Martin Lewis offers warning on SEISS rules ahead of third grant opening – ‘much stricter!’

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Martin Lewis is the founder of Money Saving Expert, and he uses his multiple platforms to provide support to people right across the country. His Money Show continued after an instalment earlier in the week, on Thursday evening, co-hosted by Angellica Bell. Throughout the show, Martin provided valuable financial tips and tricks, but one particularly important issue was the third SEISS grant.

The latest grant for the self-employed is scheduled to open on Monday, providing support to potentially millions of people affected by the ongoing pandemic.

However, as Martin explained, there have been changes to SEISS rules since the last grant was administered.

As such, it is vital to make note of alterations to avoid missing out entirely on the government’s support.

Martin said eligibility for the third grant hinges on a person’s entitlement to the first and second, whether they claimed or not.

New SEISS rules mean self-employed Britons are set to receive 80 percent of average trading profits up to £7,500.

This will cover the months of November to January to provide self-employed people with peace of mind. 

However, a point Martin really drove home was that declaration criteria is much stricter this time around.

While the SEISS grant used to require Britons to prove they have been “adversely affected” by COVID-19, there is a change afoot.

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Now, self-employed people will have to declare “significant trading profit reduction” since November 1, due to the pandemic.

For those who are unsure whether they have been affected, Martin has encouraged holding off on an application.

Self-employed people should wait until they have a so-called “reasonable belief” they have seen profit reduction to apply.

However, it is still important to keep one eye on the calendar, as this must be done by January 29.

Martin also outlined the instances where significant trading profit reduction would occur.

He said factors such as lower demand, activity or capacity would count, for example, if there are fewer customers or a person experienced cancelled contracts.

Significant trading profit reduction may also be due to being temporarily unable to trade.

This could be down to a number of instances, including government restrictions, or the instruction to shield or self-isolate.

However, one Briton named John was confused as to the new rules on SEISS.

He wrote to Martin asking how it would be possible to prove his business fit in with significant trading profit reduction.

This is because he said he would not have been contacted by clients anyway, and so was afraid he could potentially lose out. 

Martin sympathised with John’s dilemma, but said while there was little to be done, there could be some sensible action to take.

He encouraged self-employed individuals in a similar predicament to compare their trading from this year to last to see the difference.

In addition, Martin recommended keeping as many receipts and as much documentation as proof as possible to help with a claim.

However, if Britons are still unsure, he once again emphasised that waiting to make a claim could be the most sensible option. 

Martin Lewis is the Founder and Chair of To join the 13 million people who get his free Money Tips weekly email, go to

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