Guidance

Decide if your business has been adversely affected for the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme

Find out if your business has been adversely affected due to coronavirus (COVID-19), examples and what records you need to keep if you make a claim.

Adversely affected is typically when your business has experienced lower income or higher costs due to coronavirus.

HMRC expects you to make an honest assessment about whether your business has been adversely affected. There is no minimum threshold over which your business’ income or costs need to have changed.

If you make a claim for the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme grant you’ll have to:

  • keep records of how and when your business has been adversely affected
  • confirm to HMRC that your business has been adversely affected by coronavirus

Decide if you’ve been adversely affected

Your business could be adversely affected by coronavirus if, for example:

  • you’re unable to work because you:
    • are shielding
    • are self-isolating
    • are on sick leave because of coronavirus
    • have caring responsibilities because of coronavirus
  • you’ve had to scale down, temporarily stop trading or incurred additional costs because:
    • your supply chain has been interrupted
    • you have fewer or no customers or clients
    • your staff are unable to come in to work
    • one or more of your contracts have been cancelled
    • you had to buy protective equipment so you could trade following social distancing rules

If your business recovers after you’ve claimed, your eligibility will not be affected.

You must also meet all other eligibility criteria to make a claim.

Adversely affected examples

Examples to help explain when you would be ‘adversely affected’ for the first grant, and for the second grant if you’ve been ‘adversely affected’ on or after 14 July 2020.

Find an example if you:

If you’re able to work within the social distancing rules

A builder worked on a very small building site and was still able to go to work throughout the pandemic as she was able to work within the social distancing rules.

Adversely affected Is the condition met?
First grant No
Second grant No

Reason

As the builder’s trade was not adversely affected by coronavirus she is not eligible to claim either grant.

If you’re unable to find work due to the impact of coronavirus

A builder was unable to find work from March 2020 to September 2020 because of the government restrictions on building sites and the economic impact of the pandemic on the companies she worked for.

Adversely affected Is the condition met?
First grant Yes
Second grant Yes

Reason

As the builder’s business was adversely affected by coronavirus before and, on or after 14 July 2020, she was eligible to claim the first grant, and is also eligible to claim the second grant.

If you were not able to work as normal before 14 July 2020

A builder worked on short-term contracts on different building sites. She only had half the work she would normally have in April 2020 and May 2020 because some of the building sites were closed. She was able to work as normal from June 2020 because the building sites reopened.

Adversely affected Is the condition met?
First grant Yes
Second grant No

Reason

As the builder’s business was adversely affected by coronavirus before 14 July 2020 she was eligible to claim the first grant. However, her business was not adversely affected by coronavirus on or after 14 July 2020 so she is not eligible to claim the second grant.

If you were not able to work as normal on or after 14 July 2020

A builder was able to work as normal from February 2020 to August 2020 because she works on small house extensions which are completely outdoors. However, she caught coronavirus in August 2020, meaning she was unable to work for 6 weeks while she recovered.

Adversely affected Is the condition met?
First grant No
Second grant Yes

Reason

As the builder was able to work as normal and her business was not adversely affected until after 14 July 2020 she was not eligible to claim the first grant. Her business was adversely affected by coronavirus in August 2020 when she was unable to work for 6 weeks so she is eligible to claim the second grant.

If you had significantly fewer customers due to social distancing rules or had to buy protective equipment

A shop owner closed his shop from March 2020 to 14 June 2020. He reopened his shop on 15 June 2020, but the number of customers he could serve was lower because of the social distancing rules. He also had increased costs due to buying protective equipment.

Adversely affected Is the condition met?
First grant Yes
Second grant Yes

Reason

As the shop was closed his business was adversely affected by coronavirus before 14 July 2020 and he was eligible to claim the first grant. His business was also adversely affected on or after 14 July 2020 because the number of customers were significantly lower and increased costs for protective equipment he is also eligible to claim the second grant.

If your contracts were cancelled due to the impact of coronavirus

A builder was due to start a 3-month project building a house extension in August 2020. However, this contract was cancelled on 15 April 2020 because the owner of the house had been impacted by the economic effects of the pandemic. The builder incurred additional costs to find new work. From June 2020 onwards, after building sites opened, she was able to work as normal.

Adversely affected Is the condition met?
First grant Yes
Second grant No

Reason

As the builder’s contract was cancelled in April 2020 and her business was adversely affected by coronavirus before 14 July 2020, she was eligible to claim the first grant. She resumed work as normal from June 2020 and was able to find other work. Her business was not adversely affected on or after 14 July 2020, so she is not eligible to claim the second grant.

What records you should keep

You should keep any evidence that your business has been adversely affected by coronavirus at the time you made your claim, such as:

  • business accounts showing a reduction in turnover or increase in expenditure
  • confirmation of any coronavirus-related business loans you have received
  • dates your business had to close due to lockdown restrictions
  • dates you or your staff were unable to work due to coronavirus symptoms, shielding or caring responsibilities
Published 17 August 2020