The government has opened applications for the second phase of grant support for self-employed people across the UK who’ve seen their incomes sink as a result of coronavirus.
Grants worth up to £6,570 will be made available in the coming weeks to several million people via what is official referred to as the Self Employed Income Support Scheme (SEISS).
Around 2.7 million people are believed to have benefitted from the first phase of SEISS, with close to £7.8 billion having been distributed through the scheme so far.
SEISS was created in the weeks after the UK was first hit by the coronavirus pandemic, with the aim being to get financial support out to self-employed men and women across the country whose incomes were badly hit because of the virus and the subsequent lockdown.
Applications for the initial phase of SEISS opened on May 13th, with HMRC processing several million claims for support within weeks thereafter.
The government has said that the second phase of the self-employment support scheme will be the last, with successful claimants being promised the equivalent of 70 per cent of their average monthly income, up to a certain point.
Expectations are that relevant payments will be made to successful applicants within six working days of their applications being made.
The payments will be designed to cover for lost income among self-employed people between July 14 and mid-October when the scheme officially closes.
Rishi Sunak, chancellor of the exchequer, said in a statement: “Our self employment income support scheme has already helped millions of hard working people, whose get up and go drive is crucial to our economy.
“It means that people’s livelihoods across the country will remain protected as we continue our economic recovery - helping them get back on their feet as we return to normal.”
Although the government’s support for the self-employed sector provides help to millions of people, there are still concerns that many freelancers will be unable to make successful claims for grants via SEISS for reasons that aren’t really their fault.
Some critics have also said that the government should be continuing to provide financial support for struggling self-employed professionals beyond the October deadline after which the SEISS is set to close.