Can the coronavirus rescue fund for the self-employed help you?

Last week the government announced a financial rescue package for those who are self-employed, which can give qualified self-employed workers up to £2,500 per month in grants, for at least three months.  

This is great news for all the self-employed workers who have seen work dried up, but do you qualify for it? Here are 5 common questions and answers that will help you understand what’s on offer and if you can benefit from it. 

Do I qualify? 

To qualify for this scheme, you will need to be self-employed with a trading profit of less than £50,000 in 2018-2019, or an average trading profit of less than £50,000 from 2016 to 2019.  

You’ll also need to have more than half of your income during the periods above to come from self-employment.  

You will also need to already be in self-employment to qualify. The reason for this? The Chancellor confirmed that this was to prevent fraudulent claims.  

When will I get the help? 

The grant will be paid in June. It will be paid as a lump sum covering three months.  

The amount given will depend on the average trading profits of tax returns in 2016-2017, 2017-2018 and 2018-2019.  

I pay myself a salary through a limited company. Will I qualify? 

Unfortunately, if you pay yourself a salary and dividends through your own limited company, will not qualify for this scheme. 

I haven’t made any profits. Will I qualify? 

Unfortunately, if you haven’t made any profits, you won’t qualify for the grant. If you are newly unemployed and haven’t filed any tax returns, you will also not qualify for the grant. 

What happens if I can’t get money from the self-employment scheme? 

If you don’t qualify for the self-employed scheme for any reason you can apply for Universal Credit.  

If you happen to be self-employed but working through your own limited company, you can apply for the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, if you operate a PAYE scheme.  

If you need additional help, you can apply for a business interruption loan, and the government is also providing help with VAT and business rates.