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Newly Self-Employed Hardship Fund

The Scottish Government's Newly Self-Employed Hardship Fund is designed to support newly self-employed individuals who have not been able to access support through other schemes.

The Newly Self-Employed Hardship Fund offers non-repayable hardship relief grant payments of £2,000.

PLEASE NOTE: To be eligible you must meet all of the criteria below

  • Became self-employed on/after 6th April 2019 (did not submit a tax return including income from self-employment for 2018-19)​
  • Over 50% of individual income is from self-employment
  • Trading profits below £50,000 in financial year 2019-20​
  • Can provide evidence of active trading up to March 2020 and intend to continue trading in the tax year 2020-21​
  • Have lost business due to coronavirus and experience personal financial hardship as a result​
  • Ineligible for other COVID-19 related business support (including the Business Interruption Loan Schemes, Corporate Finance Fund, Job Retention Schemes, Future Fund, R&D Focussed SMEs Fund, HMRC Self-Employment Income Support Scheme, Non-Domestic Rates relief, Small Business Grant or other business support)​
  • Do not receive working age benefit payments (Universal Credit, Statutory Sick Pay, Employment and Support Allowance, Job Seekers’ Allowance, Income Support) or have applied for but not yet started receiving Universal Credit
  • If you are in receipt of Universal Credit or have received an advance from Universal Credit you are not eligible. If you have applied for Universal Credit but are not yet in receipt you will be eligible if you meet all other criteria
  • Trade as self-employed, not as a limited company or partnership ​
  • 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 meet basic needs ​

Before starting the online application, please read the FAQ document to check on eligibility and then ensure you have the appropriate supporting documentation available to upload:

Mandatory Items (all 3 items must be included in your application):

  • Proof of Identity (ideally photographic. E.g. a valid passport or driving licence)
  • Proof of Address (e.g. a recent Council Tax bill or utility bill)
  • Bank Statements (business or personal) Covering January, February and March 2020 showing account details (inc. name, a/c number and sort code) and full transaction history as evidence of Income and Outgoings from Self-employment

Plus Any 2 of the Following Items must be included in your application:

  • Evidence of a supplier or reseller trade account (active)
  • Evidence of valid business insurance (current)
  • HMRC Unique Taxpayer Reference (if registered). If not yet registered, copy of correspondence/other details showing registration is being sought/or provide further details to explain position.
  • VAT Registration Number
  • Marketing materials for your business, e.g. business website, active social media – provide links
  • Other evidence of business activity to support your claim

The scheme is being administered in Fife by Fife Council.

HAVE YOU READ OUR FAQs regarding the Newly Self-Employed Hardship Fund


Click here to apply online

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