Total Permanent Disability

Total and Permanent Disability Discharge


Borrowers who have a total and permanent disability may be eligible for a total and permanent disability discharge. It is available for borrowers who are disabled and unable to engage in any significant gainful employment because of physical or mental impairment. This discharge program would provide relief by discharging the student loan debt. However, borrowers must prove to the Department of Education that they suffer permanent disability.

Proving Permanent Disability, there are few options that the Department of Education will accept for review to prove a permanent disability and become eligible for federal student loan discharge.

If you receive a notice of award for SSDI or SSA, you can submit the notice for the Department of Education to review. The notice must state the borrower is permanently disabled and that there will be another review between 5-7 years. The review must be at least five years away.If it is less than five years, then you will not be eligible for disability discharge.
Also, your doctor must submit a certified form that informs the Department of Education that you are totally and permanently disabled. Included in that form is information regarding the nature of your disability, how long this disability is expected to last, and whether your doctor believes that with your disability, you cannot engage in significant employment activity because of your disability.
For veterans, the Veteran Affairs office can provide the required documents that show that you cannot be employed because of a service-related injury.

Your disability must be expected to last a minimum of 60 months or is expected to result in death.

What is the process?

  • The discharge process begins with the documents that prove your permanent disability. Once you have submitted the documents to the Department of Education and completed your application, the DOE will contact all of your lenders and place a pause on collection activity until they have made a decision on your case.
  • Next, the DOE will review your case to make a decision. The decision can take between 3 to 5 months depending on a number of documents received.

If you are approved, then the DOE will contact your lender and provide them instructions to discharge your loan. It will also send instructions to refund all monies given to them from the start of your disability.
If you are denied, the DOE will contact your lenders and inform them that they can resume collections. It will also send you a letter explaining why your application was denied.

Conditions that Apply after Discharge
You must know a few things as you consider a disability loan discharge.
Once discharged, you are not eligible to apply for any new student loans unless you obtain a new letter that states you can work again. You must also sign a statement that informs you that any new loans cannot be discharged based on your old disability. Only new disability conditions can allow you to reapply for a disability discharge. The balance of your discharge loans will be reported to the IRS as taxable income if the balance is over $600.

Learn more with Student Debt Doctor

For more information, contact us at Student Debt Doctor to help you learn more and navigate the process.

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Disclaimer: This site does not negotiate, adjust or settle debts. All federal student borrowers are able and encouraged to apply for any federal repayment or forgiveness programs through the US Department of Education for free without paying fees to any entity. Nothing on this site constitutes official qualification or guarantee of result. Student Debt Doctor offers fee-based services to assist with application preparation for federal student loan and other programs.
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