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Last updated:
17/11/2017

Can I claim Welfare Benefits if I’m living with a mental illness?

Support for Mortgage Interest

  1. Overview
  2. How do I check what I’m entitled to?
  3. Universal Credit
  4. Employment and Support Allowance
  5. Jobseeker’s Allowance
  6. Income Support
  7. Incapacity Benefit
  8. Severe Disablement Allowance
  9. Statutory Sick Pay
  10. Working Tax Credits
  11. Personal Independence Payment
  12. Housing Benefit
  13. Support for Mortgage Interest
  14. Council Tax: Exemptions and support to pay
  15. Social Fund
  16. Next steps

Support for Mortgage Interest (SMI) is there to support with the interest payments on your mortgage – it does not help you pay towards any capital repayments. You can claim SMI if you live in a mortgaged property and claim:

  • Income-related Employment Support Allowance,
  • Income Support,
  • Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance, or
  • Pension credits.

Universal Credit (UC) will include extra payments to meet mortgage interest costs if you are not working and you live in a UC area.

You will have to wait 39 weeks after you apply for SMI to get your first payment and the DWP will pay your mortgage lender – there is no waiting time if you are claiming pension credit.

Help with mortgage repayments

You will have to wait 39 weeks after you apply for SMI to get your first payment and the DWP will pay your mortgage lender – there is no waiting time if you are claiming pension credit.

SMI will only help with the interest portion of a mortgage up to the value of £200,000 and you will only be able to claim up to £100,000 if you get pension credits. SMI will not help pay back the amount you borrowed. The rate that SMI is paid at is based on the Bank of England’s standard interest rate – in July 2017, the Bank of England set this rate at 2.61%. You can find out how much the rate is at any time by checking the Support for Mortgage Interest website.

You will have to do the following if you do not have an interest-only mortgage and you would like SMI payments:

  • Pay the remainder of your mortgage payments each month to make sure that you do not go into arrears.
  • Come to an arrangement with your lender such as switching to an interest-only mortgage.

Contact the Jobcentre Plus or the Pension Service to apply for SMI or ask more questions.

When will SMI stop?

You can claim SMI for up to two years if you get Income-related Jobseeker’s Allowance (IR-JSA), and started the claim after 4th January 2009. There is no time limit if you claimed before that date, or if you receive income support, pension credit, income-related employment and support allowance or UC. You may be able to get financial help from the Mortgage Interest Run On scheme (MIRO).

You can do this if your benefits stop because you work more hours or earn more money. It applies to the following benefits:

  • Income Support
  • Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance

MIRO lasts for four weeks and you will get the same amount you did from Support for Mortgage Interest – MIROs are paid directly to you instead of to your lender.

Important Changes

In 2018, SMI will change to a repayable loan, with interest and administration charges added on top. This will affect both new and existing claimants. The loan will be repaid when you return to work, sell your property or will be recovered from your estate when you pass away

Within this subject

  1. Overview
  2. How do I check what I’m entitled to?
  3. Universal Credit
  4. Employment and Support Allowance
  5. Jobseeker’s Allowance
  6. Income Support
  7. Incapacity Benefit
  8. Severe Disablement Allowance
  9. Statutory Sick Pay
  10. Working Tax Credits
  11. Personal Independence Payment
  12. Housing Benefit
  13. Support for Mortgage Interest
  14. Council Tax: Exemptions and support to pay
  15. Social Fund
  16. Next steps

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