I am self-employed. I need to work but what if I’m ill or need to self-isolate? Is there any government help for me?

Yes. Low earning self-employed people can apply for Universal Credit (UC). Self-employed people forced to take time off can now apply. There is usually a ‘minimum income floor’ but this has been removed while the crisis is ongoing. The minimum income floor is what the government would usually estimate is the least we would earn each month when self-employed. It affects how much Universal Credit we might receive. Not having the floor means we can claim for time spent off work due to sickness. For more information, contact your Work Coach.

Also, the government have now announced that self-employed workers may be able to receive a one-off grant in June. The grant (The coronavirus Self-employment Income Support Scheme) is available to self-employed workers who have an average trading profit of less than £50,000 over the past three tax years. Or, if we have only been self-employed for one year (2018/19 tax year) our earnings must be less than £50,000.

The grant is only available to people whose self-employed earnings make up more than half of their annual income. The government will be in touch directly with those of us who are eligible for the grant. The grant will cover a three-month period (March – May) and will cover 80% of lost earnings up to £2,500 per month (so £7,500 in all).

More info on The Coronavirus Self-employment Income Support Scheme is available on the government’s website: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/claim-a-grant-through-the-coronavirus-covid-19-self-employment-income-support-scheme

Updated 06/04/2020