Coronavirus: Claim a grant through the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme

News article

If you're self-employed or a member of a partnership and have been impacted by coronavirus (COVID-19) you may be eligible to claim the grant

This guidance was withdrawn on 2 June 2021.

Claims for the fourth SEISS grant have now closed. The last date for making a claim for the fourth grant was 1 June 2021.

The online claims service for the fifth grant will be available from late July 2021. Find out more about the fifth grant.

This guidance will be updated by the end of June 2021.

You must make your claim for the fourth grant on or before 1 June 2021. Before you claim, you must make sure you meet all the eligibility criteria.

What you will need to make your claim

You will 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 lost Unique Taxpayer Reference.
Find out how to get your lost 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

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

Online services may be slow during busy times. Check if there are any problems with this service.

Start now

If an amendment to your tax return on or after the 3 March 2021 lowers the grant amount you’re eligible for, you’ll need to tell HMRC within 90 days. You may need to pay back some or all of the grant.

HMRC will provide more information by mid May 2021 about what to do if you’re not sure if your grant amount has reduced.

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

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

Do not contact HMRC 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 your claim.

If you made a claim in error as you were not eligible for a grant, have been overpaid or would like to make a voluntary repayment, tell HMRC and pay back 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
  • the claim reference number

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
  • Contact Tracing Service communications - if you've been instructed to self-isolate in-line with NHS guidelines and are unable to work from home (if you've been abroad and have to self-isolate, this does not count)
  • 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 

Contacting HMRC

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

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

First published 26 March 2020