Home Finance Universal Credit for the self-employed – how SEISS grants can impact payments

Universal Credit for the self-employed – how SEISS grants can impact payments


Universal Credit can provide support for people who have seen their income drop to particularly low levels or who have been made unemployed. The state benefit has been around for a number of years now but the government has also had to launch a number of new support measures in recent months.

SEISS has been one of these measures and eligible claimants of it will receive a grant from the state.

This grant will cover 80 percent of the claimants averaged monthly trading profits, paid out in a single instalment covering three months of profits.

Rishi Sunak has recently announced that the scheme will be extended and from August, a second grant can be claimed but it will provide a slightly lowered level of support.

The second grant will cover 70 percent of profits, capped at £6,570 in total.

READ MORE: Universal Credit: Work-related requirement easement rules explained

Despite this, it should be noted that previous Universal Credit payments will not have to be paid back if a person receives a SEISS grant.

To be eligible for a grant at all a claimant’s business must have been adversely affected by coronavirus, they must have traded in the 2019/20 tax years and their intentions are to continue trading in the coming months.

On top of this, they must also:

  • Earn at last half of their income through self-employment
  • Have trading profits of no more than £50,000 per year
  • Have traded in the 2018/19 tax year and have submitted their self-assessment tax return on or before April 23 2020 for that year

It should be noted that if a self-employed person applies for Universal Credit, they must report certain information at the end of monthly assessment periods.

The self-employed must inform the government of how much they earn from self-employment, how much money they’ve paid into a pension and general information about the business.

The Universal Credit payments will be based on the earnings reported and as such, they must be accurate.

Any change in circumstances must also be reported which, for the self-employed, can include the business closing, the claimant starting a different kind of business or if they’re taking a permanent job elsewhere.


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