2. What you'll get
If you qualify for Support for Mortgage Interest (SMI), you’ll get help paying the interest on up to £200,000 of your loan or mortgage. If you’re getting Pension Credit, this figure is £100,000.
If you’re already getting SMI and move to Pension Credit within 12 weeks of stopping your other benefits, you’ll still get help with interest on up to £200,000.
The standard interest rate used to calculate SMI is 2.61%.
What’s not included
SMI can’t help you pay:
- the amount you borrowed - only the interest on your mortgage
- anything towards insurance policies you have
- missed mortgage payments (arrears)
When SMI benefit ends
SMI benefit is ending on 5 April 2018, and will be replaced by a loan.
The loan offers the same support for paying your mortgage interest. However, you’ll need to repay the loan with interest when you sell or transfer ownership of your home.
You’ll get a letter by February 2018 telling you about the loan and other options available to you.
How SMI is paid
SMI is normally paid direct to your lender.
Payments begin 39 weeks after you claim one of the following:
- Income Support
- Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA)
- income-related Employment and Support Allowance
- Universal Credit
If you apply for any of these benefits on or after 7 July 2017, you won’t be able to get SMI benefit. You can get an SMI loan instead.
If your Pension Credit payment begins on or after 6 April 2018, you won’t be able to get SMI benefit. You can get an SMI loan instead.
You can only get SMI benefit for 2 years if either:
- you’re getting income-based JSA and apply for the first time
- you started getting SMI benefit after 5 January 2009
This limit won’t apply to SMI loans.
There’s no limit to how long you can get SMI benefit if you’re getting: