Support for Mortgage Interest (SMI)

If you are a homeowner and get certain income-related benefits, you may qualify for help towards mortgage interest payments. This is payable as part of your benefit and is called Support for Mortgage Interest (SMI). 

Will I be able to claim SMI?

You may get help with mortgage interest payments as part of your benefits if you are a homeowner and are getting one of the following:

  • Income Support
  • Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
  • Pension Credit

You will only get help towards mortgage interest payments for a mortgage or loan to buy or improve your home. SMI is normally paid directly to your lender. There is no guarantee that you will get SMI for a loan you take out.

SMI cannot help you pay:

  • the amount you borrowed (only the interest on the mortgage is paid)
  • anything towards insurance policies you have
  • mortgage arrears

A two year time limit to SMI for new customers getting income-based Jobseeker's Allowance was introduced from 5 January 2009.

If you can't meet your mortgage repayments, or you are worried you might fall behind, you must contact your lender as soon as possible.

If you claim Pension Credit, and you want help towards mortgage interest payments, you will:

  • have no waiting period before you receive help with mortgage interest payments
  • be able to claim for mortgage interest on up to £100,000 of your mortgage

Moving to Pension Credit from other benefits

If you are already getting SMI under the rules that apply from 5 January 2009, you can continue to get help with your mortgage interest on up to £200,000 of your mortgage, if you move on to Pension Credit within 12 weeks of ending a claim for:

  • Income Support
  • Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance

You can continue getting the same amount of help with your mortgage interest, if you remain entitled to Pension Credit.

How do I claim?

Contact your local Social Security /Jobs & Benefits office, Employment and Support Allowance centre or The Pension Service (details below) to find out more and check your eligibility.

Social Security / Jobs and Benefits Offices
View contact details on NI Direct

Northern Ireland Pension Centre - State Pension
PO Box 205, Londonderry, BT48 6YB

Claim Line 0808 100 2658
Enquiries 0845 601 8821
Text phone 0808 100 2198 (for deaf and hard of hearing users only)
Phone lines open Monday to Friday 9.00 am to 5.00 pm

Employment and Support Allowance
James House, 2 - 4 Cromac Avenue, Belfast, BT7 2JA

New claims 0800 085 6318
General enquiries or to report a change of circumstance 0845 602 7301
Text phone 0800 328 3419 (for deaf and hard of hearing users only)

Free benefit check

If you, or an older person you know needs advice, information or practical support on a wide range of issues including welfare benefits, community care, housing and health, contact the Age NI Advice Service on Freephone 0808 808 7575 to speak to a specialist advisor in confidence. Our advisors can provide a free benefit check to ensure that older people are accessing the benefits they are entitled to.

Every year our Advice Service deals with thousands of calls from older people in need. Call the Age NI Advice Service today to make sure that you are receiving all the help and support available to you.

Age NI Advice Line:
0808 808 7575

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