General Enquiries 03455 211 811
Support Helpline 03455 211 300
Fundraising 03455 211 600

Latest news

Support for Mortgage Interest benefit changes April 2018 - What you need to know

SBH Scotland has received many calls regarding letters from the DWP about Support for Mortgage Interest (SMI) benefit. The wording of the letter is causing much confusion and uncertainty so we’ve put together a brief overview.

What is Support for Mortgage Interest?

SMI is a tax relief based on the amount of interest that you pay in a tax year on a qualifying mortgage loan.

You can claim SMI on interest paid by you on a loan used to purchase, repair, develop or improve the home. This relief can be claimed up to 31 December 2020.

SBH Scotland Financial Support Worker offering advice

Who is Eligible?

You qualify for relief if you’re eligible for any income based benefits and, between the years 2004 and 2012 inclusive, you took out a loan to purchase, repair, develop or improve:

  • your home
  • the home of your former or separated spouse or civil partner
  • the home of a dependent relative for whom you are claiming a dependent relative tax credit.

A home includes a house, flat or mobile home which is fixed on a permanent site and which has water or other services supplied to it.

What’s happening with the benefit?

As of April 2018 SMI is changing and the mortgage relief will now be considered as a secured loan which will have to be paid back on the sale of the property, transitioning the property to someone else or the death of the person.

If you are already in receipt of this benefit you will be receiving a letter from the DWP explaining this, after which you’ll receive a phone call from SERCO asking if you’re still happy to continue with the benefit as a secured loan. If you are, further paperwork will then be sent out to you.

You should be aware that you are allowed to ask for a financial advisor to explain the documentation to you.

What should I do now?

If you’re a member of SBH Scotland and you’re worried or want to know how this change will affect you, please contact our Financial Support Service directly on 03455 211 300 or email support@sbhscotland.org.uk. Every individual will have a variety of questions based on their own personal circumstances and we’re happy to help you navigate your way through this change.

Non-members of SBH Scotland should contact DWP directly for further clarification on your own situation.

Warm Home Discounts are opening

The Warm Home Discount Scheme from many utility companies is now starting to open again and you could be getting £140 off your electricity/gas bill.

This is a scheme where money may be paid from a utility company (if they're part of the scheme) to people who are on low incomes, a disability or have children with health issues (as long as they fulfill the qualifying criteria).

Many of you will already know about the scheme OR some may think you're not eligible but it really is worth checking with us as we've already helped many people who thought they couldn't apply.

Please share this post with those who you think could also benefit.

What next?

  • Is your current supplier listed below? If yes, then call the SBH Scotland Financial Support Service to look at the criteria.
  • If you meet the criteria, you can apply directly or we can help you with that.

Fuel providers involved: Atlantic, Bristol Energy, British Gas, Co-operative Energy, EDF Energy, E-On, Equipower (Ebico), Equigas (Ebico), Extra Energy, First Utility, GB Energy, Manweb (see Scottish Power), M & S Energy, Npower, Our Power, OVO, Sainsburys Energy (see British Gas), Scottish Gas (see British Gas), Scottish Power, Southern Electric, SSE, SWALEC, Utilita, Utility Warehouse

If you don’t know who your supplier is, would like some more information about the scheme or if you have another fuel related issue, please contact our Helpline on 03455 211 300 or Email us

The SBH Scotland Finance Support Service is available to anyone in Scotland affected by hydrocephalus and/or spina bifida and their family/carers.

All change - the move to Personal Independence Payments (PIP)

DWP PIP payment logo

The move from Disability Living Allowance (DLA) to Personal Independence Payments (PIP) is causing a lot of uncertainty for many people aged 16 to 64. The SBH Scotland Financial Support Team have been dealing with our members who are currently affected; working to support them through a system which has remained largely unchanged for a great number of years.

This can be a scary time for many who are unsure of what the changes to benefits will mean for their individual circumstances, so we’ve written some top tips and dedicated a web page as a simple guide to PIP, how to apply or to appeal but most importantly to reiterate that we are here to help and advise all those people in Scotland affected by spina bifida or hydrocephalus.

Email us or call the SBH Scotland Helpline on 03455 211 300.

Top Tips:

  • For all SBH Scotland Members, the SBH Scotland Financial Support Service are here to offer comprehensive advice for PIP applications, at any stage in your PIP process. They can help you to complete your forms, offer advice on your assessments and support you with mandatory reconsiderations and appeals.
  • For those who are not members of SBH Scotland other agencies like the Citizens Advice Bureau should be able to assist you with your application.
  • Before filling out the form please read the assessors guidance so you’re giving the information they now use to assess for PIP rather than DLA.
  • Please keep copies of all documents you send away. This is useful if documents are lost in the post or if a reconsideration is requested. If you have no access to a photocopier you could use a camera or mobile phone to take photos of your documents.
  • When you go to your assessment, take along a friend or relative who knows you well for support and to take notes.
  • In your assessment it’s important to talk about the things you have difficulty with or can’t do at all. The assessor probably won’t know anything about you so it’s important you go over everything, even if you've already told them on the form.

For more information visit our Simple Guide to PIP

Warm Home Discount


For winter 2016 to 2017, the Warm Home Discount Scheme from many utility companies is now starting to open and you could be getting £140 off your electricity bill.

This is a scheme where money may be paid from a utility company (if they're part of the scheme) to people who are on low incomes, a disability or have children with health issues (as long as they fulfill the qualifying criteria).

Many of you will already know about the scheme OR some may think you're not eligible but it really is worth checking with us as we've already helped many people who thought they couldn't apply.

What next?
  • Is your current supplier listed below? If yes, then call the SBH Scotland Financial Support Service to look at the criteria.
  • If you meet the criteria, you can apply directly or we can help you with that.

Fuel providers involved: Atlantic, Bristol Energy, British Gas, Co-operative Energy, EDF Energy, E-On, Equipower (Ebico), Equigas (Ebico), Extra Energy, First Utility, GB Energy, Manweb (see Scottish Power), M & S Energy, Npower, Our Power, OVO, Sainsburys Energy (see British Gas), Scottish Gas (see British Gas), Scottish Power, Southern Electric, SSE, SWALEC, Utilita, Utility Warehouse

If you don’t know who your supplier is, would like some more information about the scheme or if you have another fuel related issue, please contact our Helpline on 03455 211 300 or Email us

The SBH Scotland Finance Support Service is available to anyone in Scotland affected by hydrocephalus and/or spina bifida and their family/carers.

Support us

Because of you we provide a lifetime commitment of support. Please continue to support us or donate today. Thank you.

Make a donation

SBH Scotland on Facebook

Our newsletter

We’d like to keep you up-to-date with information on our charity.

Sign up here for our newsletters.

* indicates required
Loading