Fourth self-employed grant: SEISS payment confirmed in budget - date HMRC claims could open, and who is eligible?

Self-employed workers will get a fourth support grant, Rishi Sunak has confirmed

The fourth Self-Employment Income Support Scheme grant has been outlined by the UK Treasury as part of today’s (3 March) budget.

The grant has already supported millions of self-employed people across the UK, with billions being handed out to those affected by lockdown restrictions.

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The UK chancellor, Rishi Sunak gave more details about the support grant in the House of Commons, confirming that it will continue into the spring and summer.

The chancellor, Rishi Sunak, has outlined plans for a fourth SEISS payment (Photo: Shutterstock)
The chancellor, Rishi Sunak, has outlined plans for a fourth SEISS payment (Photo: Shutterstock)

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So, how will the government support self employed people with a fourth grant, and who can apply?

This is what we know so far.

Will there be a fourth SEISS grant?

Sunak confirmed that there will be a fourth payment, supporting self-employed workers affected by coronavirus restrictions from February 2021 until April 2021.

The UK government has told how a fifth SEISS grant will also be offered, to support self-employed people as lockdown lifts later in the year.

Who is eligible to claim support from the SEISS grant?

To make a claim for the fourth grant your business must have incurred economic downturn from the impact of coronavirus, which will have caused a significant reduction to your profits.

Traders who are continuing to trade but who face restrictions which impact their profit making, or who are unable to trade are eligible to apply.

Sunak also announced that an extra 600,000 newly self-employed people are now eligible to claim government support, due to the government now allowing workers to submit their 2019-2020 and 2020-2021 self-assessment tax returns as evidence of their earnings.

"When the scheme was launched, the newly self-employed couldn’t qualify because they hadn’t all filed a 2019-20 tax return,” said Sunak.

“But as the tax return deadline has now passed, I can announce today that, provided they filed a tax return by midnight last night [2 March], over 600,000 more people, many of whom only became self-employed last year, can now claim the fourth and fifth grants.”

To be eligible for the previous three grants, self-employed workers had to have traded in both 2018 to 2019 and 2019 to 2020. This is no longer the case.

HMRC’s guidance states that members of a partnership can also claim, and support will be based on their share of the partnership’s profit.

Applicants must be able to prove that they plan to continue trading, or providing a service, beyond the end of the fourth grant’s support, which ends in April.

How much is available?

Sunak said the full grant (80 per cent of typical monthly earnings, up to £2,500) will be given to people whose turnover has fallen by 30 per cent or more, telling MPs: “People whose turnover has fallen by less than 30 per cent will therefore have less need of taxpayer support and will receive a 30 per cent grant.”

Therefore, the one off grant covering the three months of February, March and April will be set a maximum of £7,500, depending on what your usual income is.

The previous three grants have also set at 80 per cent, although the third grant had been initially set at just 20 per cent.

How do I apply?

Applications are not yet open, although the government is likely to announce when you can apply in the next few days, with further details on how to apply for SEISS grant four expected in the coming weeks.

Applications for the scheme’s fourth grant are expected to open from April 2021.

You can determine if you will be eligible by viewing the criteria on the Government website.

Guidance on how to submit proof of earning and how your trade has been impacted by the lockdown is available on the HMRC website.