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Article published 26/03/2020

Millions of self-employed individuals will receive direct cash grants though a ground-breaking UK-wide scheme to help them during the coronavirus outbreak, the Chancellor announced today.

In the latest step to protect individuals and businesses, Rishi Sunak has set out plans that will see the self-employed receive up to £2,500 per month in grants for at least three months.

Millions of people across the UK could benefit from the new Self-Employed Income Support Scheme, with those eligible receiving a cash grant worth 80% of their average monthly trading profit over the last three years. This covers 95% of people who receive the majority of their income from self-employment.

This brings parity with the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, announced by the Chancellor last week, where the Government committed to pay up to £2,500 each month in wages of employed workers who are furloughed during the outbreak.

Cleaners, plumbers, electricians, musicians, hairdressers and many other self-employed people who are eligible for the new scheme will be able to apply directly to HMRC for the taxable grant, using a simple online form, with the cash being paid directly into people’s bank account.

Round-up

  • The scheme will offer self-employed people a taxable grant of 80% of average monthly profits over the last 3 years up to a limit of £2,500/month.   
  • The scheme will be open for an initial three months and longer if necessary.  Those who qualify will be able to claim the grant and continue to do business.
  • It will be open to anyone who makes the majority of their income from self-employment and restricted to those with profits of up to £50,000 – the Chancellor has said that 95% of self-employed people would be covered by the scheme
  • Only those already in self employment with a tax return for 2019 will be eligible.  A further four week window is being offered for those who missed the tax return filing deadline.
  • HMRC are working urgently and they hope to have the scheme in place by the beginning of June.  HMRC will contact eligible people directly, there will be a simple online form and funding will be paid direct to bank accounts.

Read the full announcement.

Detailed guidance on how to apply.