Did you know the U.S. Department of Education may discharge certain federal student loans for individuals with a total and permanent disability? It is important to note the Department of Education has a strict definition for total and permanent disability which differs from the definition used in other areas of the law. Additionally, this program only applies to William D. Ford Federal Direct Loans (“Direct Loans”), Federal Family Education Loans, and Federal Perkins Loans. However, individuals who meet the particular requirements of this program could have a five or even six figure loan balance completely discharged.
What is a Total and Permanent Disability?
The Department of Education provides three ways for applicants to show total and permanent disability. First, veterans can show total and permanent disability with evidence from the VA indicating a service-related 100% disability or an individual unemployability rating. Second, current Social Security Disability (“SSD”) recipients can show total and permanent disability with evidence that their next disability review is scheduled between five and seven years after their most recent Social Security disability determination. Third, any individual can allege total and permanent disability with a doctor’s certification that the individual is unable to engage in any substantial gainful activity due to physical or mental impairments that either (a) continuously lasted for sixty months; (b) is expected to continuously last for sixty months; or (c) is expected to result in death.
How Can I Apply?
If you are a veteran or SSD recipient who meets the total and permanent disability definition provided above, you may be automatically contacted by the Department of Education regarding this program. If you believe you meet these requirements and have not been contacted or you believe you may qualify via doctor certification, you can apply online at www.disabilitydischarge.com/registration. If you have additional questions about the application process, you can find more information here.
If you have any additional questions regarding Social Security Disability, Disability Pensions, or Workers’ Compensation, please contact our office at (866) 557-7500 or visit our website to schedule a free consultation.
Ryan J. McIntyre, Esq.