SEISS second grant problems highlighted as next month’s deadline approaches – be aware
SEISS can provide eligible claimants with a grant worth 80 percent of their profits up to a maximum of £2,500 per month. Rishi Sunak has recently extended the scheme and a second round of claims can be made in August.
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The second, and final, grants will offer a slightly reduced level of support.
Claimants of a second grant will have 70 percent of their averaged profits from the previous three months covered.
There will also be a cap in place of £6,570 in total.
Despite the reduction in support, there is till likely to be huge demand for the grants come August.
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In late May, the government revealed that SEISS has seen 2.3 million claims thus far.
This equated to £6.8billion in funding, with the overall cost being much higher with the job retention scheme taken into account.
When announcing the recent extension rules, Rishi Sunak provided the following comments: “Our top priority has always been to support people, protect jobs and businesses through this crisis.
“The furlough and self-employment schemes have been a lifeline for millions of people and businesses.
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“We stood behind Britain’s businesses and workers as we came into this crisis and we stand behind them as we come through the other side.
“Now, as we begin to re-open our country and kick-start our economy, these schemes will adjust to ensure those who are able to work can do so, while remaining amongst the most generous in the world.”
While many welcomed the extension, some have criticised the scheme for having certain limitations and shortfalls.
Sho Sugihara, the co-founder of Portify, highlighted some of these problems.
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As he detailed, the following issues may hurt claimants who desperately need support:
- “To be eligible for the second grant, applicants need to prove that their work has been “adversely affected’” by COVID-19 on or after July 14th 2020. The guidance does not define what “adversely affected’” means.
- “The government has announced that claiming maternity allowance will not affect an applicant’s eligibility for SEISS support. In addition, eligibility will not be affected if an applicant took time off work to have a child since 6th of April 2019. However, this does not solve the problem I raised previously. Workers who took maternity leave in before 6th of April 2019 and within the last three years will still be penalised by the government’s averaging approach to calculating their grant amount.
- “Finally, the new guidance still does not account for applicants who were unable to work, and experienced loss of income from prolonged illnesses over the last three tax years.”
It remains to be seen if these highlighted issues will create a problem when the portal for second grants opens in August.
Some people however may still be concerned with an initial claim, as first round grants can be applied for up until July 13.
In order to put a claim through a self-employed individual will need the following information ready:
- Their Self-Assessment Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR)
- Their National Insurance number
- A Government Gateway user ID and password
- Banking details
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