If you are receiving disability benefits and have unpaid student loans, you could possibly be eligible for student loan forgiveness. Depending on the circumstances of your disability, you could qualify for what is called Total and Permanent Disability (TPD) discharge, which would relieve you from having to pay back your student loans. Not everyone who receives disability benefits will qualify for TPD, but those that do can have the burden of student loan debt taken off their shoulders. A TPD discharge relieves you from having to pay Federal Direct Loans, Federal Family Education Loans, Federal Perkins Loans, or having to complete TEACH Grant service obligations.
The Department of Education determines who qualifies for TPD discharge. In order to qualify, you must prove that you have a long-term disability. The Department of Education will accept three types of proof of long term-disability: (1) documents from the U.S. Department of Veteran’s affairs showing that you are unemployable because you suffered a service-related disability; (2) documents from the Social Security Administration stating that you receive disability benefits and that the next review of your disability is schedule to be held 5 to 7 years after your latest review; or (3) documents from you physician showing that you suffer a condition which can be expected to result in death, has lasted for at least 60 months, or can be expected to last for at least 60 months.
If you can provide any of those types of proof, you can apply online to have your loans forgiven. Once you begin your application, your loans will be put on hold temporarily so you don’t have to make any payments. After you have applied, it will take around 30 days to receive a decision.