grant which covers the next three months, but campaigners say there are ‘glaring gaps’ in who qualifies.
From today, many self-employed people will be able to apply for a second Self Employed Income Support Scheme (SEISS) grant.
Successful applicants will receive a taxable grant worth 70% of their average monthly trading profits, paid out in a single instalment which covers them for the next three months. It is capped at a total of £6,570. Those who receive the grant can continue to work, start a new trade or take on other employment, including voluntary work. It does not need to be repaid but will be subject to Income Tax and National Insurance contributions.
To apply, self-employed workers need to have traded in the tax year 2018 to 2019 and submitted their Self Assessment tax return on or before 23 April 2020 for that year, traded in the tax year 2019 to 2020, intend to continue to trade in the tax year 2020 to 2021 and perform a trade which has been adversely affected by coronavirus after July 14, for instance, because they have been shielding, isolating, have been on sick leave or have caring responsibilities because of coronavirus; or because they have had to reduce their work or stop trading due to coronavirus – for example, because their staff can’t come to work.
IPSE (the Association of Independent Professionals and the Self-Employed) has welcomed the launch of the second income protection grant, but said the government must be ready to re-open and “extend it to the desperately struggling forgotten self-employed” in the event of a second wave of infections.
Derek Cribb, CEO of IPSE, said the scheme has too many ‘glaring gaps’, including limited company directors, the newly self-employed and PAYE freelancers.
He stated: “Two and a half million people claimed for SEISS between May and June – just half of the total five million self-employed in the UK. Now, as the number of self-employed has fallen sharply for the second quarter in a row, we are seeing the consequences.
“With the risk of a second wave looming, the Government must be ready to not only re-open SEISS, but also extend it to the desperately struggling forgotten self-employed. Historically, self-employed people have been essential for kickstarting the economy in recessions, but they cannot do this if they are driven out of business before they can play their part.”
The deadline for applying for the grant is Monday October 19th. More information can be found here.