The Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) was first announced by Chancellor Rishi Sunak in March 2020. SEISS followed the announcement of the Government’s furlough scheme, the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, with SEISS intended to mirror this support for the self-employed.
How many self-employed grants have there been?
The Government has approved four SEISS grants for eligible self-employed people during the coronavirus pandemic.
So far applications have opened, and closed, for three grants under the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme.
The first SEISS grant covered the period of March to May 2020, while the second grant covered June to August 2020.
The two months of September and October 2020 were not covered by a SEISS grant.
The scheme was later extended, with the Chancellor announcing two further SEISS grants would follow for late 2020 to early 2021.
The third SEISS grant, which is worth 80 percent of average trading profits capped at £7,500, covered November 2020 to January 2021.
Applications for the scheme’s third grant closed on January 29, 2021.
How will SEISS grant four change?
While SEISS has been met with significant approval for the help it has provided some people, many have been left out by the scheme’s eligibility criteria.
The newly self-employed, directors of companies and people earning more than £50,000 per year in profits are among some self-employed people who are not eligible for SEISS.
Liron Smadja, Director of Global Expansion Marketing at Fiverr, told Express.co.uk: “The Government’s extension of the SEISS is encouraging for Britain’s army of self-employed entrepreneurs – but there are some serious issues in the way it’s been targeted.
“The continual mounting issue of SEISS eligibility has left thousands of self-employed workers unable to access Government support… the fourth grant should be an opportunity for the Chancellor to solve this crisis and acknowledge that serious consideration needs to be given to this crucial sector of the economy.
“But we suggest taking this a step further. Freelancers have been economically suffering as a result of the pandemic.
“Yet, they have not been granted the same support that many others have and due to gaps in current support schemes in place for the self-employed, many freelancers remain unrecognised and ineligible.
“A much more targeted approach is needed to address the gaping holes in the support for self-employed workers.
“We, therefore, encourage the Government to progress with the proposed “Targeted Income Grant Scheme” (TIGS) to support those who have been self-employed since April 2019.”