Are you receiving income related benefits?
Do you have a mortgage on your own home?
Does the benefit Agency help with your mortgage payments?
If yes to all the above then you need to know about these important changes coming to Northern Ireland that will affect you in 2018.
Support with Mortgage Interest (SMI) is a payment made by the government to help people on income related benefits pay the interest on their mortgage repayments. There are currently 11,200 claimants in NI of which 8,100 are working age and 3,100 are pension age according to the Department of Communities in Northern Ireland.
SMI is changing from a benefit to a loan on April 6th 2018.
Regulations are being drawn up, so that from April 6th 2018 the government will no longer pay claimants SMI to help with their mortgage interest costs. If on that date a claimant is in receipt of income related benefits (income support; Income based ESA; Income based JSA, Pension Credit or Universal Credit), they will be invited to apply for a loan to help manage the cost of their mortgage interest. This will have to be repaid to the government on sale or transfer of the customer’s home.