Self-employed grant: Has SEISS been extended?

Martin Lewis gives advice on the launch of the third SEISS

Today (December 17) Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) will be extended until April 2021. Struggling businesses will also have until the end of March to access Government loan schemes, such as the Bounce Back Loan Scheme and the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme.

Mr Sunak said: “Our package of support for businesses and workers continues to be one of the most generous and effective in the world – helping our economy to recover and protecting livelihoods across the country.

“We know the premium businesses place on certainty, so it is right that we enable businesses to plan ahead regardless of the path the virus takes, which is why we’re providing certainty and clarity by extending this support, as well as implementing our Plan for Jobs.”

Business Secretary, Alok Sharma, said: “While our loan schemes have provided a vital lifeline to millions of firms across the country, we know that business owners need additional certainty as we head into the New Year.

“Extending government-backed loan schemes will give companies right across the UK the finance they need to support, protect and create jobs as we build back better from the pandemic.”

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Has SEISS been extended?

Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced on December 17 that the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) is being extended until April 2021.

The CJRS allows employers to place employees on furlough, and the Government will pay 80 percent of wages capped at £2,500 per month.

The Self-Employment Income Support Scheme has not been extended further, as it was already due to run until April 2021.

Earlier this year the SEISS scheme was extended to include two more grants, covering November 2020 to April 2021.

Claimants can currently apply for the scheme’s third grant until January 29, 2021, and a fourth grant will be open for applications at a later date.

The fourth grant will cover February to April 2021, but how much the grant will be worth is unclear.

The Government website states: “We will set out further details, including the level of the fourth grant in due course.”

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What support is available for those not eligible for SEISS?

Self-employed people not eligible for SEISS may be eligible for the following support:

  • Grants for businesses that pay little or no business rates
  • Business Interruption Loan Scheme
  • Bounce Back Loans
  • Test and Trace support payments
  • Universal Credit

The Self-Employment Income Support Scheme has been a lifeline for many businesses throughout the pandemic.

The Government has stated SEISS has been one of the most generous support schemes in the world during the crisis, and billions have been paid out to business owners in the form of grants.

However many self-employed people have not been eligible for the scheme, and have had to rely on other support.

Beth-Anne Bruce, a fully AAT and ACCA qualified Accounts Senior at The Accountancy Partnership, told “We’ve been advising clients about other possible sources of financial support, such as the Bounce Back Loan Scheme, as well as working with company directors who aren’t eligible for SEISS to find other options.

“Understandably, there are individuals who are reluctant to take out a loan, not wanting to have repayments and interest looming over them.

“But even then, the amount they are eligible for is capped at 25 percent of the turnover, so still might not be enough to live on.

“Sadly, there isn’t enough support for new start-ups, for traders making losses year on year, or those with other income (such as rental income) which takes them over the eligibility threshold.

“Many are facing the prospect of getting into debt or claiming benefits to keep themselves afloat.”

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