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Big changes to SEISS for new parents

Back in June, the UK government announced that they would be supporting the self-employed with a grant to supplement income lost during the pandemic.

The Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) was available to:

  • Self-employed workers who had submitted their 2018/19 tax return by 23rd April 2020
  • Those whose trading profits made up more than 50% of their income

Everyone eligible could claim a grant of up to £14,070. And this was split into a maximum payment of £7,500 in June and then a second payment of up to £6,570 in August.

So, what’s new?

Originally, if you didn’t submit a 2018/19 tax return or if your self-employment income didn’t make up more than 50% of your income, you weren’t eligible to claim the grant. And if this was the case because you were pregnant, on maternity leave or caring for a new baby, it didn’t affect your eligibility. 

But now, the government has announced that they will work out your eligibility for the grant based on your 2016/17 and 2017/18 tax return if you weren’t eligible because of the following reasons:

  • You were pregnant/gave birth
  • You were caring for a child younger than one
  • You’d adopted a child that you’ve been caring for for less than a year 

This eligibility extension also applies to military reservists who weren’t previously eligible to claim. 

How much can I claim?

The government is letting you claim retrospectively, so if you’re eligible, you could claim up to the maximum grant of £14,050 in one.

The deadline to claim is 19th October 2020 – and if you’re eligible, you’ll be paid within six days.

Am I eligible?

Here’s a list of what makes you eligible:

  • You were self-employed in the 2017/18 tax year
  • Your 2017/18 tax return was filed before 23rd April 2019
  • New parents must fill in HMRC’s online form to verify their status as parents by 5th October 2020
    • Evidence of your Maternity Allowance claim
    • Your baby’s name and date of birth
    • The date of adoption
    • Child benefit number
    • Your child’s birth certificate
  • Military reservists must be self-employed
    • You must have carried out reservist activities for at least a 90-day period during when your 2018/19 profits were calculated
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