The second round of the Self-employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) opened for applications on Monday 17th August. The second and final grant covers the quarter to 31 August 2020. The second grant will provide up to £6,570 for the quarter (£2,190 per month) paid in a single instalment. These figures are based on 70% of eligible earnings (previous quarter 80%). Claims for the first grant have now been closed.

The following are some of the most important eligibility criteria for the scheme:

  • The applicant must have been adversely affected by coronavirus on or after 14 July 2020.
  • Applicants must be self-employed or a member of a trading partnership, voluntary work, or duties as an armed forces reservist.
  • Have filed a tax return for 2018-19.
  • Have traded in 2019-20; be currently trading at the point of application (or would be except for COVID-19) and intend to continue to trade in the tax year 2020-21,
  • Have trading profits of less than £50,000 and more than half of total income from self-employment.
  • Individuals can continue to work, start a new trade or take on other employment including voluntary work, or duties as an armed forces reservist.

It is possible for a qualifying self-employed person to qualify and claim for the second grant even if they had not claimed / qualified for the first grant.

If you are eligible, you should have been contacted by HMRC via letter, text or email and given a date on which to make your claim. Those who are eligible to use the scheme will have been given a randomly allocated date when they can apply for their grant. Whilst you cannot apply before the allocated day, there is no issue submitting a claim after that day. The application process will close on 19 October 2020. Claims are expected to be paid within six working days of submission of a claim.

Over 2.7 million benefited from the first stage of the SEISS – with the government handing out £7.8 billion of grants to help them through the crisis.

More than 3 million people are thought to be eligible for the second grant although some self-employed workers have fallen through the cracks such as the newly self-employed and some freelance workers who have been unable to claim. There are concerns for many self-employed workers when the scheme comes to an end, especially if we see a second wave of the pandemic.

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