Coronavirus: Self Employed Income Support Scheme FAQs

Coronavirus: Self Employed Income Support Scheme –  Frequently Asked Questions…



I work in construction as a subcontractor. My site is still open, and I have been informed I should be attending work. I have no underlying health issues but do not feel safe attending site. Where do I stand?

There has been no official publication on this. If your place of work is operating outside government guidelines you should follow the guidelines and inform the site you will be doing so. The government have not advised that construction sites close. You will need to review the contract you have with the site. Are you in breach of contract if you do not turn up for work, or are you required to send a substitute? You may need to seek legal advice.



If I have decided I will suffer no legal consequences from not attending available work as I do not feel safe. Will I still be entitled to Statutory self-employed pay?

This is a grey area as work is available within government guidelines. However, initially we expect payments will be made without too many questions: the government will just want to help keep people and businesses going. The guidance simply states that a claim is available where a business has lost trading profits due to Covid-19. This may suggest that a “voluntary” reduction in work would be acceptable but as with all of the recent legislation no definitive answer is available and individuals will need to assess the risks involved as a result of this uncertainty. It must be considered that in the case of clawback it could lead to substantial personal liability for the self-employed.



I only became self-employed within the 19/20 tax year and have not been self-employed historically, where do I stand?

At this point you will not be picked up under the Job Retention Scheme or Self Employed Income Support Scheme. The only option at this time at a personal level appears to be Universal Credit.  We suggest you submit your 19/20 tax return as soon as possible in the hope that there will be further guidance issued or the chance to appeal. We cannot guarantee anything at this stage.



If I start to claim Universal Credit can I still qualify for the Self Employed Income Support Scheme?

No guidance has currently been issued to say that you cannot. However, conversely there is no distinct guidance stating that you can. The current available information suggests that the Self-employment Income Support Scheme will be treated as earnings in Universal Credit. Your Universal Credit payment will adjust in response to changes in your earnings, meaning that both schemes can be claimed but will interact with each other.



How do I claim?

HMRC will contact eligible individuals and make the payments direct. Payments do not seem likely to come though until June.