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Coronavirus Self-employed Income Support Scheme – Second grant applications open

The financial support program for the self-employed has now opened applications for the second round of grants. Get the latest news here, and find out how to apply.

Update 19 August: Applications are now open for the second round of grants for the self-employed income support scheme, if you're eligible, apply via the government self-employed income support claim a grant page.

When the government announced the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, one key group was missing, the self-employed. Finally though, support has arrived for the country's five million self-employed workers (equal to 15% of the UK population).

The Self-employed Income Support Scheme mirrors the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, paying self-employed workers 80% of their monthly earnings up to a cap of £2,500 a month (for the first round of grants) or £2,190 a month (for the second round).

Get the lowdown on the scheme here, including how it works, who is eligible, and how to apply:

How the coronavirus Self-employed Income Support Scheme works

Essentially the support announced is similar to the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, here are the key points:

  • Self-employed people will be paid a taxable grant that is equal to 80% of their average monthly earnings
  • This calculation will be based on the last three years of submitted accounts (less for those who do not have three years of submitted accounts)
  • The first grants under the scheme have already been awarded, but applications for the second round of grants are now open
  • The money will be paid in one lump sum direct into peoples' bank accounts
  • People will be able to work while claiming money via the scheme

Self-employed income support scheme

Please note that this graphic was for the first round of grants, the maximum amount that can be claimed in the second round is £6,570 (£2,190 per month).


Who is eligible for the coronavirus Self-employed Income Support Scheme

There are some key limits on who will be able to claim:

  • Self-employed people must have an annual trading profit under £50,000
  • Self-employed people must have filed a tax return for 2019 
  • Claimants must derive the majority of their income from self-employment
  • You cannot claim the grant if you trade through a limited company or trust

How to apply for the coronavirus Self-employed Income Support Scheme

The scheme is now up and running.

Applications have already closed for the first round of grants but, if your business is still struggling due to the impact of COVID-19, applications are now open for the second round of grants.

Applications close on 19 October 2020.

Applications should be made online via the gov.uk self-employed income support scheme website:

You will need the following:

  • Your self-assessment Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR)
  • Your National Insurance number
  • Your Government Gateway user ID and password (if you do not have one, you can create one when you claim)
  • UK bank details – bank account number, sort code, name on the account, and address linked to the account

Also make sure that you have evidence of how your business has been adversely impacted by the coronavirus – you won't need to supply this as part of your application but it may be requested if HMRC has any concerns about your claim.

If your claim is accepted, the grant will be paid into your bank account within six days.


Other self-employed support

The government has advised self-employed workers who need extra support that they should claim universal credit.

While the usual timescale for this is five weeks, the chancellor has previously assured self-employed workers that they could receive an advance payment within days of their application.

To illustrate the amount available, he argued that a self-employed person with a non-working partner and two children, living in the social rented sector, can receive welfare support of around £1,800 per month.

The government also previously announced that self-assessment income tax payments have been deferred for six months, so payments that would have been due on 31 July 2020 are now due in January 2021.

This deferral will be granted automatically.

Alec Hawley
Alec Hawley

Alec is Startups’ resident expert on mobiles, investment, and politics. Before joining, he worked in the media for over a decade, conducting media analysis at Kantar Media and YouGov, writing for computer games sites like Gaming Respawn and Gamespew, and taking on a wide variety of freelance roles.