350,000 student borrowers with disabilities lost $7 billion in debt under Biden. Here’s how to qualify.
350,000 student borrowers with disabilities got $7 billion in aid under Biden.
That’s partly because the Department of Education has forgone cumbersome red tape.
Here’s how to find out if you qualify and what to do next to get loan forgiveness.
President Joe Biden has taken steps to reform the student loan forgiveness process for borrowers with disabilities, and so far thousands of people have reaped the benefits.
There is a system for borrowers with disabilities to qualify for student loan forgiveness, known as a Total and Permanent Disability Discharge (TPD) – but actually getting this forgiveness has turned out to be difficult. Established under former President Barack Obama, anyone deemed permanently disabled by a doctor, the Social Security Administration, or the Department of Veterans Affairs was eligible for loan forgiveness, but a requirement to submit documentation for a three-year monitoring period, to verify that income did not exceed the poverty line, was onerous.
That’s why Biden’s education secretary, Miguel Cardona renounced the requirement to submit documents, which in the past resulted in reinstatement of loans if borrowers did not respond, and these changes have to date resulted in $7 billion in relief for 350,000 borrowers.
“Work with @Social Securityfederal student aid provided much-needed relief to 350,000 borrowers with approximately $7 billion in student loans,” federal student aid official Richard Cordray wrote on Twitter.
As Cordray noted, Student Aid has worked with Social Security to use data matching to identify borrowers who should be eligible for relief, and the agency will continue to follow this process to provide TPD waivers to approximately 15,000 to 20,000 borrowers each quarter.
In the meantime, here’s how to find out if you qualify for a TPD waiver:
How to prove your eligibility
If you need to prove that you qualify for a TPD waiver, you must have one of these three proof documents, according to federal student aid:
VA Documentation: Veterans can qualify if they have proof of VA showing that you have a service-related disability that is 100% disabling, or that you are totally disabled based on an unemployability rating.
SSA Documentation: Individuals eligible for Social Security Disability Insurance or Supplemental Security Income may be eligible for TPD discharge if they provide a copy of SSA benefits.
Physician’s Certification: A physician can also confirm eligibility for PDT if they can certify that you are unable to engage in “substantial gainful occupation” due to a physical or mental impairment likely to result in death, which lasted continuously for at least 60 months, or can be expected to last continuously for 60 months.
Once you have any of the required documentation, here is the following:
How to apply for a TPD waiver
To apply for loan forgiveness, you must complete the TPD application and submit it to Nelnet – the company that handles TPD waivers – along with your supporting documents. There are three ways to apply:
Submit the application online at this link
Download and print a blank TPD waiver request to send to this link
Or request an application by phone (888-303-7818) or email ([email protected])
After submitting your application, a number of things can happen. If your discharge has been approved, you will be notified and your loan officer will be responsible for returning any loan payments made after your documentation has been submitted.
If your waiver request is denied, Nelnet is required to inform you of the reason for your denial. If you want Nelnet to reassess your application, you can submit new information within the first 12 months of your rejection that confirms your eligibility, and if more than 12 months pass, you can submit a new application.
Borrowers should also note that if they obtained a TPD discharge after January 1, 2018, they will not have to pay taxes on the loan amount released.
Read the original article at Business Intern