Unfortunately, many students walk away from their secondary education with not only a degree but also fifteen to twenty years’ worth of debt. But although student loans can be financially draining, most individuals are able to eventually pay them off. However, this is not the case for many individuals whose lives change due to an illness or an accident that leaves them unable to work. Fortunately, there is the option of loan disability discharge, which is tax-free for certain individuals and more widely accepted than ever before. Could you qualify for student loan disability discharge? Here’s what to know.
Are You Eligible?
Individuals who suffer from a long-term disability that leaves them unable to work may be eligible for forgiveness of their student loan debt through Total and Permanent Disability (TPD) Discharge. You can prove total and permanent disability in a few different ways:
If a veteran is unable to work due to a disability-related to his or time in the service, he or she can obtain and submit documents from the Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) to prove so
Individuals Receiving Federal Benefits
Those who receive federal benefits are able to submit a notice from the Social Security Administration (SSA) to demonstrate that they are currently receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or disability insurance – and that their next disability review is to be scheduled from five to seven years from now.
Individuals Otherwise Disabled
Other individuals with disabilities can obtain and submit certification from their physician to show that they are in fact totally and permanently disabled. To prove TPD, you must meet two requirements:
- Your impairment must have lasted continuously for a minimum of five years or could last continuously for the next five years; and
- Your impairment could end up being fatal.
Can Private Student Loans Be Forgiven for Those with Disabilities?
What about students who borrow from private lenders such as banks? Those who borrowed from a bank, credit union, or other private lenders don’t have as much opportunity for loan forgiveness despite a disability. The good news is that certain lenders are willing to forgive your remaining balance due to a disability (or death).
TPD Discharge and the Monitoring Period
Being approved for a TPD discharge does not mean that it can’t later be voided. In fact, if you fail to meet specific requirements during any existing three-year period of monitoring, your loan balance could still be reset. For example, those who do not recertify their earnings annually could have their TPD discharge voided.
Additionally, individuals, who are found not to be disabled during the course of the monitoring period, could lose their discharge.
Still, the good news is that even those who don’t qualify to receive TPD forgiveness or the same from a private lender could still find certain student loan forgiveness programs to help decrease or eliminate their remaining student debt.
The NYC SSD Attorneys at Seelig Law Offices, LLC Can Help
When you suffer from a disability that prevents you from being able to work, you may not know how you will make ends meet or what to do next. Luckily, the attorneys at Seelig Law Offices, LLC can help. We understand how your disability can impact your life and the lives of those you love. That’s why we’re here to help you. To learn more, or to schedule a consultation, contact us today!