How to apply for the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme

If you’re self-employed, you may be eligible to claim a grant through the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS). The second and final window to apply for the scheme opens today, with applications closing on 19 October 2020. The grant is worth 70 per cent of your average monthly trading profits and capped at £6,570. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to apply.

1. Check your eligibility

The scheme is open to self-employed workers who have been financially affected due to coronavirus on or after 14 July 2020. The scheme is unfortunately not open to self-employed people working through limited companies or the newly self-employed. 

Various other conditions of eligibility also apply:

  • You must have traded in the tax year 2018 to 2019 and submitted your Self Assessment tax return on or before 23 April 2020 for that year
  • You must have traded in the tax year 2019 to 2020
  • You must intend to continue to trade in the tax year 2020 to 2021
  • Your trading profits must be no more than £50,000 and at least equal to your non-trading profits (according to your 2018 to 2019 Self Assessment tax return)

Various caveats of eligibility are outlined in this guide to SEISS.

2. Gather evidence

In order to submit a claim, you must show that the coronavirus pandemic and concurrent lockdown has had a negative impact on your business. Though there is no threshold of income decrease or cost increase to meet, you will need to provide evidence that your business has been adversely affected. Evidence may take the form of:

  • Accounts showing a decrease in turnover or increase in costs
  • Dates that your business had to close due to lockdown restrictions and/or that you or your staff were unable to work due to coronavirus symptoms, shielding or caring responsibilities
  • Confirmation of coronavirus-related business loans received

3. Make your claim

You must submit a claim yourself rather than have someone submit one on your behalf. To apply, you will need:

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

The link to make your claim can be found here.

4. Receiving the grant

Claims will be checked and grants paid into your bank account within 6 working days. You will receive an email once the payment is on its way.

For full details on the SEISS, visit the GOV.UK guide here.

At IPSE, we understand how frustrating it is that key self-employed groups like directors of limited companies and the newly self-employed have been left out of the scheme. We are campaigning hard against to change this: find out more about our work here.


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IPSE is the leading association for contractors, consultants, interims, freelancers and the self-employed. We strive to bring our members the most comprehensive and useful range of information and services and all the latest news about what affects your business.