Yes, all three of the federal student loan programs allow you to discharge your federal student loans in the case of total and permanent disability.
If you are a 100% total and permanently disabled veteran (100% T&P) rated by the Veteran’s Administration, or rated as individually unemployable (IU) by the VA for a service-connected condition, you are qualified to apply for forgiveness of any outstanding balances on your Federal student loans, basically wiping the balances clean. You will also be given a refund on any student loan payments you may have made since the date of your rating determination letter. (For instance, if you are retroactively rated as 100% T&P since 2006 and you made any payments since 2006, those payments will be refunded to you).
You can show that you are totally and permanently disabled in one of the following three ways:
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
• Can be expected to last for a continuous period of not less than 60 months
Each option for showing that you are totally and permanently disabled has specific requirements for the supporting documentation that you must submit with your TPD discharge application. To review the supporting documentation requirements, visit the TPD Discharge website at www.disabilitydischarge.com and click on Application Process.
*Please note: This program does not apply to private student loans, loans you co-signed for, nor is it for family members of the disabled veteran.