DO I HAVE TO PAY MY FEDERAL STUDENT LOAN IF I AM DISABLED?

If you accumulated Federal Student Loans, and then become totally and permanently disabled (TPD), you may be able to discharge or wipe away your loan. A TPD discharge relieves you from having to repay the majority of all Federal Student Loans, but there are certain requirements you must prove before your loan is discharged. There are generally three ways you can prove you are permanently and totally disabled.

1. If you are a veteran, you can submit documentation from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) showing that the VA has determined that you are unemployable due to a service-connected disability.

2. If you are receiving Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits, you can submit a Social Security Administration (SSA) notice of award for SSDI or SSI benefits stating that your next scheduled disability review will be within five to seven years from the date of your most recent SSA disability determination.

3. You can submit certification from a physician that you are totally and permanently disabled. Your physician must certify that you are unable to engage in any substantial gainful activity by reason of a medically determinable physical or mental impairment that

• Can be expected to result in death,
• Has lasted for a continuous period of not less than 60 months, or
• Can be expected to last for a continuous period of not less than 60 months.

You must provide documentation to the Department of Education and submit the proper petitions for discharging your loan. This can be a cumbersome process, especially when you are dealing with the effects of your disability. Our office can prepare and submit these documents for you or anyone you know who needs to get relief from their Federal Student Loan because of disability.