The Self-Employment Income Support Scheme has been extended several times over the course of the UK lockdown. The scheme has so far offered three grants to eligible claimants. A fourth and fifth SEISS grant is also scheduled for later this year.
The fourth SEISS grant will be worth 80 percent of average monthly trading profits, capped at £7,500 for February to April 2021.
The fifth SEISS grant will be worth either 30 percent or 80 percent of average monthly trading profits, dependent on how a claimant’s turnover has been affected.
The fifth grant will be worth three months’ worth of average monthly trading profits, but it will cover May to September 2021.
Applications for SEISS grant four will open in late April until May 31, 2021.
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This year, the Government is hoping to reopen the economy and bring back some normality to daily life, by keeping Covid cases under control and rolling out vaccines.
Lockdown measures have so far been eased in line with the Prime Minister’s roadmap plan, with Boris Johnson hopeful all restrictions can ease by the end of June 2021.
According to self-employment experts, SEISS is unlikely to be extended again, and only a situation like lockdown being extended could prompt the announcement of a sixth SEISS grant.
Joanne Harris, Technical Commercial Manager at the accountancy firm Nixon Williams, which works with sole traders, contractors and freelancers, told Express.co.uk: “The Government has been clear that the current easing of lockdown will be irreversible, however, if the lockdown is extended for any reason, I expect the SEISS will be revisited and extended.”
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Another expert said the “unpredictable” nature of the virus could mean Government support has to be extended past September 2021, however self-employed people “should assume that the fifth grant will be the last”.
Steve Taklalsingh, MD UK Business at FinTech company, Amaiz, told Express.co.uk: “The Government has said that there will be ‘a fifth and final grant covering May to September’.
“Of course, they have said before that grants are ‘final’, only for them to be extended.
“However, the vaccine programme has now reached all vulnerable groups and the impact is showing in the key statistics (hospitalisations and deaths).
“I would therefore expect Government support to be withdrawn as a way of pushing for a return to ‘normal’ life.
“Of course, this virus has been unpredictable and there may be bumps in the road which may change this.
“We might also see exceptions made for the self-employed in sectors that will take longer to get back to normal (particularly travel and entertainment).
“However, if you’re self-employed, I think you should assume that the fifth grant will be the last.”