Guidance

Claim a grant through the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme

Find out how to claim the grant if you're self-employed or a member of a partnership and have been impacted by coronavirus (COVID-19).

The online service to claim the fourth grant will be available from late April 2021.

If you’re eligible based on your tax returns, HMRC will contact you in mid-April to give you a date that you can make your claim from. It will be given to you either by email, letter or within the online service.

You must make your claim on or before 1 June 2021.

Before you claim, you must meet all the eligibility criteria for the fourth grant.

What you’ll need to make your claim

You’ll need your:

  • Self Assessment Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR)
  • National Insurance number
  • Government Gateway user ID and password
  • UK bank details including account number, sort code, name on the account and address linked to the account

Only provide bank account details where a Bacs payment can be accepted.

You may also need to answer questions about your passport, driving licence or information held on your credit file.

If you do not have some of those things

Find out how to get your Unique Taxpayer Reference or National Insurance number.

If you cannot remember your Government Gateway ID or password, you can attempt to recover them. You can do this when making your claim. You may need to answer questions about your passport, driving licence or information held on your credit file.

If you do not have a Government Gateway ID or password, you can create one when making your claim.

How to claim

The online service will be available from late April 2021.

HMRC will contact you in mid-April to give you a date that you can make your claim from. It will be given to you either by email, letter or within the online service. You’ll not be able to claim before this date.

You can check a list of genuine HMRC contacts if you receive any suspicious texts, calls or emails claiming to be from HMRC as this may be a scam.

You must make the claim yourself. You must not ask a tax agent or adviser to claim on your behalf as this will trigger a fraud alert, which will delay your payment.

HMRC will check claims and take appropriate action to withhold or recover payments found to be dishonest or inaccurate. If you know you are not eligible for the grant and do not tell us, you may have to pay a penalty.

If an amendment to your tax return on or after the 3 March 2021 lowers the amount you’re eligible for, you’ll need to tell us within 90 days. You may then need to pay back some or all of the grant. If you do not tell us, we’ll contact you after the deadline for making amendments to tell you what amount you may need to pay back.

If you’re not sure if your amount of grant has lowered, you should contact us for further help.

Return to your claim

If you need to return to your claim, you can:

  • check the status of your payment
  • update your bank details if we have asked you to
  • check how much you got for previous grants
  • check to see if you think the grant amount is too low

After you’ve claimed

We’ll check your claim and pay your grant into your bank account within 6 working days. We’ll send an email when your payment is on its way.

Do not contact us unless it has been more than 10 working days since you made your claim and you have not received your payment in that time.

If your business recovers after you’ve claimed, your eligibility will not be affected as this is based on your reasonable belief that your trading profits would have been significantly reduced at the time you made your claim. You must keep evidence to support this.

If you made a claim in error as you were not eligible for a grant or would like to make a voluntary repayment, tell HMRC and pay some or all of the grant back.

Records you need to keep

You must keep a copy of all records in line with normal self-employment record keeping requirements, including the:

  • amount claimed
  • grant claim reference

If you’re currently trading but have reduced demand

You must keep any evidence that your business has had reduced activity, capacity or demand due to coronavirus at the time you made your claim, such as:

  • business accounts showing reduction in activity compared to previous years
  • records of reduced or cancelled contracts or appointments
  • a record of dates where you had reduced demand or capacity due to government restrictions

If your business is temporarily unable to trade

You must keep evidence if your business has been unable to trade due to coronavirus, such as:

  • a record of dates where you had to close due to government restrictions
  • NHS Test and Trace communications - if you’ve been instructed to self-isolate in-line with NHS guidelines and are unable to work from home
  • a letter or email from the NHS asking you to shield
  • test results if you’ve been diagnosed with coronavirus
  • letters or emails from your child’s school with information on closures or reduced hours

Contacting HMRC

We are receiving very high numbers of calls. Contacting HMRC unnecessarily puts our essential public services at risk during these challenging times.

But you can contact HMRC if you cannot get the help you need online.

Published 13 May 2020
Last updated 9 April 2021 + show all updates
  1. This guidance has been updated with information about the fourth SEISS grant.

  2. Claims for the third grant have now closed. The last date for making a claim for the third grant was 29 January 2021. Details about the fourth grant will be announced on 3 March 2021.

  3. Added translation

  4. Added translation

  5. The online service for the third grant is now available.

  6. This page has been updated with the information for the third grant of the Self Employed Income Support Scheme.

  7. The service is now closed for the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme. You can no longer make a claim for the second grant.

  8. The Self-Employment Income Support Scheme claim service is now open.

  9. Information about what to do if you were not eligible for the grant or have been overpaid has been added.

  10. Updated to confirm that the online service for the first grant is closed.

  11. Added translation

  12. The scheme has now been extended. A second and final grant will be available when the scheme opens again in August 2020. If you’re eligible and want to claim the first grant you must make your claim on or before 13 July 2020.

  13. First published.