Around 179,000 Americans with disabilities are defaulting on their student loans. Considering the entire nation’s problems with student loan debt, this probably isn’t too surprising, but the Obama Administration has taken new steps to help bring relief to these Americans.
Could People With Disabilities Have Their Students Loans Forgiven?
The President released the Student Aid Bill of Rights last year, which was meant to relieve some of the pressure student loans were putting on young Americans. Now some of the bill’s programs are coming into effect, and it could mean student loan relief for people with disabilities.
How Will These Student Loans Be Forgiven?
The US Department of Education has a loan forgiveness program for people who are permanently disabled, and most people don’t even know about it. However, anonymity isn’t the program’s only flaw. The Under Secretary of Education—Ted Mitchell—told reporters about a breast cancer survivor who spent seven years applying and reapplying to this program to try and get her student loan debts dismissed. He told the reporters that the government shouldn’t work like this.
So the administration put together a program that will send notifications and paperwork to some 387,000 Americans with disabilities who may qualify to have their student loan debts discharged. This new initiative will use Social Security Disability records to verify the person’s disability, so the individual won’t be responsible for submitting documents to confirm their condition. This means applicants will only have to sign and return a prefilled application to start the process.
What Will Happen After My Loans Are Discharged?
After the applicant’s loans are discharged, they will be enrolled in a three-year program that will monitor the borrower’s earning status. If they make more money than a certain threshold, they may have to start payment on their loans again. However, this program will also prevent Social Security checks from being garnished, and will lift one more burden from the shoulders of Americans who have already paid an incredible price for their workforce labor.
For more information about new government programs that can help people with disabilities, keep following our blog!