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Financial Support

Sources of financial assistance in times of hardship and guidance on Government benefits

On this page you can find information about:

The Government recently announced a financial relief package for the self-employed, and you can read the full details here. However please note that it looks likely that this will take until June 2020 to roll out. You can now check your eligibility for SEISS on the Government's website.

In the meantime affected self-employed members may find the alternative sources of financial relief listed below useful.

Hardship funds

The following funds have been designed to provide emergency financial relief to musicians struggling due to the affects of the coronavirus outbreak. In all cases, these funds are limited and you are encouraged to only apply if you are in dire need.

Please note that any hardship grants received will be counted as taxable income by HMRC.

Sources of financial assistance

The following resources may be able to offer advice and other assistance, as well as direct monetary contributions.

  • Help Musicians – Help Musicians is an independent UK charity for professional musicians of all genres, from starting out through to retirement.
  • The Royal Society of Musicians – All applications to the Society are considered in confidence. Help may be offered in many ways, whether it be living expenses, rehabilitation, counselling, referrals to specialised practitioners, or consultations with financial advisors.
  • PRS Members’ Fund – This fund offers members of PRS for Music financial support and advice in times of need.

Accessing benefits

In the immediate term, if you are struggling financially, you may wish to see if you are entitled to any other benefits by visiting Citizens Advice's Coronavirus webpages which contain a lot of helpful information for what support there is for people who have been affected by COVID-19. You can find them here.

Government schemes which may be applicable

The Government have recently announced a financial relief scheme for the self-employed. However, it seems likely that this will take until June 2020 to roll out. Receiving sick pay or Universal Credit will not affect your eligibility for this scheme, so we recommend that you apply in the meantime.

Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme

This scheme could be applicable to self-employed workers who run their own businesses. Government are offering to act as a guarantor for loan applications, allowing a 'no' credit decision for a lender to become a 'yes'.

For more detailed information see British Business Bank's explanatory document.

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

Musicians running their own businesses and paying themselves a PAYE salary will likely qualify to claim under this scheme, by putting themselves on furlough.

However, the only earnings that will be counted in calculating this payment are those paid through PAYE.

For more detail information see the UK Government website, or see detailed FAQs on the scheme from Thompsons Solicitors.

Further Government support for the music industry

We will continue to lobby for the best deal for musicians, throughout the coronavirus outbreak and beyond. Members and musicians are also encouraged to join our call for better protections for freelancers works.

Find out more about the current measures from UK governments against the coronavirus’ effect on the creative industries

Get daily updates about Coronavirus and it's impact on musicians