Newly Self Employed Hardship Fund
The deadline for applications has been extended to 11.59pm on 23 March 2021.
This Fund is for Self-employed people in Scotland who have lost income due to the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic but have not been self-employed for a sufficient period of time to qualify for the Self Employment Income Support Scheme.
From 16th February 2021 this fund will be open for applications for a four week period. Please note that it is vital that your application is completed correctly as you cannot resubmit your application if you make an error and there is no appeals process after the fund closes.
Please read the application process closely here. You can watch this handy video which guides you through the application process.
The scheme offers a one-off £4,000 payment for those whose status as being newly self-employed makes them ineligible for the UK Government’s Coronavirus (Covid-19) Self-employment Income Support Scheme.
To be eligible for the Newly Self-Employed Hardship Fund, you must be able to demonstrate that you:
- (i) Became self-employed on or after 6 April 2019 but before 17 March 2020 (and are therefore ineligible for the UK Government’s Self Employment Income Support Scheme because you did not submit a tax return including income from self-employment for 2018-19)
- (ii) Became self-employed between 1 October 2018 and 6 April 2019 but are ineligible for the Self Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) because you weren’t self-employed for a sufficient period of time in the 2018/19 Financial Year to demonstrate that you derived 50% of your income from self-employment
In addition, you must confirm when submitting your application that you:
- are ordinarily resident in Scotland
- are registered with HMRC as self-employed and have a valid Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR) number
- operate a business that is located in Scotland
- trade as self-employed, not as a limited company
- derive over 50% of your income from self-employment
- reported trading profits below £50,000 in the financial year 2019-2020
- started your business before 17 March 2020 and have continued to operate after 1 April 2020 (unless you are operating in a sector subject to ongoing Covid-19 restrictions which have forced the closure of your business)
- have lost business income due to coronavirus restrictions and are experiencing personal financial hardship as a result
- are ineligible for other Covid-19 related business grant support, including the Strategic Framework Business Fund, Covid-19 Temporary Restrictions Closure and Hardship Funds, Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, Mobile and Home-Based Close Contact Services Fund, Wedding Sector Support Fund and Hardship Fund for Creative Freelancers
- have taken steps to limit costs and expenditure, including through schemes such as VAT deferral and seeking a mortgage payment holiday
- do not have access to sufficient savings or other sources of income to cover your basic living costs
- have not breached Covid restrictions in place for businesses in Scotland
If you received funding through the first round of the Newly Self-Employed Hardship Fund launched in April 2020, you are still able to apply for support. This is a follow-on from that scheme and recognises the need for further help with living costs.
Page updated 18/03/2021