From 1 January 2014, the Mortgage Interest Supplement scheme is closed to new entrants and no new applications will be accepted from this date. This measure does not affect current claimants immediately (people who were getting Mortgage Interest Supplement before 1 January 2014). The scheme will be wound down for existing claimants over a 4-year period.
Before you start to calculate your Mortgage Interest Supplement you must check whether you qualify. More information on the qualifying criteria is available in our document on Mortgage Interest Supplement.
You will only get help with the interest portion of your mortgage repayments. You will not get help with the portion that pays off the actual loan and house insurance. Your interest is assessed as your gross monthly interest less any mortgage interest relief and any mortgage allowance or mortgage subsidy payable towards the interest part of your mortgage by the local authority.
Calculating Mortgage Interest Supplement is very complex. The Department of Social Protection's representative (formerly known as the Community Welfare Officer) will calculate your entitlement to Mortgage Interest Supplement. If you have any questions about your entitlement to Mortgage Interest Supplement you should contact your local DSP representative.
This document shows you the steps involved in calculating Mortgage Interest Supplement. There are 5 steps:
Find your total weekly household income. For example:
Income source Amount per week
Assessable income from part-time employment - see Note 1
Social welfare payments
FÁS training allowance
Family Income Supplement
Cash income (for example, maintenance)
Capital (for example, property, savings and investments) - see Note 2
Assessable income from part-time employment is gross income less PRSI and reasonable travel expenses.
How your travel expenses are assessed can depend on where you live.
The capital value of property (except your own home), investments and savings will be assessed on a weekly basis as follows:
First €5,000 is not taken into account
Next €10,000 is assessed at €1 per €1,000
Next €25,000 is assessed at €2 per €1,000
Any capital over €40,000 is assessed at €4 per €1,000.
Subtract any income not taken into account in the assessment for Mortgage Interest Supplement. Income not taken into account is also known as an income disregard.
The following items are not taken into account as income for calculating Mortgage Interest Supplement:
Income from working as a home help with the HSE used to be disregarded for all social assistance payments but from January 2012 this income is taken into account.
If you are working or getting maintenance or have additional household income* you should apply the Additional Household Income Disregard.
Additional Household Income Disregard is a certain amount of your household income above the SWA rate which is not taken into account. €75 of any additional household income is not taken into account. Also, 25% of your additional household income over €75 is not taken into account. There is no upper limit on the amount that can be disregarded – see Note 3.
*Additional household income includes income from the following:
To calculate the Additional Household Income Disregard:
Additional household income
Less Supplementary Welfare Allowance rate – see Step 3 below
Less 25% of any income you have after you have subtracted €75
Income (less SWA rate ) €200
Get 25% of total: €125 ÷ 4 = €31.25
Add both disregards: €75 + €31.25 = €106.25
Household Income Disregard = €106.25
Note 3: Rehabilitative Earnings Disregard
If you are working and getting Disability Allowance or Blind Pension you can either use the Rehabilitative Earnings Disregard or the Additional Household Income Disregard (but not both). Use whichever is in your interest.
Rehabilitative Earnings Disregard is a certain amount of your income from rehabilitative work which is not taken into account. €120 from rehabilitative training or employment is not taken into account. In the assessment for contribution to Mortgage Interest Supplement all earnings over €120 from rehabilitative training or employment are taken into account and will affect your Mortgage Interest Supplement.
Subtract the basic Supplementary Welfare Allowance (SWA) weekly rate for your household from the weekly household income after disregards that you calculated in Step 2, unless you have applied the Additional Household Income Disregard. If you applied the Additional Household Income Disregard in Step 2 you will have already deducted the appropriate SWA rate for your household.
If you are 26 years of age or over, the basic weekly SWA rate in 2014 is:
People under 26 years of age get a reduced age related rate of Supplementary Welfare Allowance. However, there are exceptions and some people under 26 may get a higher basic SWA rate. More information on the SWA rate for people under 26 can be found in our document on Supplementary Welfare Allowance.
You should now have calculated your weekly assessable income.
Find the total amount you must pay towards your mortgage interest.
To do this, add your weekly assessable income (this is the total figure from Step 3) and your minimum Household Contribution (either €30 or €40 per week – see Note 5).
Then multiply this figure by 52 and divide by 12 to get your monthly contribution to mortgage interest
Weekly assessable income €
Add Household Contribution €____
Total weekly contribution to mortgage interest €
Monthly contribution to mortgage interest €
Note 5: Further information about the Household Contribution
You must contribute at least €30 towards your mortgage interest. Couples pay €40.
Non-dependent household members who are solely dependent on a personal social welfare payment must also contribute at least €30. However, if benefit and privilege has been assessed against your social welfare payment you will not have to contribute €30.
The Department of Social Protection's representative (formerly known as the Community Welfare Officer) can reduce the amount of Mortgage Interest Supplement payable by an amount which in their opinion should be payable by each non-dependent household member in employment. Custom and practice is that the assessable income of the non-dependent household member (that is, gross income less PRSI and travel costs to work) is divided by the appropriate rate of SWA for their situation which is then multiplied by €30 to establish their liability to contribute.
Your 26 year old daughter is living with you and earning €700 per week:
€700 ÷ €186 (SWA) = €3.76
Multiply 3.76 by €30 = €112.80
Mortgage Interest Supplement is reduced by €112.80
A couple over 65 with an income equal or less than the State Pension (Contributory) for their situation will contribute €40 towards their mortgage interest. A couple who both have State Pensions (Contributory) and no other income will also contribute €40 towards their mortgage interest.
To calculate your Mortgage Interest Supplement you subtract your monthly
contribution from the mortgage interest due to your lender.
Monthly mortgage interest due to lender €
Less your monthly contribution to mortgage interest - €_____
Total Mortgage Interest Supplement €
Note: The Mortgage Interest Supplement payable to you is the difference between your actual mortgage interest and your contribution to mortgage interest, as long as the difference between the two is a reasonable amount to meet your residential needs. Your local officer may use the maximum rent limits set out for Rent Supplement as a guide to decide what is a reasonable amount.
If you have a question relating to this topic you can contact the Citizens Information Phone Service on 0761 07 4000 (Monday to Friday, 9am to 8pm) or you can visit your local Citizens Information Centre.