The third SEISS (Self-Employment Income Support Scheme) grant opens for applications today (30 November).
To qualify for SEISS grants, businesses must be adversely affected due to the coronavirus (COVID-19). They must either be currently trading but be impacted by reduced demand or have been trading but be temporarily unable to do so due to COVID-19.
However, the Association of Independent Professionals and the Self-Employed (IPSE) has warned that the rules around the third grant are stricter and more complex than before.
The latest guidance on checking if you can claim a grant and new guidance on how trading conditions affect eligibility include an additional test. This requires the claimant to intend to continue to trade and reasonably believe there will be a significant reduction in their trading profits due to reduced activity, capacity or demand or inability to trade due to COVID-19.
Andy Chamberlain, Director of Policy at IPSE, said: 'We have called for a more focused distribution of SEISS and understand the efforts to target the funds at those most badly affected, but we are concerned these new rules are confusing and risk creating a climate of fear around applying.
'These complex rules may deter many self-employed from claiming support they need – and leave those who do always looking over their shoulder for fear of HMRC demanding the money back.'
Claimants can check their eligibility for the SEISS here.