Tuesday, April 19, 2016

New Student Loan Program Benefits People with Disabilities

Last week the Department of Education announced a new program that is aimed at helping federal student loan borrowers who have disabilities discharge their student loan debt.

The program creates a Total and Permanent Disability (TPD) loan discharge for people with disabilities who have federal student loan debt and are unable to pay the loans back due to their total and permanent disability.

While this program obviously benefits individuals by potentially discharging their student loan debt, it should be noted that the program also aims to prevent an offset against the discharged loans by reducing social security disability benefits or federal tax returns.

In other words, in the past, SSDI recipients who qualified for student loan forgiveness potentially saw a change in their SSDI benefits as an offset for the discharge of their federal student loan debt. 

According to the press release from the Department of Education, this new program, which was part of President Obama’s Student Aid Bill of Rights announced in 2015, aims to identify student loan borrowers who are totally and permanently disabled and protect them from a decrease in their Social Security benefits.

The Department of Education announced that such identified borrowers would receive a letter informing them of their eligibility and providing instructions about how to proceed.

For more information about this new program, go to https://disabilitydischarge.com/faqs 

Stephanie Merritt Driscoll is an attorney in Southern California who focuses her practice on Social Security law. If you or someone you know is applying for or has been denied SSI or SSDI, contact Attorney Stephanie Merritt Driscoll online or at 949-359-1370 to schedule a free consultation.


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