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Self-employment grant scheme confusion as applications delayed for thousands

THOUSANDS of self-employed workers have been left confused over exactly when they can apply for a second coronavirus cash payment.

Applications for the second self-employed income support scheme (SEISS) open today but some workers are being told that they can’t actually submit a claim until later this week.

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It’s not until they log into their government gateway account on the GOV.UK website that they’re told they can’t actually apply for it today.

Under SEISS the government will cover up to 70 per cent of trading profits over three months, worth up to £6,750 in total.

The cash is to help those who work for themselves if their income has been negatively impacted by the impact of the pandemic.

One person wrote on Twitter: “Having to wait until Friday to claim the second SEISS payment.”

Another said they’re not able to claim until August 19 on wards, while someone else wrote they’d been told to wait until August 20.

HMRC has told The Sun that it is staggering claim dates to make it easier to process payments – it’s the same system used for the first SEISS grants.

Those who are eligible for the help have been given a claim date of between August 17 and 21.

The payouts are transferred into bank accounts within six working days of making the claim, but those with a later date will see their payments pushed back later than expected.

For example, people who are allowed to apply today will receive their payment on August 25 at the earliest.

Self-employed workers who are allowed to apply from August 21 won’t be able to get the money until August 31 at the soonest.

But you don’t have to apply on the first day that the scheme opens to you – those who are eligible have until October 19 2020 to submit a claim.

So if your business is doing okay now but hist a rough patch in September, you’ll still be able to apply for the grant ahead of the deadline.

Around 2.5million people – half of Britain’s army of self-employed workers – claimed the first SEISS grant between May and June this year.

This time around, claimants have to prove their income has been affected after July 14 before getting the payout.

The loophole means that loss of earnings in June and half of July is not covered by the government support.

An HMRC spokesperson said: “The scheme is now open for the second and final SEISS grant and tens of thousands of people are already successfully making their claims.

“As with the first grant eligible customers are being given a date from which they can claim, this ensures our systems are resilient and can serve millions of people in just one week – between August 17 and 21.”

Self-employed workers who are struggling can receive the pay out as well as claim Universal Credit, but it will be classed as income and may affect how much benefits you receive.

You can apply for the second grant even if you received a SEISS payout earlier on in the year.

Applications for the first grant, worth up to £7,500, have now closed.

 

 

 

 

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