The Treasury said that from 8am this morning, 13.05.2020, self-employed individuals or members of partnerships whose business had been adversely affected by coronavirus would be able to apply for the grants - worth 80% of their average monthly trading profits.
The Self Employed Income Support Scheme is designed to match the support being given to furloughed employees.
Payments, it was explained, would cover three months of lost income and be paid in a single instalment, capped at £7,500, within six working days of the claim being agreed, the process will be run by HM Revenue & Customs.
Those identified as potentially qualifying for the scheme had already been notified by HMRC and can use a unique reference to make their claim.
It is the biggest direct financial support package for freelancers and the self-employed since lockdown started and claims for lost work can be backdated to March.
The Government has not said whether it will be extended in line with the furlough scheme.