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Self employment and benefits - Self employment and benefits: Frequently asked questions

If you or your partner are working, or thinking of starting work, as a self employed person you might qualify for welfare benefits to top up your income.

Self employment and benefits: Frequently asked questions

1. Can I get self-employed Maternity Pay?

Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP) is paid by an employer when an employee leaves work to have a baby. If you are self employed, you cannot get Statutory Maternity Pay as you are working for yourself and therefore do not have an employer.

If you are self employed and temporarily unable to work due to having a baby, you should check if you qualify for Maternity Allowance.
 

2. I am self employed. Can I claim paternity benefits?

The main paternity benefit is Statutory Paternity Pay. This is paid by an employer to an employee who meets the qualifying conditions to cover a period of leave for a birth or an adoption. If you are self employed, you cannot get Statutory Paternity Pay as you are working for yourself and therefore do not have an employer.

3. Can I get self-employed Sick Pay?

Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) is paid by an employer when an employee is unable to work due to sickness. If you are self employed, you cannot get Statutory Sick Pay as you are working for yourself and therefore do not have an employer.

If you are self employed and temporarily unable to work due to illness, you should check if you have made enough national insurance contributions to qualify for New Style Employment and Support Allowance.
 

4. Can a self-employed person get any help to pay the mortgage on their home?

You will only be able to get help towards the mortgage interest payments on your home if you are entitled to one of the following benefits:

You cannot get Income Support, income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance and income-related Employment and Support Allowance if you work full time – i.e. work more than 16 hours or more per week, or your partner works more than 24 hours per week.

If you work part time and your earnings, other income and capital are low enough and you meet the other rules for these benefits, you might be able to claim a Support for Mortgage Interest loan.

To find out whether you can get one of these benefits, use our Benefits Calculator.

If you get Universal Credit, you can only claim a Support for Mortgage Interest loan if you have no earned income at all. 

5. Can I get any help growing/ starting my business?

New Enterprise Allowance is a scheme that is intended to help unemployed people start a business through business mentoring and a weekly allowance. You may be able to claim it if you (or your partner) get Jobseeker’s Allowance, Universal Credit, or Income Support as a single parent. You can only get it if you live in England, Scotland or Wales.

If you take part in the New Enterprise Allowance scheme, you will get access to a mentor and a weekly allowance paid at £65 a week for 13 weeks, then £33 per week for a further 13 weeks (up to a total of £1,274). There is also the chance to apply for a loan of up to £25,000 to help with business start-up costs.

To access the New Enterprise Allowance you should speak to your work coach.

See the Gov.UK website for more information on the New Enterprise Allowance

Updated: October 2019

 

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