Who Can Claim through the UK’s COVID-19 Support Scheme?

Coronavirus has undoubtedly impacted many businesses and individuals throughout the UK and the rest of the world, leaving most of us feeling somewhat uncertain about our community’s future. 

Here at The Brew, we have temporarily closed our doors in accordance with government guidelines. 

While so much is still up in the air concerning COVID-19 — when the lockdown period will end, what that change will look like and how long it might take the economy to recover — government support is one of the only things that’s a given. 

If you’ve been affected by coronavirus, there’s a good chance you are eligible for financial support. 

To find out more about this, keep on reading. 

Who Can Claim for Financial Support? 

The full government guidelines show a table of eight contents, including support for both businesses and the self-employed. According to this official document, the government is currently offering support for: 

  • Paying employee wages
  • Paying statutory sick pay 
  • Paying business tax
  • Business rates relief 
  • Business support grants
  • Self-employed individuals
  • SMBs
  • Large enterprises.

The bill for business support in the UK has already surpassed £100bn proving that some businesses are receiving the necessary support they need to secure their future — and fast. 

Many of the aforementioned schemes are payable immediately so long as you have the relevant paperwork to make a claim. 

To quickly see what support you’re eligible for, you can use the Coronavirus Support Finder, which will take you through a series of questions relating your business income. This signposting system will then take you directly to the relevant support scheme. 

For any non-UK nationals living in or near London, you may need to seek alternative support through the EU Settlement scheme or another relevant body. Support for non-UK nationals is available, however, the following processes may not apply to you. 

How to Claim for COVID-19 if You’re Self-Employed

We know a large proportion of our community is self-employed. 

For these individuals, the impact of the coronavirus is particularly hard with little immediate infrastructure for you to rely on. 

While you might be more concerned with the maintenance and survival of your business, rather than its growth right now, the government has put in place plenty of measures to help the self-employed, including: 

Importantly, self-employed individuals will need proof of earnings from 2018–2020 to apply for a government grant via the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme. 

Evidence of a tax return for the 2018–2019 financial year is essential for you to receive a grant (based on your historical income). This is a large part of working out whether you are eligible for this support. To aid with recovery, you may defer this year’s self-assessment.

These individuals will also need to intend to work as self-employed for the coming year. 

In short, the self-employed grant is designed for individuals who have ceased or severely limited trading due to the current circumstances. It’s not for those who supplement their income with self-employed activity or who are continuing to trade and make above the state aid limits.

In addition to a government grant, you can also apply for more immediate relief through Universal Credit

Applications for Universal Credit are done as a household, meaning you need to include information about who you live with and their income. Needless to say, if you are living with others who are earning above the minimum threshold you will be less likely to receive this form of support.

During the Universal Credit application process, you will need to supply identification documents and stipulate that you want to apply for an advance payment. 

You may also apply for reduced council tax rates as part of this process. 

How to Claim for COVID-19 if You’re a Business Owner

Depending on the type of business you own, the economic impact of the coronavirus could feel like a temporary inconvenience or like a severe threat. 

For many small businesses or firms operating in the fields of hospitality, the prospects of lockdown can make the future of your business seem questionable. 

With that said, there is a whole array of financial support available for businesses. 

The most common are: 

The Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme is designed for small to medium businesses, offering financial support of up to £5 million. To be eligible for this support scheme, your turnover needs to be below £45 million. 

If your business exceeds this limit, you may want to consider the Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme — of up to £25 million — or the COVID-19 Corporate Financing Facility.  

The Coronavirus Future Fund is a convertible loan scheme offering aid between £125,000 and £5 million that will be available from May 2020. This scheme is exclusively for those not eligible for the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme due to their reliance on equity investment. 

Access to this support depends on your ability to find investors who are willing to match the proposed payment. 

The Coronavirus Bounce Back Loan is designed for smaller businesses with loans starting from £2,000. It is possible to borrow up to 25% of your business turnover to help aid your financial recovery. 

For the first 12 months, this loan is interest-free. 

For all businesses, there is the possibility of VAT deferral and access to the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

Job retention allows leaders to furlough employees with the premise that the government will pay 80% of staff wages. Eventually, employers will also be able to claim statutory sick pay support. 

It’s important to note that these support packages are continually reviewed as the situation progresses, meaning that there could be additional support released in the near future. 

For all official updates visit: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/support-for-those-affected-by-covid-19

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