Home NORTHERN IRELAND NEWS Economy Minister amends eligibility criteria for Newly Self-Employed Support Scheme

Economy Minister amends eligibility criteria for Newly Self-Employed Support Scheme


Economy Minister Diane Dodds has announced amendments to the eligibility criteria for the Newly Self-Employed Support Scheme (NSESS).

The NSESS is supporting those who commenced self-employment in 2019/20 and have been adversely impacted by Covid-19. Eligible applicants receive a one-off taxable grant of £3,500

Minister Dodds said: “The NSESS has been operating on broadly the same principles as the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS). However, this has meant that some applicants are being ruled out on technicalities, despite being very much within the group the scheme aims to assist.

“My Department has assessed these issues and is introducing changes to the eligibility criteria that will enable more applicants to qualify for support. The new criteria will be applied to existing and new applications.

“The amendments to the scheme will increase the number of self-employed people who can receive the NSESS grant. I am pleased that we can make these changes to ensure that happens.”

The amendments to the scheme are:

  • Only income from current employment will be taken into account when applying the 50% income from self-employment rule. This means that taxable income such as pensions and benefits will not be taken into account in the calculation.
  • If income from current employment is less than £12,000 then the 50% criteria will not be applied.

The Minister added: “I would like to take this opportunity to encourage people who are self-employed to apply for the scheme by 19 February if they are eligible to do so.”

Applications for NSESS close at 6pm on Friday 19 February 2021. Applicants are encouraged to read the guidance notes for full details on eligibility criteria before applying.