What Self-Employed support is available in March 2020 and how can you access it?  This is the question everyone is asking right now.  I will do my best to answer it and motivate you along the way.

This level of self-employed support is unprecedented and we are still waiting for confirmation on some of the details. 

With that in mind, I recommend you hold in your heart “There is the right support for me”.  Staying positive will help you spot the opportunities that apply to you. 

(Remember – not all countries are able or willing to provide financial support at this time.)


Let’s get started, I have split the self-employed support into sections below, click on the ones which apply to you:


Click on the title below to find the best option for you right now.

I Don't Have Any Money Now!

If you don’t have any money for food and can’t pay your rent.  Please apply for Universal Credit now or a Business Interruption Loan (see below for more info).


Universal Credit for Self-Employed Support

This is the safety net we have in this country to keep people from starving and a roof over their head.  It is also being used now as Statutory Sick Pay for people who are Self-Employed.  

What’s Available: You will get between £250 and £500 a month plus a child element, depending on your circumstances.  Crucially, you should get help with your rent and free prescriptions.  It is worth applying for if you are eligible, as £1000 and at least some of your rent paid will make a difference in 3 months time and usually you can’t backdate it.

Eligibility: Your current earnings are less than £315 a month and you have less than £15,000 in savings.

Apply:  Here is some more info about Universal Credit and Self-Employment and the link to apply. https://www.gov.uk/self-employment-and-universal-credit


Hopefully you have a contingency fund or money set aside for tax?  Please prioritise money for food  –  it is the time to ask for help from family, friends, and community –  no one should starve during this time.

If you are on other benefits like Tax Credits, I wouldn’t recommend changing as the offices are really busy right now.

Patience and positivity are the watch words to get you through the application process!

If you are well, look out for opportunites with businesses that are overwhelmed or volunteer to keep your motivation up. 

If things get really bad please call the Samaritans.  https://www.samaritans.org/



Self-Employed Support Scheme

This is designed to give the same support as the recently announced scheme for employees who are negatively affected by Covid 19.  There are still kinks to work out and we are all in slightly different situations.  Hopefully 95% of us will get some help – ideally 80% of our income.


What’s Available: 80% of your income for March, April and May.

Your income is based on what you declare to HMRC on your tax returns.  Yes, all those clever ways to reduce tax might bite you in the bum here but the chances are you will get something.  

How do they work it out? They will use your last 3 years tax returns (or 1 or 2 if you have less) and take an average.

For example, if you business has been growing and you declared to the tax office you net profit as:

2018/19 tax year =  £20,000
2017/18 tax year = £15,000
2016/17 tax year = £10,000

Add up totals which is £45,000 and divide by 3 to get the average, which is £15,000.

Divide by 12 to give you a monthly amount which is £1250 a month.

Multiply by 80 {percent button} to give you your monthly payment =  £1,000

Or  multiply by 80 and divide by 100 to give you 80% = £1000 a month.

They have promised 3 months to cover March, April, May which will be paid in June.

Which in this example will be £3,000. 



  • Be self-employed
  • Have submitted at least one tax return (if you are late, do it now)
  • 50% of your total income must come from being self-employed
  • Income in this case is the same as net profit declared on your tax return.  That is, your money after you have paid your business costs – not sales or turnover.
  • Maximum payment is £2,500 and only if you earn less than £50,000 a year.
  • Currently for 3 months (March, April, May)
  • You don’t have to close your business like Furlough for Employees and you can still work.
  • The scheme is aimed at those negatively affected by Covid 19.



You cannot apply now.  HMRC will invite you to apply in due course – I will announce this when it happens.

Beware of Scams: “You will access this scheme only through GOV.UK. If someone texts, calls or emails claiming to be from HMRC, saying that you can claim financial help or are owed a tax refund, and asks you to click on a link or to give information such as your name, credit card or bank details, it is a scam.” from the HMRC

(You will be notified in June by letter.  They will announce it on the news as well)


I don’t have any money right now? Apply for Universal Credit or a Business Interruption Loan.

I have just stared my business? This scheme doesn’t apply – sadly you are one of the groups, this scheme isn’t helping.

I don’t make much profit? Yes this is a tough one.

  • If you were struggling over the last few years it might be a good time to re-evaluate your business?
  • If you were re-investing in your business or growing rapidly you will get something.  I hope you can take the time to be ready when this is over.
  • If you were minimising tax?  Well this is the downside of that!  On the other hand, I hope you can innovative and able to find new streams of income as a result.  Or see schemes below.

Remember many countries are not getting any financial support right now and if in doubt – health before wealth – we can make money when this over so prioritise food!!

I am happy to talk about how to find new income streams during this time.  Start by booking a Let’s Chat call which is free. https://calendly.com/iexplainmoney/lets-chat


Limited Companies and IR35

There is the least amount of information available for people who operate through a Limited Company and no information on IR35 at all so far. 


What’s Available:

The PAYE Furlough scheme is available for Directors as well as staff, based on February payments.  Although no replacements for dividends are being offered, only your PAYE part.

You may have saved more tax over the years than the 80% relief you would get?   Alternatively, there is a campaign to give Ltd companies the same support as the Self-Employed here.

Business rate relief for anyone with a premises – see below

Deferring tax payments and Business Interruption Loans


I am in this category.  I mostly work online and from home and so can continue to work.  I recommend re-assessing at the end of the month when you do your figures.  Then you can submit your PAYE return based your decision or speak to your accountant.   Either way, the Government is encouraging us to find a way to keep our businesses open, if it is safe to do so and solvent.


Eligibility: PAYE income earned by Directors.  

Apply: Apply for Furlough through your PAYE scheme.


There are opportunities out there.  Communicate with your customers compassionately and ask for help or even suggestions – the community is pulling together in an amazing way.  Time to do a SWOT analysis? (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats) or ask for help? Or even support another business that is rushed off their feet right now?


I, like many other coaches and consultants am offering business turnaround sessions to find a way to earn money now.  Don’t struggle with this on your own.

Book a free Let’s Chat call if you are interested. https://calendly.com/iexplainmoney/lets-chat


I Have Premises!

This is the most automatic of all the schemes. (Update 8th April – in Shropshire applications are already being taken and money is starting to be paid out)

Grants are available of £10,000 to support businesses with their business costs.

There are extra supportive measures if you are in the retail, leisure or hospitality sector with a rateable value of between £15,001 and £51,000.



You need to be already claiming business rate relief of rural rate relief as at 11th March and your business occupies a property.

Apply: You local council will be contacting you directly.


Don’t forget to innovate – who might need premises right now?  Are there businesses near by who are expanding because they are in key areas?  Is there any part of your business or skills your could offer right now?  Try and stay positive.

Business Interruption Loans

Business Interruption Loans

Businesses can borrow up to £5 million for up to 6 years.  This can be in the form of loans, overdrafts, invoice finance and asset finance.  Don’t get carried away as you will have to pay it back!

Eligibility: Usual banking criteria apply, however it will be 80% guaranteed by the Government, which will make it easier to get.  They are also offering to cover the first 12 months interest payments and upfront fees to reduce initial payments for small business.  (I am sure you will have to pay it back but for some businesses will be a lifesaver)

Apply: Approach your bank now or one of the accredited lenders listed below.


Do look at innovative options – in a time of crisis, there is often the opportunity to take actions we would have thought unthinkable last month. 

Every business owner is unique, here are a few examples I have seen personally.

  • Suppliers and customers coming together and agreeing to work half-price for the duration to keep the money flowing for all instead of cancelling contracts.
  • Customers helping a business to continue functioning via deliveries and online support for free!
  • People remembering long held dreams, which will work right now.

I have free advice on how to get paid here.  Or contact me to guide you through getting paid or innovating at this time.  Book a free Let’s Chat here


My Conclusion

We are a creative and innovate people.  Fortunes are made and lost at times like these – do your best, ask for help and stay healthy.  Communicate compassionately with your customers, suppliers and staff – especially with money.  Everyone wants people to succeed right now. Be open to miracles. 

And please contact me if I can help in any way.  I am working online as usual and my fees are on a sliding scale, in order to help as many people as possible innovate and continue to be successful. 

Take care and stay healthy,

All the best, Jenny


Jenny Bracelin

I am helping people survive and thrive right now via money coaching and business mentoring. Go to my website for more information  https://iexplainmoney.co.uk/


Further Resources

Tax Office Self-Employment Support Schemes


Martin Lewis from Money Saving Expert.com