by Maysam Rizvi
The government recently announced the Self-employment Income Support Scheme or SEISS. Under this scheme you will be able to access 80% of your profits up to a cap of £2,500 per month. HMRC will use the average profits from tax returns in 2016-17, 2017-18, 2018-19 to calculate the size of the grant.
The good news is there is some support if you fall within the eligibility criteria which includes:
The bad news is that if you don’t hit any of the above criteria you won’t be eligible. Also, the grant will only be available in June. If you’re living on a budget and are dependant on the funds with no savings this is going to be a challenging situation.
If this is bad news for you, there are still things you can do. Here are my top 7 things to do:
1. Start putting a budget together – be very harsh, ensure you mark things as essential vs. non-essential.
2. If you have any debts, freeze mortgage payments or credit card payments – you will still have to pay these after 3 months and might increase your repayments but will give you short term relief if things are really bad.
3. If you are renting, talk to your landlord to figure out how they can access mortgage holidays and they can support you in this difficult time.
4. Cash is king, which means make sure you keep money available for essentials. Cut all non-essential expenses.
5. Connect with your local council, often there is support available, in any case it is good to give them feedback on your situation – given a number of people as struggling it might be challenging to get through sometimes to access this but stay strong.
6. Connect to Department of Work and Pension to get access to emergency funding through Universal Credit. We know this is currently challenging with the amount of wait time but stay focused. Ensure you have all your relevant paperwork to make this as easy as possible.
7. Find local food banks and charities that can support if the situation gets challenging, ensuring you and your family have food on the table is important. No one is going to evict you in this period but you still need to ensure you have enough food to get you through this.
The challenge might be overwhelming but remember you’re strong, intelligent and can find ways to make it work. It is important that you try to manage yourself out of the crisis. It’s also important to realise it will take a few months (after you start earning again) before things return back to normal. Don’t panic continue to focus on essentials and repay the more important bills first before getting onto managing your budget. You can get more information on this here:
There is light at the end of this and we’ll continue to find relevant resources for you to use and in the meantime stay safe and don’t panic. You got this.
If you have any feedback on any services you’re struggling with or any questions, please get in touch with us.