Thank you for contacting me about Support for Mortgage Interest (SMI).
SMI supports claimants receiving income-related benefits with the interest payments on their mortgage. In order to make the scheme fairer and more sustainable, changes have been made to SMI from April 2018 which has meant payments have been paid as a loan rather than as a benefit. This will ensure the support SMI provides is more reasonable and affordable, while also giving claimants continued security in their homes.
The new loans will not have to be repaid until the property is sold. Recovery of the loan will be limited to the amount of available equity, and where this is insufficient to enable the loan to be fully recovered the outstanding balance will be written off. These provisions will mean SMI continues to deliver the same level of support that is currently provided, and benefit claimants will receive the same level of protection from the threat of repossession as they do now. The higher capital limit of £200,000 for working age people who made their claims after January 2009 will also be maintained.
Thank you again for taking the time to contact me.