Under Obama’s Student Aid Bill of Rights, People with Disabilities Now have the Opportunity to have their Student Loans Forgiven

New legislation has been pushed forward under the Obama administration to create new programs that aim to help people with disabilities have their student loan debt forgiven. As part of President Obama’s Student Aid Bill of Rights, people with disabilities that are shackled with student loan debt will have their debts forgiven with the Total and Permanent Disability loan discharge program (TPD). This program will aid people who are permanently disabled and     cannot work to pay off their loans, without having to sacrifice their social security or disability payments.

As of April 18, the US Department of Education has begun to send out letters to over 387,000 people that are deemed eligible for these programs. The total amount of student loans that will be forgiven is worth nearly $7.8 billion. This new debt forgiveness program will also relieve those who have had their student loans placed into default. In order to receive these benefits, the recipient must simply fill out the application that had been sent out with the letter and return it with a signature. After the paperwork has been processed, the loan will be forgiven. However, there is a catch.

For three years, the borrower will be monitored to ensure that he or she in fact cannot make the payments on the loan and that their disability status is not changed. If they no longer qualify for debt forgiveness during the monitoring period, they may have to start making payments on their student loans again.

For those who have not received a letter regarding the TPD program, there are a few conditions that must be met before applying:

  1. If the individual is a service­ disabled veteran, he or she is eligible to receive the TPD. They must provide supporting documentation from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) in order to qualify.
  1. On the condition that the individual has been receiving Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits, he or she may is eligible to receive the TPD, without having to surrender either of these benefits.
  2. Substantial medical proof of the individual being disabled.

This new initiative will help thousands of people with disabilities regain their independence without having to compromise their social security benefits or disability payments.