SUPPORT FOR MORTGAGE INTEREST TO BE A LOAN FROM APRIL

Created 01/03/2018
From 6/4/2018 regulations have changed the support that people with a mortgage get from the benefits system. Instead of a payment the support will now be a loan.
 
Here are some of the main features-
● The scheme applies for those on Universal Credit, Income Support, JSA(income based), ESA(income related) and State Pension Credit(guarantee credit).
● Existing claimants who currently receive payments already(support for mortgage interest or SMI) will continue to do so for only a short period after
6/4/2018- either a week(most claimants) or a month after(UC claimants). This can be extended a little to allow documentation to be received by the DWP.
● Like the existing scheme- waiting periods- there is the same waiting periods to get help, often 39 week waits (or 9 months) before payment start. Interest is
2.61% at present. The maximum eligible loan is either £200,000(for most claimants) or £100,000(for Pension Credit or pre 2009 claimants).
● Unlike the existing scheme- There is no ceasing of payments after 2 years for JSA claimants. SERCO have won the contract to administer the gathering of
information including a telephone call. There is no passporting to free school meals, health benefits or full council tax reduction if the only reason for
eligibility for that benefit is that the loan payments have been included in the applicable amount.  Your clients will need detailed advice around these rules.