Guidance

Coronavirus (COVID-19): what to do if you’re self-employed and getting less work or no work

Guidance for people who are self-employed and getting less work or no work because of coronavirus (COVID-19).

Claim a grant if you’ve lost income

If you’re getting less work or no work because of coronavirus (COVID-19), you might be able to claim a grant through the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme.

Check if you can claim a grant through the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme.

Other financial support

You might be able to get a Test and Trace Support Payment, New Style Employment and Support Allowance (ESA), Universal Credit or Pension Credit.

Test and Trace Support Payment

Your local council might be able to give you £500 if:

  • you’ve been told to self-isolate

  • you live in England

  • you’re on a low income

  • you cannot work from home and will lose income as a result

Find out more or apply for a Test and Trace Support Payment.

New Style Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)

If you or your child has coronavirus, is self-isolating or shielding, you might be able to get New Style ESA. You can apply for it if:

  • you’re under State Pension age

  • you have made enough National Insurance contributions over the last 2 to 3 years

Your savings and partner’s income will not affect how much you get. You might be able to get Universal Credit at the same time as New Style ESA.

Find out more or apply for New Style ESA.

New Style Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA)

If you were working as an employee within the last 2 to 3 years, you might be able to get New Style JSA. You can apply for it if:

  • you work less than 16 hours a week

  • you’re under State Pension age

  • you have made enough class 1 National Insurance contributions over the last 2 to 3 years, usually by working as an employee

Your savings and partner’s income will not affect how much you get. You might be able to get New Style JSA at the same time as Universal Credit.

Find out more or apply for New Style JSA.

Universal Credit

You could get Universal Credit if:

  • you have less than £16,000 in savings

  • you or your partner is under State Pension age

If you’re already getting tax credits, they will stop when you or your partner applies for Universal Credit.

You might be able to get Universal Credit at the same time as New Style ESA or New Style JSA. Depending on your circumstances, Universal Credit can include additional amounts for things like rent or the costs of raising children.

Find out more or apply for Universal Credit.

Pension Credit

You could get Pension Credit if:

  • you and your partner have both reached State Pension age

  • your weekly income is below £173.75 (for single people) or £265.20 (for couples)

You might still be able to get it even if you have savings, have a pension or own your home.

Find out more or apply for Pension Credit.

If you cannot make a Self Assessment payment on account

If you were due to make a Self Assessment payment on account by 31 July 2020, you can put off your payment until 31 January 2021.

Looking for other work

Find full or part-time jobs in England, Scotland and Wales using the Find a job service. There is a different service to search for jobs in Northern Ireland.

Published 8 April 2020
Last updated 3 November 2020 + show all updates
  1. Updated the guidance to clarify eligibility conditions for Universal Credit and New Style Employment and Support Allowance and to add Pension Credit, New Style Jobseeker's Allowance and the Test and Trace Support Payment as other financial help that can be claimed.

  2. Added that interviews and assessments will be done by telephone. You should only go to a jobcentre when asked to do so.

  3. Added more information about who might be able to get New Style Employment and Support Allowance because of coronavirus.

  4. First published.