If you are self-employed you can still claim the same benefits and tax credits as employed people, providing you meet the conditions of entitlement for each benefit. You can claim all of the following benefits
Working Tax Credit and Child Tax Credit including help with childcare costs
Maternity Allowance (you must have paid enough class 2 National Insurance (NI) contributions and must have worked at least 26 of the 66 weeks before the week your baby is due)
Housing Benefit if you rent your property
Council Tax Benefit
Job Seekers Allowance (Income Based) if you stop trading
Employment and Support Allowance (Income Based) if you become sick
If you are self-employed or run a small business and are having financial difficulties it is important to get the right advice as quickly as you can. If your business is getting into serious debt you may need to consider whether to continue trading. You should draw up a business plan to help you decide if your business is still viable. This should include all the assets of the business such as equipment, the likely income to the business and all the business expenditure.
There are organisations that provide free specialist advice for the self-employed and those running a small business.
Business Debtline can advise on the following matters:
Cash flow issues
Negotiating with creditors
Bankruptcy and repossession
Visit Business Debt Adviceline
Tax Aid is a charity that provides free independent advice for people on a low income who cannot afford a tax advisor. They can help with the following:
HMRC can provide business support for those having difficulty meeting tax and NI contributions.