Secretary of State for Work and Pensions James Purnell said: “We are determined to do all we can to support people during these difficult economic times. That is why we announced a package of support for homeowners. We have extended Support Mortgage Interest so that it can help even more people, more quickly.
"We have made sure that as many people as possible will benefit from the increased support with their mortgage interest payments, by bringing in the new rules as soon as we can. We don’t want people who are worried about paying their mortgage to have to wait any longer than they need to for this financial help.”
Under the changes, people in the system who served 13 weeks or more of their waiting period by 5 January became entitled to SMI from that date.
Those who served a period of less than 13 weeks at 5 January become entitled to SMI at the point at which they will have served a full 13 weeks.
Those in vulnerable groups entitled to the 50% rate at or after 5 January will receive this rate until the 13 week point when they will become entitled to the full rate.
The higher capital limit of £200,000 will also apply to these groups as well as the two-year time limit for those on Jobseeker’s Allowance.
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