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Will the second phase of SEISS actually support the small businesses that need it?

1-minute read

Anna Delves

9 July 2020

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In May we reported on the Self-employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS), a temporary scheme set up by the government to help the self-employed get through the Covid-19 pandemic.

For the first three months of the scheme, self-employed people were potentially entitled to 80 per cent of their average monthly trading profits. The deadline for applying for this first grant passed on 13 July.

And while the Chancellor has announced that a second phase of the SEISS will go live in August, there are fears that some self-employed people will be left struggling because of how it's being delivered.

What period of time does the new SEISS cover?

The HMRC website says that to be eligible for August’s SEISS, you must show that your “business has been adversely affected on or after 14 July 2020”.

However, as the original SEISS grant covers March, April and May, this would mean that June and half of July’s earnings will not be covered.

This could be potentially disastrous for small businesses that were heavily impacted in June but had started to recover by 14 July. This is because the evidence the government is asking for wouldn't show the state of their business in June. But they would still feel the hardship from that month’s difficulties.

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A “confusing” government webinar told participants that the second part of the SEISS grants would cover June, July and August, but the government has since confirmed that this is not the case.

Who is eligible for phase 2 of the SEISS?

Disappointingly for those who were not able to apply for the SEISS the first time, the eligibility criteria for phase 2 is the same as the original.

You can find out more about SEISS here, including eligibility criteria, how to claim, and what exactly ‘adversely affected’ means.

At the moment there is no closing date for the second phase of SEISS, so if your business is adversely affected on or after 14 July, you should be able to claim.

Have you been able to access SEISS? Let us know in the comments section.

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We create this content for general information purposes and it should not be taken as advice. Always take professional advice. Read our full disclaimer

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