The pandemic, which was initially expected to be nothing more than a week-long lockdown, has now extended for a year, affecting not only the UK but also every country worldwide. Thus, individuals both self-employed and working have suffered severe changes, some losing their jobs and businesses. Therefore, the government has issued aid in instalments given in two lumps, with a 3-month coverage.
This grant can be considered a great help, especially those in need of financial aid to keep their business running despite the COVID-19 precautions. Millions of people aim to be chosen for the program, which will enter its 5th aid covering May, June, and July. The third aid has passed, with the duration of November 2020 to January 2021.
What Exactly Is SEISS & Are You Eligible?
SEISS stands for Self-employment Income Support Scheme and is made by the government for those eligible for the scheme. The requirements entail having a business that sells goods and services and/or partnership pages. The latter will serve as a part of your self-assessment tax return. With this scheme, you can either use the funds to start a new business or get employment again.
This scheme started last year in March, where it was initially granted to business owners who faced the eventual closing of their business during the pandemic. After that, the government opened the grant for a second batch. This second grant covered those still suffering from the pandemic after July of 2020. September of 2020 came, and a third grant was passed along with plans for a fourth one coming November.
This third programme will cover November of 2020 to January of 2021. As of today, it isn’t possible to claim these programmes, and it is suggested you move on to the fourth grant, which will take place this coming May. A fifth grant, given you cannot make it to the fourth, will take place in September of 2021.
- Self-assessment tax returns in 2020 and currently 2021, including self-employment profits
- You were self-employed amid the said self-assessment tax return.
- You have the intention to continue your business venture into 2021 and the consecutive years after it.
- Your businesses need to be severely affected by the pandemic amid the grant’s duration.
Rishi Sunak, the Chancellor in charge, had just discussed additional details and the budget for the fourth grant, which covers who will be eligible, how much money the guarantees will receive, and how long this support will last.
Fourth Grant Done In January
After a lengthy discussion about the policies and the budget, Mr Sunak had tackled the fourth grant, which eligibles will claim. Overall, it will cover 80% of the average monthly profit and capped at £2,500. Authorities decided this programme for the rest of the 600,000 people who didn’t meet the third aid criteria.
The Chancellor also mentioned a fifth programme that will open in late May for those who cannot find themselves eligible for the current grant. This program can give these people time to settle their requirements and file on time.
Looking Into The Future
The fifth grant has been decided long before it was due to start this July 2021. Just like the previous programmes, requirements are needed to be eligible. This aid is aimed at self-employed individuals who were still greatly affected by the Coronavirus from July onwards. Only those who follow the previously listed requirements can avail of said fifth grant.
How Does The Grant work?
The Duration of the grant will cover May to July. Therefore, the whole summer will be open for those who’d like to apply for the programme. In the 4th grant criteria, the amount is set to up to 80% of the overall monthly profit. However, Mr Sunak didn’t mention any range of prices nor a cap for the fifth grant. Thus, the help can be sealed back.
Six hundred thousand more people are allowed to apply for the 4th and 5th aids. This is because the government has allowed these individuals to submit their self-assessment tax returns back in 2020 and this year’s as well. The assessment serves as evidence for their profits, which means those who couldn’t apply due to being newly self-employed can finally be eligible to take the two recent programmes.
Previously, only those with self-assessment that falls in 208-2019 are allowed. Thus, those who are eligible for the aid are narrowed down to long-time self-employed or have just gotten the assessment at that time. Now, the government believes more people need the chance to have support.
Chancellor Sunak said the grant had costed them over £33 billion. As he had claimed, it is one of the most generous grants for self-employed if compared worldwide.
How To Know If You’re “Adversely Affected” By The Pandemic
One of the critical requirements for this grant is to be severely or adversely affected by the virus before or during the grant. However, many individuals find this description vague and doubt if they are genuinely affected by the virus. This is understandable, which is why the government has issued an in-depth explanation.
The HMRC has shown guidelines for you to read if ever you’re in doubt of your eligibility. The procedures include the individuals that have self-isolated due to the virus. And thus, they have been out of work, are at risk due to having caring responsibilities due to the virus, or have their business closed temporarily or temporarily due to the virus. Some workplaces also turn their workplaces COVID-free, which can be one reason as well.
However, other additional details need to be considered, such as having standard trading patterns despite being affected by the virus. If you’ve claimed the 1st-3rd grants and have recovered in the duration, then you won’t be allowed to take part with the 4th and 5th grants.
In the Third grant, there were even extra requirements, such as having noticeably decreased activity, demand, or capacity, and a strong belief of losing profits due to the coronavirus. PPE and other pandemic-related expenditures don’t count if added to the increased costs.