Self-Employed Income Support Scheme: SEISS

This note only covers the third grant, which covers the period from 1 November 2020 to 31 January 2021.

Brief Overview

  • It is set to open the week commencing 30 November and will cover the period from 1 November 2020 until 31 January 2021.
  • You can get as much as £7,500.This is made up of 80% of three months’ worth of average monthly trading profits capped at £2,500/month. To calculate this HMRC looks at your tax returns from 2018/19, 2017/18, and 2016/17. If you have already claimed SEISS this year, it is exactly the same as the first grant and you will receive the same amount as you did for that grant claim.


The eligibility for the third SEISS grant is similar to the first two so if you couldn’t claim for those, then you cannot for this one either. However, even if you could claim for the first two grants you also now have to meet the additional criteria that your business has been impacted by reduced demand as well:

  • You must declare that your business has been impacted by reduced demand due to Covid-19 in the qualifying period. This differs from the first two grants, where any adverse impact due to Covid-19 would mean you qualified for the scheme. This means you CANNOT make a claim on the basis you cannot/could not work because you were self-isolating or shielding (both would have made you eligible for the first two grants). Also, additional expenses, such as PPE, now do not count. 
  • You must have filed a tax return for 2018/19. This means you must have been self-employed before 6 April 2019. The last possible moment to file a 2018/19 tax return was 23 April 2020 (the deadline had been extended from 31 January 2020). If you only had a few months’ self-employment on your 2018/19 return, this is counted as your total profit for the year – the Government will not pro-rata it based on your monthly profits.
  • You must earn more than 50% of your total income from self-employment. To check this, HMRC will first look at your 2018/19 tax return to see if it was the case then. If you are not eligible based on 2018/19 alone, it will then look at the tax years 2016/17, 2017/18 and 2018/19 to see if the average of your trading profits across the three years were more than 50% of your total income. Income from property, dividends, savings, pensions and taxable benefits all count as “non-trading income” and, to qualify for the SEISS, the total of these combined must NOT exceed 50% of your total income. 
  • Your average trading profit must be less than £50,000/year. This means for those whose average annual trading profit is more than £50,000; you will not be able to get any support from this scheme. HMRC says it will first check your 2018/19 tax return – if you met the requirements that year, you will be eligible. However, if you earned more than £50,000 (or earned less than half of your income from self-employment) in 2018/19, it will check your 2016/17 and 2017/18 tax returns if you filed them for those years. If on average over the three years you earned less than £50,000 and made more than half your income from self-employment, you will be eligible. 
  • You can keep working if you claim the grant. You do not need to prove coronavirus impact, though you need to declare your business has been impacted for the period you’re claiming for. HMRC will check for fraudulent claims.
  • You don’t need to have applied for an earlier grant to get the others. As long as you meet the eligibility criteria, it is possible to apply for just one or any combination of the four grants.
  • You can also apply for and get universal credit (SEISS does not make you ineligible). But once you start receiving self-employed income support too then, this will be classed as income, meaning the amount of universal credit you receive will decrease. But you will not have to pay back previous months of universal credit because of your SEISS payment.

You must either be: 

  • actively trading and intend to continue to trade. You will need to declare that you are trading and intend to continue to trade when you apply. Or, 
  • Previously trading but temporarily unable to do so due to coronavirus. This could be as a result of local or national lockdowns. 
  • You can claim the SEISS grants on top of local lockdown payments. If you own business premises that need to shut, you can get both; however, you must be trading and intending to continue to trade at the time of application for the SEISS grant.

Last updated: 17.11.2020

Whilst the information in this document is correct; you should always obtain individual advice from a qualified accountant.