The Government recognises the impact that the changing path of the virus has had on self-employed individuals and has taken action to increase the level of assistance available through the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) Grant Extension.
The overall level of the third SEISS grant has been increased to 80 per cent of average trading profits, meaning that the maximum grant available has now increased to £7,500. This provides equivalent support to the self-employed as is provided to employees through the Government contribution in the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.
The Government will also be paying out this grant more quickly by bringing forward the SEISS 3 claims window from 14 December to 30 November.
This will provide an estimated £7.3bn of support to the self-employed through November to January alone, with a further grant to follow covering February to April. This places the SEISS among the most generous schemes for the self-employed in the world.
The SEISS continues to be just one element of a comprehensive package of financial support for the self-employed. The Government has temporarily increased the Universal Credit standard allowance for 2020-21 and relaxed the Minimum Income Floor for the duration of the pandemic meaning that where self-employed claimants' earnings have significantly fallen, their Universal Credit award will have increased to reflect their lower earnings. In addition to this, the self-employed may also have access to other elements of the package, including tax deferrals, rental support, mortgage holidays, and other business support grants.