Universal Credit: Does self employed grant affect Universal Credit?

The Government is pressing on with its range of financial schemes for those unable to work during the coronavirus crisis. The Self Employed Income Support scheme was launched by the Chancellor Rishi Sunak earlier on in the crisis to help self employed people from financial ruin. Self employed people are often more vulnerable as they do not have the backing of a company and its benefits, such as sick pay and maternity leave.

At the time, Mr Sunak said: “To support those who work for themselves, today I am announcing a new self-employed income support scheme.

“The Government will pay self-employed people who have been adversely affected by the coronavirus a taxable grant worth 80 percent of their average monthly profits over the last three years.”

Self employed individuals who have signed onto the grant scheme can carry on working, although most industries have ground to a halt, making the availability of work scarce.

Universal Credit is a state benefit designed to help those in and out of work with living costs.


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The scheme has been a lifeline for those who, throughout the coronavirus crisis, have been unable to find work or have been laid off and not put on furlough.

Does the Self Employed Grant affect Universal Credit?

The Government guidance states: “You can make a claim for Universal Credit while you wait for the grant, but any grant received will be treated as part of your self-employment income and may affect the amount of UC you get. Any UC claims for earlier periods will not be affected.”

For the self employed awaiting the grant, any Universal Credit claim now won’t affect future grant payments.

The grant is based on average figures over the last three tax years, and does not take account of whether a person is claiming benefits now.

However, as the Government confirmed the self-employed can still continue to work and will be eligible for the grant, money you make from your business could affect the level of UC payments.

On the flip side, the grant may affect Universal Credit payments going forward as it’s treated as income.

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Am I eligible for Self Employed Income Support?

Chancellor Rishi Sunak explained there are a number of criteria to meet in order to be eligible for the SEISS:

  • Those who have a tax return for 2018/19 will be able to apply. For those who have recently gone self-employed, they won’t be eligible for this support.
  • For those who may only have one or two years of accounts, the government will use those profits to form the basis of the grant.
  • It’s only available to those with trading profits up to £50,000 a year.
  • At least 50% of the individual’s income must be from self-employment.
  • You’ve lost trading profits due to coronavirus

Am I eligible for Universal Credit?

You can get Universal Credit if:

  • You are on low income or are out of work
  • You are 18 or over
  • You are under state pension age, or your partner is
  • You and your partner have less than £16,000 in savings
  • You live in the UK
  • A single person aged 25+ can currently get £409 per month from the Government in the form of Universal Credit.

This rate can vary, depending on your age and circumstances.

You can view the Express.co.uk guide to claiming Universal Credit while self employed here.

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