Self-employed: financial help if you’re sick or self-isolating
If you’re self-employed and are sick or self-isolating due to Coronavirus, or caring for a child who is sick or self-isolating, you may qualify for benefits including new style Employment and Support Allowance and Universal Credit.
Need to know
What is it and who can get it?
- New style Employment and Support Allowance is an income support payment paid every two weeks. You can make a claim if you have a full National Insurance record for the tax years 2017/18 and 2018/19. You cannot claim it if you already receive the severe disability premium.
- Universal Credit is a means tested benefits which might also help you with the costs of housing, children and caring responsibilities. It’s paid monthly and is based on household income. You make a claim if you and your partner’s savings are less than £16,000 between you.
How much will you get?
- New style Employment and Support Allowance – typically £74.35 a week, or £58.90 if under age 25.
- Universal Credit – is made up of a standard allowance and different elements to help with the cost of housing, children and caring responsibilities. How much you will get depends on your circumstance and savings.
Useful to know
- If you qualify for Employment and Support Allowance the amount of Universal Credit you get will reduce by the same amount.
- The minimum income floor has been temporarily abolished for self-employed people claiming Universal Credit. This should increase the amount you’re entitled to claim.
- If you’re still working, your Universal Credit payment will be affected by your earnings. If you’re getting a self-employment income support grant, this will need to be declared as income and will affect your Universal Credit payment.
Action to take
- Check your National Insurance contribution record on the GOV.UK website.
- If you’re already getting Universal Credit, apply for new style ESA through your online account .
- If don’t qualify for Universal Credit, check your eligibility for new style ESA and apply on Gov.uk.
- Learn more about who qualifies for Universal Credit and how to claim.
- If you’re self-employed you might get help through the self-employment income support grant. You might be able to get this even if you’re not eligible for Universal Credit or new-style Employment and Support Allowance.
- There is other support available to help you with housing costs, bills, loans and credit cards.
If you’re a business owner
- If you need to access finance, you may be able to get support through the government’s Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme.
- Small businesses can access loans of between £2,000 and £50,000 through the Bounce Back Loan Scheme. These are interest free for 12 months and no repayments will be due during this time.
- If you’re registered for VAT and deferred its payments, this can be spread over 11 smaller interest-free payments during the 2021/22 tax year.
- Self Assessment tax return payments deferred from July 2020 and due in January 2021 can be deferred until January 2022.
- If you are in the retail, hospitality or leisure sector you qualify for a business rates holiday for the 2020/21 tax year. This will be applied automatically.
- If your business premises have a rateable value below £51,000 you may qualify for cash grants of between £10,000 and £25,000. Read about business grants for small businessesopens in new window.
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