Dickson Reassured that Eligibility Criteria for the NSESS has been Amended

East Antrim Alliance MLA, Stewart Dickson, is reassured to see that the Department for the Economy has decided to amend the eligibility criteria for the Newly Self-Employed Support Scheme (NSCSS). The scheme was intended to support those who commenced self-employment in 2019/20 and have been adversely impacted by Covid-19, with eligible applicants receiving one-off taxable grants of £3,500.

However, as Mr Dickson noted: “So far, the scheme has not succeeded in reaching enough of the individuals it was devised to support. This is because the Department for the Economy carbon copied the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS), with insufficient regard for the nuances of this distinct group in the business world.

I am glad to see that the Department has now realised that many worthy claimants have been rejected from receiving support on mere technicalities, and have taken steps to rectify the situation.”

Mr Dickson concluded by encouraging self-employed individuals to assess their own eligibility and apply to the scheme: “The deadline for applying to the scheme is 19 February, so I urge all those eligible to apply for support as soon as possible.”

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.

Applications for NSESS close at 6pm on Friday 19 February 2021 - www.nibusinessinfo.co.uk/content/newly-self-employed-support-scheme

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