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(SMI) Support for Mortgage Interest ending

sleepy1
sleepy1 Member Posts: 297 Pioneering
Another brown envelope arrived yesterday from DWP, I thought it might be about my MR decision. No it was just another kick in the teeth to tell me that the little bit of help I had received with my mortgage interest will be ending.
I have a small interest only mortgage and was hoping to pay off some of the capital before the term ends but in the last month my PIP entitlement has been cancelled and my ESA is under review and more than likely will be stopped soon because I was too ill to attend that pointless charade they like to call a "medical assessment".

Does anyone else know anything about this (SMI) ending for everyone?

I have done a little bit of research and there is a petition atm online if anyone would like to sign it and leave a comment. http://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/stop-changes-to-support-for-mortgage-interest-smi 

Tip:  You don't have to leave a comment you can just sign the petition, but if you want to leave a comment don't do what I did and write an essay because it only allows you to send 500 letters (not sure if that includes spaces), shame I had to keep going over mine and cut some good bits out.

Sorry if this has been debated already, could not see anything on Scope about it, still getting used to the site.

ATB Rosie






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Comments

  • CockneyRebel
    CockneyRebel Member Posts: 5,216 Disability Gamechanger
    Be all you can be, make  every day count. Namaste
  • Blue Frog
    Blue Frog Member Posts: 358 Pioneering
    Yes it’s the latest part of the austerity measures. It was sneakily announced when there was lots of other (bad) news so it didn’t get much media coverage. I think they are turning it into a loan instead. I am eternally grateful our mortgage has finished just in time, CR has posted some info above about the new scheme. Hope it doesn’t affect you too much x 
  • BenefitsTrainingCo
    BenefitsTrainingCo Member Posts: 2,628 Pioneering
    edited January 2018

    Hi Rosie,

    Yeah, I agree with @Blue Frog that this has flown in somewhat under the radar, and I also agree with you that it is a real kick in the teeth for many claimants, who now face having to choose between the DWP putting a charge on their property, or finding the extra money to pay the mortgage interest.

    Let us know if there is anything we can do to help you!

    Best Wishes,

    Mary

    The Benefits Training Co:
    Paul Bradley
    Michael Chambers
    Will Hadwen
    Sarah Hayle
    Maria Solomon
    David Stickland
  • nanof6
    nanof6 Member Posts: 200 Pioneering
    hi yes, i have a small mortgage,  i will have to find £60.00 a month, this goverment are so sly i dont trust them, there is no way i am going to sign my house for a loan, once you have done that they can change the rules,look what they done to the collage grants.now over 6%
  • BenefitsTrainingCo
    BenefitsTrainingCo Member Posts: 2,628 Pioneering
    Hi nanof6 - I agree with everyone above about the new loan arrangements which are going to cause widespread problems. I just wanted to go back to what you said in your post about your PIP ending and your ESA being under review. I'm sure you're already aware of your right to request a mandatory reconsideration and then to appeal against a decision to end your PIP. If you were too unwell to attend your ESA assessment then it's important to let DWP / Maximus know the circumstances of your non-attendance, as there is flexibility within the regulations for your assessment to be rescheduled without loss of benefit providing you can show you had 'good cause' for not attending. When deciding if you had 'good cause' the DWP must take into account your health and disability, so please don't accept the loss of these two benefits without taking action: the Scope helpline on 0808 800 3333 may be able to help you find a local advice agency which may support you with getting your PIP/ESA restored.

    All the best,

    Jayne
    The Benefits Training Co:
    Paul Bradley
    Michael Chambers
    Will Hadwen
    Sarah Hayle
    Maria Solomon
    David Stickland
  • Matilda
    Matilda Member Posts: 2,610 Disability Gamechanger
    This government are totally evil.  Putting charges on people's properties if they still want to receive mortgage interest payments; banning child benefits for the third child (for children born after a certain date); capping benefit payments; not to mention using crooked companies to conduct PIP assessments; and DWP asking for SORs from judges as routine when they know they are unlikely to find an error of law (most DWP 'experts' couldn't find their way out of a paper bag, let alone identify an error of law even if there were one).

    Let's hope the electorate see sense at the next General Election.  And make sure you all vote.
  • sleepy1
    sleepy1 Member Posts: 297 Pioneering
    Hi Mary
    Thanks for your kind reply, It was very sneaky of them to do that and just seems so unfair.  I don't see the logic of it because (not just for me) if I was in a rented property I would be able to claim housing benefit much more than the help I was getting with the interest on my mortgage.

    I need to sell my lease hold flat because I can't cope with the stairs and need to find somewhere more suitable but the service charges are so high I don't think anyone will want to buy it. (next door has been trying to sell with no luck for 3 years)  At the moment I do get some help with the service charge from DWP  and I am now wondering how this will all come into play with these new housing cost rules?  Also council tax?

    On a bit of a downer ATM as in the past month my pain and other things have got a lot worse, PIP has been cancelled, ESA under revue, housing costs will be stopped soon.  Someone stole my wheelchair.  Then I managed to lock myself out of my flat yesterday with no phone and dressed in not very flattering attire.

    I dare not open the rest of the advent calendar : ))

      




  • Debbie_Alumni
    Debbie_Alumni Member Posts: 944 Pioneering
    Hi Everyone,

    The Loans for Mortgages Regulations 2017 Explanatory Memorandum is worth a read to find out some of the finer details.

    It's clear that the letters are going out and more people are becoming aware of the changes. There's still some time to prepare and plan ahead and campaign. Anyone who is going to be detrimentally affected by the changes should consider writing to their local MP. Please share with us your experiences, problems and tips so that we can pick up on early emerging trends. 

    This is something I've been monitoring for some time and I'm following this very carefully. There are some other threads about this topic but the memo above explains things in more depth.

    Hope that's helped a little bit. Put it to one side for now and we'll come back to this in the new year with renewed energy and ready for a challenging year.

    There's been some great legal successes this year and there will be more to come.

    Best wishes
    Debbie











  • sleepy1
    sleepy1 Member Posts: 297 Pioneering
    Just had an idea. It could make us all rich : )))
     A "Board Game" called NOMONEYOPOLY..........Lets construct it.
    I will start with some of the metal parts, wheelchair, zimmer frame, perching stool..

    (Copy 21/12/17)
  • sandraM
    sandraM Member Posts: 31 Courageous
    Hello, I too am affected by these changes and feel it’s making me even more depressed than I already am and could be doing without the stress. I’m now looking at having to sell my home.  There’s no way I would accept the loan at over 2 percent interest.  It’s a disgrace since my smi payment is only £200 per month, much cheaper than the rent government pays.   Whoever thought this up needs a reality check.
  • elainewillis
    elainewillis Member Posts: 9 Connected
    Hi all, I’ve only just registered on here. I too got the nasty brown envelope as discussed above. My query is, based on previous problems when my esa was stopped for a while, along with the housing benefit/mortgage interest payments, I then got a letter from the council saying I had to now pay council tax. Will this happen again now that the mortgage interest relief is being stopped?




  • BenefitsTrainingCo
    BenefitsTrainingCo Member Posts: 2,628 Pioneering
    elainewilliselainewillis,
    You should make sure you tell your council about the change. The reason is that previously, you may have been 'passported' to a certain amount of council tax reduction because the mortgage interest payments you were getting (until April this year) counted as means-tested benefits.

    If you don't get any other income-related ESA paid directly to you, then there is a risk that you won't be 'passported' any more. You may still be entitled to some council tax reduction (also called council tax support), but the council will have to work that out separately and may need more information about your income.

    If you still get some income-related ESA (paid to you, separate from the mortgage interest) then your passporting should continue. If you are in any doubt, I would contact the council. I wouldn't rely on them getting in touch with you, although of course, it would be good practice for them to do that, but even if they do, they may not do it in time to make sure you have a valid council tax reduction calculation for April onwards.

    Will 
    The Benefits Training Co:
    Paul Bradley
    Michael Chambers
    Will Hadwen
    Sarah Hayle
    Maria Solomon
    David Stickland
  • BenefitsTrainingCo
    BenefitsTrainingCo Member Posts: 2,628 Pioneering
    sleepy1sleepy1,

    Rosie - 
    About your service charges, they are separate to the changes affecting mortgage interest. If you currently get some help with your service charges from the DWP, this should continue.

    Council tax support shouldn't be affected if you remain entitled to some means-tested benefit (income support, income-related ESA etc), which it sounds like you do. 

    As Jayne mentioned, please do challenge the decision to cancel your PIP.  And if you haven't already, explain to the DWP why you didn't attend the ESA reassessment - hopefully, they will accept that you had good cause, and the process can continue (I know it's horrible).

    If you have this reassessment, and the assessor puts you in the support group, then you should also get a decision about whether or not you'll be assessed again after that. Some people (with lifelong or deteriorating conditions who can't be expected to work) shouldn't be assessed again for ESA, so you never know, this could be your last one - fingers crossed.

    Will
    The Benefits Training Co:
    Paul Bradley
    Michael Chambers
    Will Hadwen
    Sarah Hayle
    Maria Solomon
    David Stickland
  • sleepy1
    sleepy1 Member Posts: 297 Pioneering
    Thank you Will for your advice and everyone for their replies, sorry for my late reply, internet has been playing up and too much brain fuzz to sort it out.

    Re: SMI.....Had a call from Serco last week to confirm if I had received the letter/information and had I made a decision about the loan.  I confirmed I had received it but had not read it in full or understood it other than it did not look like I had much choice.  He said they had an obligation to make sure I fully understood how it could affect me and wanted to go through my options which would take about 20 mins, I was not feeling very well at all at the time so instead agreed to a call back yesterday.

    I missed the call because it only went ring ring for a very short time and by the time I got to my phone they had hung up and did not call back.  So I called them back today.

    They are sending me the loan agreement forms to have a look at (2 copies) there is no commitment to the loan unless I sign and return 1 copy.  If taking up the loan it would be best to do so a few weeks before the April deadline to avoid a gap in mortgage payments.  I asked about taking up the loan at a later date if I needed to, was told I could apply but it would be up to a DWP decision maker to decide.
    Current interest rate is 1.7% which is determined by the BoE rate and can change either up or down each January and July.

    If you stop receiving benefits such as ESA the loan payments will stop automatically, this applies even if you are suspended or have an MR or Appeal in progress.

    Charge on property.....In the DWP (INFSMI 08/17) it states at the bottom of page 5.  DWP "may" place a second charge on your property.  I asked what they meant by may as this would imply they might not, as far as I can remember the (off script) reply was it depends on your mortgage lender and whether you already have a charge on your property.......We went around in circles on this and I am none the wiser, surely if you have a mortgage you will already have a charge on your property by the mortgage lender anyway?  Told to speak to lender about this.  Also told the DWP would only be able to claim back the loan + interest if I sold or transferred my property unless I was in negative equity in which case the loan would be written off, or part of depending on circumstances at the time.

    Also asked what would happen if I sold my property and bought another one and had to take out another mortgage to do so, which in my case is most likely. 
    At the time of sale/transfer the outstanding loan would be repaid out of any remaining equity but the loan payments from DWP if still entitled would be transferred to any new mortgage.  Doubt it will be that easy though!

    Soz for the long post, just wanted to update in the hope it might help others in the same s..t.

    ATB for 2018











  • sandraM
    sandraM Member Posts: 31 Courageous
    I have now had to make the decision to put my house on the market and try buying something else.  I spent a lot of money adapting my home to suit my needs.  Looks like money down the drain now and a lot of stress to find something else which will be hard enough let alone pay to have it adapted.  DWP you sure know how to make folk feel worthless.
  • clmelia1
    clmelia1 Member Posts: 2 Listener
    Hi there

    Could someone please advise

    I currently get SMI for my mortgage. I claim income support as I am carer to my daughter who is disabled and aged 11.

    Does anyone know if I will still be able to claim income support if I dont take out the SMI loan?

    If I were to lose my income support can I still get council tax supprt and free school meals?

    I currently get 
    Child tax credits
    Income support 
    Carers allowance 
    child benefit

    my daughter gets DLA HRM MRC

    I really dont want the loan unless I am absoloutely forced. Like many on here I am worried sick! 

    I am not working at the moment because of my daughters care needs

    Thanks 

    Claire Melia
  • Debbie_Alumni
    Debbie_Alumni Member Posts: 944 Pioneering
    edited January 2018
    Hi @clmelia1, @sandraM , @sleepy1 @nanof6 @elainewillis

    @clmelia1 - Yes you will still be able to claim Income Support if you don't take the loan.

    I can see everyone's concerns about this topic. This is being replicated in calls and emails to the helpline. It's causing an awful lot of worry.

    I've attached a document from the DWP which answers some of the general questions. I did laugh at the part where it states that the charge on the property won't affect you if you're re-mortgaging.

    From what I gather, Serco aren't able to give advice about your own situation and this leaves a bit of a gap in getting that advice on what's the best option. Lots of people will be in the situation where they have no choice but the accept the loan but there's still time before the changes come into effect. 

    This is where you all come in. It's great that you've shared with us about SMI. What we need is case studies to evidence the impact of these changes. If you're interested in this, please contact me at the helpline. I want to gather as much information as I can.

    My biggest concern from talking to people about SMI is that they're not aware of Universal Credit rolling out as a full-service nationwide this year and how it will affect them. If you're on a means-tested benefit such as income-related ESA, Income-based JSA, Income Support, Child Tax Credit, Working Tax Credit or Housing benefit. Please read the information on our website about Universal Credit.

    There's so much more to consider than just the SMI changes. In the mean-time please share this thread with anyone who might be affected by the changes to SMI and who needs information. Most of all, please keep posting and sharing with us what you're doing. It's massively helpful to us and to others reading these posts.

    As always get in touch with us at the helpline if you need advice about your own situation.

    Best wishes
    Debbie
  • sleepy1
    sleepy1 Member Posts: 297 Pioneering
    Hi sandraM
    I'm in a similar position as you so know how you feel HUGs.  The stress of moving when your fit and well is bad enough but when your ill/disabled and being forced to sell your home it just takes things to another level.  I get £88 per month towards my mortgage atm, the rest I have been funding from my PIP which has now been stopped I could have used part of that (which was for mobility and care needs) to pay the mortgage and enable me to stay.  Another appeal and more stress!

    Then there is all the extra costs involved with selling/buying.....Estate agents, solicitors, removals and as you state adaptions!  I asked Serco if any of these costs would be considered before the DWP claim back the loan, the answer was "If you take out the loan the DWP will continue to make SMI payments and allow you to stay in the property for the rest of your life"......."You need to discuss all this with your lender".

    Think they forgot to add this bit:  If the DWP stop your ESA (that is being reviewed) your totally stuffed because even though your unable to barely survive from one day to the next let alone work you will have no income whatsoever and you will still have to pay the mortgage the council tax the service charges the utilities etc 

    Ironically the chances are some developer/investor will get our property for a knock down price rip out all the stuff we needed put it in a skip then rent it out to fit and healthy people (probably from another country who have never paid any UK taxes) that are savvy enough to get everything paid for with love from the DWP.

    Yeah they surely do know how to make us make feel worthless












  • sleepy1
    sleepy1 Member Posts: 297 Pioneering
    Thanks Debbie
    Will look at your links later...... sleep beckons!  Missed your post whilst typing mine.  Nice to know people like yourself are here to help X


  • sandraM
    sandraM Member Posts: 31 Courageous
    Thank you for your support all here at scope and sending you some hugs back @sleepy1.

    Sorry if I'm a nuisance but I have another question.  If for example I bought a mobile home and the ground/site fees are £100 a month. Would this get paid for me?  I am trying to explore all options but feel time is running out.  Thx

Brightness

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