To get Support for Mortgage Interest, you must be out of work or of State Pension age, and get:
- Income Support
- income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
- income-related Employment and Support Allowance
- Universal Credit, or
- Pension Credit.
There’s a 39-week waiting period from the time you claim SMI until your first payment is made.
This is unless you’re getting Pension Credit, in which case you can get help immediately.
If you’re on Universal Credit, this waiting period is nine assessment periods (equivalent to nine consecutive months).
If you’re receiving an eligible legacy benefit, you can work up to 16 hours a week before losing your entitlement to SMI.
However, if you’re on Universal Credit and have any ‘earned income’ you won’t qualify for SMI and you’ll have to restart your waiting period.
Even if you have previously declined an SMI loan, your claim can be backdated to the date you first became eligible.
If this date is before 6 April 2018, when SMI changed from being a benefit to a loan, then your claim will be backdated to 6 April 2018.