For some time now, disabled Americans who were saddled with hefty federal
student loans remained eligible for loan forgiveness under the Total and
Permanent Disability (“TPD”) Discharge program. Unfortunately,
many disabled borrowers were unaware of the debt forgiveness program and
have never sought assistance. Fortunately, the Department of Education
has just announced that it plans to prospectively identify borrowers who
are eligible for debt forgiveness, which could be a huge relief for thousands
of disabled Americans.
Working in coordination with the Social Security Administration, the Department
of Education has sought to identify student loan borrowers who receive
disability payments and are designated as “Medical Improvement Not
Expected,” a term that would qualify them for loan forgiveness under
the TPD program. According to the Department of Education, in December
of 2015 and March of 2016, approximately 387,000 borrowers were identified
as being eligible for debt forgiveness under TPD. The Department estimated
that this constitutes over $7.7 billion worth of student loan debts that
might be eligible for forgiveness.
Starting on April 18, 2016, The Department of Education is seeking to reduce
this number by sending customized letters to eligible disabled borrowers
with instructions on how to obtain a discharge under the TPD program.
This will also apparently include a streamlined process to sign and complete
an application with relatively little inconvenience.
This could have tremendous consequences for disabled Americans who owe
federal student loans. Historically, disabled Americans who received Social
Security disability benefits could have their benefits reduced or offset
in an effort to collect on student loans that were in default. Tragically,
some of the very people who were eligible for debt forgiveness ended up
losing some of their Social Security benefits for the simple reason that
they were unaware of the TPD program. Now, the Department of Education’s
proactive measures should help to prevent this tragic result from happening
in the future.
If you are disabled and have questions about possible loan forgiveness
or would otherwise like to talk to a
Social Security disability attorney, call us today. Also, feel free to visit
www.disabilitydischarge.com for more information about the TPD program and to see whether you qualify
for student loan forgiveness.