Why some self-employed people may miss out on government Covid support

The Self-Employment Income Support Scheme was introduced in order to pay self-employed people whilst they cannot work due to Covid-19. The basic qualification for the scheme is being self-employed or a business partner in a partnership for the whole of the 2018/19 tax year. Grants can be up to £2,500 per month depending on profits over the past three tax years. Whilst this scheme does cover many thousands of workers, there are thousands of people who are not covered or have failed to claim.

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Those who failed to claim

The self-employed and business partners that HMRC considered able to claim was based on information taken from 2016/17, 2017/18 and 2018/19 tax returns. HMRC sent letters, text messages or emails to the identified people asking them to make a claim if they met the criteria. Unfortunately, due to changes of address and mobile phone numbers, many people did not get the HMRC request. Some of these people who were not notified did make a claim, but there are believed to be many who are entitled to the payments under the scheme and have not yet claimed. According to accountants Chippenham and other towns can help you make a claim.

Office for National Statistics data on those ineligible to claim

The ONS data showed that some 151,000 people who became self-employed between April and December 2019 would not qualify for the scheme. There were also another 431,000 who started self-employment between April 2018 and March 2019 and therefore cannot show a full tax year of earnings and may not qualify for financial help.

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Some of the self-employed in this group did make a claim, but the payment will be based on a few months’ earnings in total for the whole tax year of 2018/19. To find out of you are eligible, visit Chippendale and Clark or other accountants.

Other groups that missed out

Self-employed people who made £50,000 or more profit per year and those whose self-employment income made up less than half their total income also missed out. There are also self-employed sole directors of companies and sub-contractors who are not eligible for the grant.


There are many self-employed people who do not qualify for the grant and others who may be eligible but have not yet applied. There is a deadline of 19th October 2020 to apply for the grant.

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