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Self-Employed Income Support Scheme (SEISS) Grants

Further details on the Government’s Self-Employment Income Support Scheme

The application portal for the second round of SEISS funding will on 19 October 2020. An SEISS grant extension has been announced, but is not yet open for applications.

On this page you can find out:

The SEISS grant extension

The grant will be limited to self-employed individuals who are currently eligible for the SEISS and are actively continuing to trade but are facing reduced demand due to Covid-19. The scheme will last for six months, from November 2020 to April 2021. It does not seek to plug gaps in eligibility already exposed by SEISS.

The extension will be in the form of two grants. The first grant will cover a three-month period from the start of November until the end of January. This initial grant will cover 20% of average monthly trading profits, paid out in a single instalment covering three months’ worth of profits, and capped at £1,875 in total.

The second grant will cover a three-month period from the start of February until the end of April. The Government will review the level of the second grant and set this in due course.

More information is available on the Government's factsheet and further guidance will be published in due course.

How the scheme works

The SEISS grant is a taxable, lump sum grant to eligible self-employed workers. The grant amount will be 80% of your average profits over the past three years.

As this scheme will take some time to begin paying out, we recommend that affected self-employed members apply for Universal Credit (UC). Receiving UC will not affect your eligibility for this scheme

Although Government’s new financial relief scheme for the self-employed contains good news for many of our members – it is vital that no musicians are left to fall through the cracks.

Eligibility criteria for the scheme

You can apply if you’re a self-employed individual or a member of a partnership and you:

  • Have submitted your Income Tax Self Assessment tax return for the tax year 2018-19
  • Are still earning as a self-employed worker (or would be if it wasn’t for COVID-19) and intend to continue your work
  • Earn less than £50,000 a year through your self-employed work
  • Make more than half your total taxable income from self-employed work

For more information, please see the SEISS claim guidance on the Government's website.

Preparing to claim your SEISS grant

HMRC is inviting those who believe they may be eligible for the Government’s Self Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) to complete a quick online check.

If the online check shows that you are eligible, you will be given a date for when you’re able to submit your claim.

Tax charity TaxAid recently published an advice document on preparing to claim your SEISS grant, which you can read in full on their website.

Their top line advice is to make sure that you have your:

How payment from the scheme will work

The amount you get will be 80% of your average profits over the past three years, up to a maximum equivalent of three months’ worth of £2,500 a month (£7,500).

By profits, they mean your income minus your allowable expenses. This is the same as the trading profits you should have declared on your self-employed tax return. For example, you may have deducted certain costs around the upkeep of your teaching studio from your total income.

If you have less than three years of self-employment history between 2016-2019, it will be calculated on what you earnt 2017-2019, or 2018-2019 as appropriate.

The grant will be paid in a single, taxable lump sum directly into your bank account.

If you don't qualify for the scheme

If it doesn't look like you will qualify for the new relief measures for self-employed musicians, please let your MP know. Your MU Regional Office is also available to answer specific questions, and you can find further details of alternative sources of finance on our Financial Support Page.

If you run your own business

Self-employed workers running their own businesses and paying themselves a PAYE salary will likely qualify to claim under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, by putting themselves on furlough. For more detail information see the UK Government website.