3rd Self Employed scheme – different criteria

On 30th November the portal opened for the SEISS (self employed income support scheme) applications.

This time there’s a slight variation (of course!). It is no longer sufficient to just be ‘adversely affected’, you have to be able to demonstrate if asked, ‘reduced demand’ or have your business forced to close. And what’s more ‘significant reduced demand’? See below*

To qualify this time you need to have the original conditions in place from the previous grants. So if you were excluded before, you’re still sadly excluded now.

So you will not qualify if you

  • started your business after 5 April 2019,
  • submitted your 2018/19 tax return after 23 April 2020
  • had self-employed profits of less than half their average annual income
  • had average annual profits for 2016/17 to 2018/19 in excess of £50,000.

If you qualify for this grant (and the previous ones, it follows) even if you didn’t apply before, you can apply this time. And the rate increases back up to the 80% from the very first scheme. So equivalent of up to a maximum of £2500 a month or £7500 for the three months.

The period you are claiming for is for the three months Nov to Feb.

* The fine print:

The reduced demand test is set out in a new HMRC Direction for SEISS.3 at para 4.2. It requires the trader to suffer a significant reduction in trading profits for the relevant basis period (see below). “Significant” is not defined, so it must take its normal English definition as having a great effect, or something that affected a situation to a noticeable degree.


The HMRC guidance on checking whether the taxpayer can claim the SEISS.3 grant confirms the individual must be:

  • currently trading and be “impacted by reduced demand”; or
  • has been trading but the business is temporarily closed due to coronavirus.

The trader must also confirm they are:

  • intending to continue to trade; and
  • they reasonably believe that the impact on their business will cause a significant reduction in their trading profits due to reduced business activity, capacity or demand, or inability to trade due to coronavirus during the period 1 November 2020 to 31 January 2021.