Coronavirus: Taxi Drivers Financial Assistance Scheme 2021

News article

The second Covid-19 support fund for Northern Ireland taxi drivers has opened

The Taxi Drivers Financial Assistance Scheme 2021 provides a one-off financial support payment to eligible self-employed taxi drivers who were working or were available for work between 22 March 2020 and 21 March 2021.

The scheme is open to Northern Ireland taxi drivers only who had either continuous or partial insurance throughout the entire 12 month period.

The support offered will be via a one-off bespoke payment and will be made on a pro-rata basis reflecting the individual circumstances of and costs incurred by each driver. The maximum amount of support available will be £3,000, including any payment already made under the first scheme.

The scheme is open to eligible self-employed taxi drivers under the Taxi Driver (Coronavirus, Financial Assistance) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2021 through the powers conferred by sections 1 and 3 of The Financial Assistance Act (Northern Ireland) 2009.

The scheme is specifically designed to provide financial assistance to taxi drivers in recognition of the impact of the pandemic on their trade. It recognises that self-employed taxi drivers have significant overheads, including additional PPE costs, which were not covered by payments received through the available self-employed income support schemes (SEISS). Therefore, this is additional support to that which is available to self-employed drivers through the SEISS.

The SEISS allowed individuals to claim a taxable grant worth 80 per cent of their average monthly trading profits. This separate scheme recognises that drivers have not been able to earn as much income to cover their ongoing costs, such as taxi insurance, but which they have still had to payout.

If you think that you are eligible for support from the Taxi Driver Financial Assistance Scheme in line with the legislation, you must apply online. Hard copy applications cannot be accepted for this scheme.

The scheme is now open for applications and closes at 23:59 on 26 February 2021.

Eligibility criteria

To be eligible for financial assistance, NI taxi drivers must demonstrate that, during the period 22 March 2020 and 21 March 2021, they have experienced a significant loss of income and meet the following eligibility criteria:

  • directly incurred overhead costs and expenses, which may include personal protective equipment expenses
  • had a valid taxi driver's licence, and
  • had valid taxi insurance covering driving for hire and reward

The scheme is open to applicants who had either continuous or partial insurance throughout the entire 12 month period.

Drivers who were unable to work because they were shielding, but still incurred the overhead costs, will also be able to apply for this new scheme.

How much can you get

Payments will be calculated on a daily pro-rata basis, at a daily rate of £8.25 up to a maximum of £3,000 for the 12 month period. Applicants who had previously received £1500 under the first scheme will only be eligible for a further payment in relation to the October 2020 to March 2021 period – that is, a maximum of £1,500.

Exclusions

Taxi drivers who work or are engaged solely in the provision of funeral services will not be eligible. Also, drivers whose applications do not include at least 30 qualifying days during the eligible period 22 March 2020 to 21 March 2021.

Further information

Payments will only be issued to successful applicants who meet the eligibility criteria above during the period stipulated. No payments will be made to any applicant before the closing date of 26 February.

Read detailed Taxi Driver Financial Assistance Scheme guidance to check eligibility before you apply.

How to apply

If you think that you are eligible for support from this Taxi Drivers Financial Assistance Scheme 2021 in line with the legislation, you must apply online only.

Apply for the Taxi Driver's Financial Assistance Scheme

The deadline for applications is 23:59 on 26 February 2021.

First published 15 February 2020