Coronavirus: Government extends self-employed grants

The extension of SEISS closes for applications on 30 November
The extension of SEISS closes for applications on 30 November

The government has extended a grant for self-employed workers to help mitigate ongoing market disruptions caused by the pandemic.

Farm businesses adversely affected by the Covid-19 crisis can apply for the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) grant.

The extension opens to applications on 30 November and comes in the form of two further grants for three-month periods covering November 2020 to January 2021 and February to April 2021.

To be eligible for the next phase from November to January, farmers will have to confirm they have been adversely affected by the crisis.

The Ulster Farmers Union (UFU) said the grant would provide 'essential support' for businesses whole incomes continued to be hit by Covid-19.

UFU president Victor Chestnutt said: “The grant extension will ensure that members who are experiencing an ongoing decrease in farm revenue due to fallen market returns, increased input costs, reduced demand or stalled trading activities are supported over the winter months.

"Members who have evidence to show that their farm business continues to be negatively affected by Covid-19 and can meet the criteria of the government scheme, can apply."

Self-Employment Income Support Scheme grants are calculated over three months, based on a percentage of past trading profits.

The grant will cover up to 80 percent of average monthly profits subject to a maximum grant of £7,500 for the period November to January.

This must be declared as income as the grants are taxable and subject to National Insurance contributions.

Mr Chesnutt added: "It will provide them with the support needed to help sustain their businesses as the pandemic continues and if farmers did not apply for previous stages, they are not necessarily excluded from this third stage.”