Permanent Disability Student Loan Forgiveness


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I Am Disabled Can I Discharge My Federal Student Loans

Biden administration to forgive student loan debt for permanently disabled Americans

You may be able to discharge your federal student loans due to a permanent disability. Here are some things to know:

  • You can only discharge federal student loans. TEACH grants also qualify. Private loans do not qualify.
  • You must be permanently disabled and cannot engage in a substantial gainful activity, which basically means you cant work.
  • You must certify your disability through a physician, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs , or the Social Security Administration .
  • Your disability must have lasted or is expected to last 60 continuous months , or it can result in death.
  • You have to submit an application with supporting documentation.
  • Nelnet is the only student loan servicer processing Total and Permanent Disability discharge applications.

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
  • Not everyone who has TPD is eligible for a complete discharge

Disabled student loan borrowers may be eligible for loan forgiveness but theres a massive hidden tax. @SSWorks

Do I Need To Be A Full

To qualify for PSLF, you must work full-time for the agency or organization with the U.S. federal, state, local, or tribal government or not-for-profit organization. To be considered full-time, you must work at least 30 hours per week or meet your employers definition of full-time, whichever is greater.

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Requesting A Tpd Discharge

I havent applied for a TPD discharge, but I received a letter saying that I may be eligible. Why?

We have agreements with the Social Security Administration and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs that allow us to proactively determine whether you may qualify for a TPD discharge. If we determine that you may qualify, we will contact you to let you know what you need to do to request a discharge.

How do I apply for a TPD Discharge?

To apply for a TPD discharge, you may:

To request a TPD discharge application by phone or email:

Phone: 888.303.7818

  • Fax your application and supporting documentation to us at 303.696.5250

  • Email your application and supporting documentation to us at

  • Submit your application and supporting documentation to us on our website

Can my representative apply on my behalf and assist me throughout the process?

Yes, your representative can complete and submit your TPD discharge application on your behalf, and assist you throughout the discharge process. However, you and your representative must complete an Applicant Representative Designation form. We must receive and process this form before we can work with your representative. You must submit this form even if you have a power of attorney for your representative.

If you are unable to sign the Applicant Representative Designation form, your representative may sign the form in your place. The signed form must be accompanied by a power of attorney document.

What Types Of Loans Qualify For The Plsf Program

The Ultimate Guide on Student Loan Forgiveness in 2022

All loans borrowed under the William D. Ford Direct Loan Program are eligible for PLSF. PSLF does not cover loans you received through the Federal Perkins Loan Program or the Federal Family Education Loan Program, but may be eligible if you consolidate them into a Direct Consolidation Loan. Loans from private lenders do not qualify.

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Public Service Loan Forgiveness

If you work in public service, you may qualify for forgiveness of the remaining balance of your Direct Loans* after making 120 qualifying payments while employed full time by certain public service employers. Find out more about Public Service Loan Forgiveness .

Complete the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Form With the PSLF Help Tool

The PSLF Help Tool helps determine whether you work for a qualifying employer for the PSLF or Temporary Expanded Public Service Loan Forgiveness programs, suggests actions you can take to become eligible for PSLF, and guides you through the PSLF form and submission process.

PSLF Servicer

Servicing for the PSLF Program is managed by another federal student loan servicer . If you enroll in PSLF, your eligible loans will be transferred from Nelnet to the PSLF servicer. If your loans have already been transferred to the PSLF servicer, you can log in to their borrower portal to track your PSLF status and payment counts.

* Any loan received under the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program qualifies for PSLF.

Student loans from private lenders do not qualify for PSLF.

Limited PSLF Waiver: What Happens After the End of the Waiver October 31, 2022

You may be eligible to submit a PSLF form to MOHELA after Oct. 31, 2022, and continue to qualify for the benefits of the waiver if you met certain criteria. For more information, see

Is Forgiveness The Same As Discharged Student Loan Debt

According, the terms forgiveness, cancellation, and discharge mean nearly the same thing. If youre no longer required to pay on your loans due to your job, this forgiveness or cancellation. If youre no longer required to pay on your loans due to a total and permanent disability or the closure of the school where you received your loans, this is discharge.

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Student Loan Disability Discharge Eligibility

Were here to help! First and foremost, SoFi Learn strives to be a beneficial resource to you as you navigate your financial journey.Read moreWe develop content that covers a variety of financial topics. Sometimes, that content may include information about products, features, or services that SoFi does not provide.We aim to break down complicated concepts, loop you in on the latest trends, and keep you up-to-date on the stuff you can use to help get your money right.Read less

A debilitating sickness or injury can be life-changing and make it challenging or impossible to pay back student loans. Because of this, borrowers who are considered totally and permanently disabled may qualify to have their student loans discharged through a federal forgiveness program known as Total and Permanent Disability Discharge.

Since this is a federal program, it only applies to federal student debt and not private student loans. Heres what to know about student loan disability discharge, what disabilities qualify for student loan forgiveness, and who is eligible for the program.

Complete And Total Disability

Valley veteran benefits from newly streamlined student loan forgiveness program for disabled vets

Biden extended the relief for these defrauded borrowers and also issued relief to students with complete and total disability. The Federal government has long required these students with disabilities to submit documents during a 3-year monitoring period. Many students lost their loan discharge status because of not submitting their documentation.

Biden has now waived the annual earnings documentation and has given these students freedom from filing. Providing the documentation was even more difficult because of disabilities and the covid pandemic. The Feds have now reinstated the students who lost their status due to lack of filing. They are now once again in good standing with the discharged loan program.

Also Check: What Is Permanent Partial Disability

The Disabled Veteran Student Loan Program

Currently, veterans with a 100 percent Total Disability Individual Unemployability rating or a Total and Permanent Disability rating of 100% can discharge their federal student loans.

Previously, applying for the student loan discharge program was arduous. Veterans had to submit an application on Nelnet with a whole host of documents and unclear criteria.

Many applicants were rejected for technicalities, and only 16,000 veterans were able to make it through the program to receive a complete discharge of their federal student loans.

Former President Trump signed an executive order requiring the VA to develop an expedited process to discharge a veterans debt with minimal burden.

Updates to the new program have made it easy to apply for loan discharge.

The process is now entirely online, and you will not need to submit any documentation other than your total disability determination from the VA. You can complete the application in about 20 minutes.

If you are approved for loan discharge, your loans will be forgiven and you will be refunded all the payments made from the date of your permanent disability determination by the VA to the present.

The executive order also requires the Education Department to identify veterans who qualify for forgiveness and give them a 60-day window to opt-out of forgiveness before continuing to fully cancel the loan.

I Think I Qualify How Do I Start The Process

  • The easiest way is to apply online. The application will guide you through the process.
  • You can also complete a paper application. To get the latest application, call Nelnet at 888-303-7818 or email .

Tip: You can authorize a representative to help you with the application. This can be someone you trust, an advocate or attorney.

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How Disabled Borrowers Prove Eligibility

Social Security Disability and Student Loans

There are three options to prove your disability and start the discharge process:

  • Physicians certification: Your primary care physician or specialist can certify they believe you can no longer work due to your medical issues. To apply, you will need to download a PDF copy of the Total and Permanent Disability Discharge Application form and get your doctors certification.

  • Social Security Notice of Award: You qualify if two things are true: First, you receive Social Security Disability Insurance or Supplemental Security Income benefits. Second, your notice of award letter from the Social Security Administration must say that your next scheduled disability review will be within five to seven years from the date of your most recent SSA disability determination.

  • Veteran Affairs Determination Letter: If you are a veteran with a service-connected condition that has left you unemployable, you can qualify for this type of loan discharge without providing documentation from your doctor. As a veteran, you will qualify if you have a letter from the VA stating you either have a service-connected disability that is 100% disabling or if you are totally disabled based on an individual unemployability rating.

Learn More: $10,000 Student Loan Forgiveness

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How To Apply For Forgiveness

Those people can still have their loans forgiven, though it means that they or their representatives will have to reenter the rabbit hole of red tape.

First, they need to download a TPD discharge application or fill one out online. Second, they have to get a doctor to verify their disability and gather other materials. Third, they have to wait for their loan servicer to give them an answer.

Thanks to a repayment pause thats been in place since March 2020, eligible federal student loan holders are not required to make payments until after the end of August, when the pause is set to expire. But after that, assuming the pause is not extended again, they will.

For the majority of people who have been on disability for some time, theyre going to get discharges at some point. What wed hate to see is for collections to start up again before that happens, Whitelaw said. Its a short-term, temporary problem, but it could be a devastating one.

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Other Options For Paying Student Loans

If you’re still having trouble making your monthly payments even with other forms of financial assistance, there are still options available:

  • After the federal student loan repayment resumes in February 2022, file a request for additional forbearance or deferment and provide supporting documentation of your financial hardship.
  • Apply for an income-driven repayment plan, which reduces your monthly payment to 10% to 20% of your discretionary income. What’s more, these programs extend your repayment term to 20 or 25 years, after which any remaining balance is forgiven.
  • If you’re able to work, look into employers that offer student loan repayment assistance programs.

Refinancing your student loans could potentially help give you some more control over your monthly payments and possibly even reduce your interest rate, but you should consider it only if you don’t anticipate needing access to federal benefits like forgiveness and income-driven repayment. Refinancing federal student loans to an account with a private lender will lock you out of these benefits.

Finally, while it can be difficult to have student loans discharged in bankruptcy, it is possible in certain situations. If your financial circumstances are dire, consider consulting with a bankruptcy attorney to explore your options.

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Eligibility For New Loans Or Teach Grants

If the Department grants a TPD discharge of your federal student loans or TEACH Grant service obligation, you will not be eligible to receive a new Direct Loan, Perkins Loan, or TEACH Grant in the future unless:

  • You obtain a certification from a physician that you are able to engage in substantial gainful activity and
  • You sign a statement acknowledging that the new loan or TEACH Grant service obligation cannot be discharged in the future on the basis of any injury or illness present at the time the new loan or TEACH Grant is made, unless your condition substantially deteriorates so that you are again totally and permanently disabled.

In addition, if you request a new Direct Loan, Perkins Loan, or TEACH Grant during the 3-year postdischarge monitoring period described earlier, you must resume repayment on the previously discharged loans or acknowledge that you are once again subject to the terms of your TEACH Grant service obligation before you can receive the new loan or TEACH Grant.

Social Security Administration Documentation

Student loan forgiveness: Advocates push to forgive $8B in student debt held by disabled borrowers

If youre eligible for Social Security Disability Insurance or Supplemental Security income, you can qualify for TPD forgiveness by providing documentation from the Social Security Administration that your next scheduled disability review is five to seven years or more from your last disability determination.

Read Also: Department Of Developmental Disabilities Ohio

Can Student Loans Take Your Retirement

To get all the important details you need on Retiring With Student Loan Debt: Forgiveness & Repayment Options for Seniors, Are student loans forgiven when you retire, Student loan forgiveness programs for seniors and lots more All you have to do is to please keep on reading this post from college learners. Always ensure you come back for all the latest information that you need with zero stress.

Can student loans take your retirement?

Its a scary question! And its one that a lot of people are asking themselves. But the answer is no: you cant lose your retirement because of student loans.

The most important thing to know about this is that if you dont make payments on your student loans for a long enough period of time, the government will charge you back taxes. However, this doesnt mean that youll lose any money in your retirement account because of it. It just means that youll have to pay back taxes on the amount that you didnt pay off with interest. This is a whole different thing from losing money in your retirement account. You cant lose money in your retirement account because of student loans!

Make It A Priority To Avoid Missing Payments

Whether or not you believe you qualify for student loan forgiveness, it’s important to continue to make your monthly payments on time every month to avoid potential damage to your credit score. Remember that you’ll receive all of your payments back if you qualify for forgiveness, as long as they were made after the effective date of your disability determination.

While you’re at it, monitor your credit regularly to make sure no other issues pop up that could threaten the health of your credit.

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About Total And Permanent Disability Discharge

Who is Nelnet?

Nelnet assists the U.S. Department of Education in administering the Total and Permanent Disability discharge process. We manage this site and communicate with borrowers on behalf of the Department about TPD discharges.

The terms “borrower,” you, and your are used throughout this site to refer to any TPD applicant, including individuals who are applying for discharge of a Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education Grant Program service obligation. The terms we, us, and our are used to refer to Nelnet.

What is TPD discharge?

A TPD discharge relieves you from having to repay or comply with obligations associated with the following types of federal student aid because you are totally and permanently disabled:

  • Loans made under the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program,
  • Loans made under the Federal Family Education Loan Program,
  • Loans made under the Federal Perkins Loan Program
  • A TEACH Grant, which requires you to complete a service obligation
  • Before your federal student loans or TEACH Grant service obligation can be discharged, you must submit an application for discharge and provide information to us to show that you are totally and permanently disabled. We will evaluate the information and determine if you qualify for a TPD discharge.

    How do I demonstrate that I am totally and permanently disabled?

    You can demonstrate that you are totally and permanently disabled in one of the following three ways:

    Phone: 888.303.7818

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