The Government has introduced a number of financial relief measures to help keep people working and earning during the coronavirus pandemic. Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced the arrival of the coronavirus job retention scheme in March, to allow employers to furlough staff rather than make them redundant. This scheme was shortly followed by the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme, to support people who are self-employed during the crisis.
This week Mr Sunak announced a number of changes to both schemes.
The schemes had initially been introduced from March, and were due to end in June.
However, on May 12 Mr Sunak announced an extension to the furlough scheme, leaving many wondering whether the self-employment scheme would also be extended.
More than 2.3 million claims have been made to the self-employment scheme, with grants issued totalling more than £6.8 billion.
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Has the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme been extended?
Unlike the Government’s furlough scheme, the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) paid those eligible in one instalment.
The grant initially covered 80 percent of a self-employed person’s monthly trading profits, capped at £7,500 covering a period of three months.
HMRC opened the scheme for applications earlier in May ahead of schedule.
The first grant covered the months of March, April and May.
This week Mr Sunak announced self-employed people will be able to claim for a second and final grant in August.
The grant will be worth 70 percent of average monthly trading profits.
The second and final self-employed grant will be capped at a total of £6,570.
The second grant will cover the months of June, July and August.
For the coronavirus job retention scheme, the Government will continue to pay up to 70 percent of an employee’s wages in September capped at £2,187.50 per month.
In October the Government will cover 60 percent of an employee’s wages, when the scheme is expected to end.
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Chancellor Rishi Sunak said of the update: “Our top priority has always been to support people, protect jobs and businesses through this crisis.
“The furlough and self-employment schemes have been a lifeline for millions of people and businesses.
“We stood behind Britain’s businesses and workers as we came into this crisis and we stand behind them as we come through the other side.
“Now, as we begin to re-open our country and kickstart our economy, these schemes will adjust to ensure those who are able to work can do so, while remaining amongst the most generous in the world.”
When can I claim the second Self-Employment Income Support Scheme grant?
Individuals can continue to apply for the first SEISS grant until July 13, and apply for a second grant in August.
Prior to HMRC opening applications for the first grant under the scheme, people who were eligible were contacted in advance and given a date to apply.
Further details are expected to be announced on how people can claim the second grant in due course.
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