Martin Lewis gives update on SEISS grant for self-employed
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Self-employed Britons have struggled due to the pandemic, with businesses closed and months of uncertainty and anticipation for the economy reopening. Now things are looking up, with tentative dates for non-essential retail reopening, dependent on coronavirus data, laid out in Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s roadmap. But what does this mean for SEISS?
Despite the good news, those claiming SEISS are awaiting details of the fourth grant.
SEISS has been a lifeline for the self-employed during the pandemic, with three grants issued so far.
Last year it was confirmed there would be a fourth SEISS grant to cover the period of February to April.
However, despite February nearing its end, information on the fourth SEISS grant won’t be available until Chancellor Rishi Sunak outlines his budget on March 3.
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Money Expert Martin Lewis dubbed the decision to make people wait until March for details as “unnecessarily cruel”.
He said: “The fourth grant period is to cover the months February, March and April.
“Yet the confirmation I’ve had from the Treasury is that there will not be an announcement made on the amount of that grant, and who’s eligible for that grant, until the Budget, which is on March 3.
“So over a month after the grant period starts, there won’t be news on exactly how much money you can get and who is going to get it.”
So what do we know so far? Will the SEISS amount change for fourth grant?
Those claiming SEISS may be referring to past grants for information, and you would be right to do so.
Mr Lewis said anyone claiming SEISS can expect the fourth grant to continue covering 80 percent of earnings from February to April
The third SEISS grant also covered 80 percent of self-employed workers’ earnings up to £7,500.
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Workers who meet the criteria can claim 80 percent of their average monthly profits capped at £2,500 per month.
However, the scheme could either be scrapped or cut back from May when lockdown restrictions ease according to reports.
On Monday Mr Johnson outlined his roadmap out of lockdown, giving an indication for when non-essential retail and hospitality venues can reopen.
In late April some hospitality venues will be permitted to open in limited circumstances – which may mean outdoor service.
Also in April non-essential retail should reopen, however, the Prime Minister made it clear easing any restrictions was dependent on the coronavirus data.
By mid-May pubs and restaurants could reopen, however rules on social distancing and the number of people in groups are expected to remain in place.
People may also be permitted to travel around the UK in May, however with no households mixing.
The final phase of easing restrictions will come later, with the potential for travel restrictions and rules on social contact lifted in June
With the relaxation of rules depending on the data, those claiming SEISS will have to wait and see whether the scheme continues in any form past April.
Some reports suggest SEISS could be capped at 20 percent from May – however, nothing is set in stone as yet.
On Monday, Mr Johnson pledged the Government will continue to aid those impacted by the pandemic telling MPs it will do “whatever it takes” to help businesses and workers”.
Chancellor Rishi Sunak is due to give his spring budget on March 3.
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