New Rules for Student Loan Discharge

Posted on: May 21st, 2013

The Department of Education is streamlining its procedures for student loan discharge for the disabled. Suppose you have student loan debt and you’ve been approved for Social Security Disability. To have your student loan forgiven you need to prove to the Department of Education that your disability is “total and permanent.” The procedure in the past has been for your doctor to sign a certification stating that you are unable to engage in any substantial gainful activity due to a physical or mental impairment. Further, the doctor must state that your impairment has lasted or is expected to last at least five years. Student loan discharge has been a completely separate process from Social Security, requiring its own paperwork and involvement with another government agency.

As of July 1, 2013, the procedure will be simplified for certain individuals. When Social Security approves disability claims, they classify them as to whether or not medical improvement is expected. That classification will dictate how long it will be until the claim comes up for review. If Social Security determines that medical improvement is not expected, then they do not review the claim for five years or more. These persons can automatically have their student loans discharged by filling out the Department of Education form. They do not need to submit a physician certification or face a lengthy double review. For more information visit www.studentaid.ed.gov.

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