You applied for a student loan to help you study in college, but because of an unforeseeable event, you are unable to work and pay for your student loan.
Don’t worry, the government offers student loan forgiveness for the disabled.
But how does the process of total and permanent disability discharge work and where do you start?
Understanding Student Loan Forgiveness for the Disabled
1. How does student forgiveness for the disabled work?
Student loan forgiveness is granted to people with Total and Permanent Disability or simply TPD.
People with TPD are unable to work due to a serious illness or long-term disability.
However, student loan forgiveness is granted only to TPDs with the following loans or service:
- FFEL Program loan
- Federal Perkins Loan Program loan
- Direct loan
- TEACH Grant service obligation
Read tips on how to pay off student loans.
- Student loan forgiveness
- Declaration of forgiven amount which is also taxable
- Not everyone who has TPD is eligible for a complete discharge
— StudentDebtCrisis (@DebtCrisisOrg) December 2, 2016
2. How can I prove that I’m totally and permanently disabled?
The first and obvious step in proving your permanent disability is by actually demonstrating you are permanently disabled and unable to work. But as per the Disability Discharge website, here are ways on how to do so:
- For veterans, you may submit documentation obtained from the U.S. VA or Department of Veterans Affairs indicating that the organization has deemed you unemployable because of a service-related disability.
- For claiming SSI (Supplemental Security Income) or SSDI (Social Security Disability Insurance) benefits, submit a notice of SSA (Social Security Administration) indicating that your disability review is five to seven years from your latest SSA disability.
- Submit a medical certificate from a physician proving your permanent disability. The physician should attest that you are unfit to involve in any significant gainful activity due to a medically definable mental or physical disability that can result in death; lasted continuously for at least 60 months, or can last continuously for at least 60 months.
But, through Obama’s Student Aid Bill of Rights, 387,000 letters were mailed to eligible borrowers.
So borrowers do not have to go through the total and permanent disability discharge process.
All they need is to simply sign the form they have received and then mail it back to the DOE.
However, if you want to apply for the Total and Permanent Disability Discharge and think you are eligible but did not receive a letter from the DOE, you may contact your student loan servicer.
3. How do I apply for student loan forgiveness for the disabled?
Below are the steps for applying for a total and permanent disability discharge:
- First, get in touch with Disability Discharge via a phone call at 883-303-7818, through email or through an online form.
- Once you have informed them of your intent to apply, Disability Discharge will send you all the requirements through a TPD application.
- Then they will determine if your TEACH Grant service obligation and/or federal student loans are eligible for a discharge.
- Afterwards, they will contact your loan holders and direct them to postpone collection of your loans for up to 120 days. So you may delay paying for your loans for up to 120 days.
If you are unable to, your authorized representative can apply on your behalf by completing the Applicant Representative Designation form.
However, Disability Discharge should receive and process the form first, before your representative can apply on your behalf.
If by chance you are unable to sign the form, your representative can also sign it on your behalf. Just submit a power of attorney document.
4. How do I request for a total and permanent disability discharge?
There are three options for requesting for a TPD discharge:
1. Apply online
- Download the form and fill up Section 3 of the application completely.
- Attach your medical certificate proving your TPD, or have Section 4 filled up by your physician.
- Submit your application along with your supporting documents.
2. Print the application
- Download a blank PDF application.
- Print it and fill up Sections 1 up to 3 of the form.
- Attach any supporting documents or have Section 4 completed by your physician.
- Submit your application form with your supporting documents.
3. Request via phone or email
- After receiving the blank application form in paper, fill up Sections 1 up to 3.
- Attach any supporting documents or ask your physician to fill up Section 4 of your form.
- Send your application form with your supporting documents.
- Then call Disability Discharge at 888-303-7818 or email them directly.
*Only a certified and U.S. (including all states and territories) licensed M.D. (Doctor of Medicine) and D.O. (osteopathy) can sign for your supporting documents. So this doesn’t include other medical professionals.
*If you live outside the U.S., your physician should be U.S. licensed. But if you have a local physician, he/she can just work with a licensed physician in the United States.
Watch the clip below from Jonathan Ginsberg to know more about student loan forgiveness for disabled:
Although student loan disability forgiveness can be a great help to those who are eligible, the forgiven amount is still taxable. Not all people with TBD get their loans discharged.
Instead, here are careers that forgive student loans. Do you know other benefits of student loan forgiveness for the disabled? Comment below!