Agri Food news

Grant extension available for farms adversely affected by Covid

Victor Chestnutt, president, UFU.

The Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) grant has been extended to help mitigate ongoing market disruptions caused by Covid-19 including adversely affected farm businesses.

The extension opens to applications on November 20, offering two further grants for three-month periods covering November 2020 to January 2021 and February to April 2021.

“Covid-19 has created a lot of challenges for the agriculture industry and the extension to the SEISS will provide essential support for farm businesses whose incomes continue to be hit by Covid-19,” said Victor Chestnutt, president, UFU.

“To be eligible for the next phase from November to January, farmers will have to confirm they have been adversely affected by the crisis. This will help to ensure that farm families who need support receive it as soon as possible.

“The grant extension will ensure that members who are experiencing an ongoing decrease in farm revenue due to fallen market returns, increased input costs, reduced demand or stalled trading activities are supported over the winter months.

“Members who have evidence to show that their farm business continues to be negatively affected by Covid-19 and can meet the criteria of the Government scheme, can apply. It will provide them with the support needed to help sustain their businesses as the pandemic continues and if farmers did not apply for previous stages, they are not necessarily excluded from this third stage.”

SEISS grants are calculated over three months, based on a percentage of past trading profits. The grant will cover up to 80% of average monthly profits subject to a maximum grant of £7,500 for the period November to January.

This must be declared as income as the grants are taxable and subject to National Insurance contributions. The eligibility criteria remains the same as the first and second grants. The online service for the grant will be available from 30 November 2020.

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