If you are now unable to work because of a medical condition, the same avenue of financial support that assists you with monthly payments can now help you with your student loan debt. For those who qualify for Social Security Disability, you may also qualify for a program that forgives your student loan. You should understand, however, that receiving Social Security Disability benefits does not automatically mean student loan forgiveness. For a better understanding of the Total and Permanent Disability Discharge Program (TPD), read on.
The Total and Permanent Disability Discharge Program (TPD)
While getting through the Social Security Disability application process may have been hard, the qualifications for the TPD program are even more difficult to achieve. The SSA offers two different programs, the Supplemental Security Insurance program (SSI) and the Social Security Disability Insurance program (SSDI), and both of these can qualify you for the TPD program. To qualify for either of these programs (SSI and SSDI) you must be unable to work for at least one year; to further qualify for the TPD program, you must be unable to work for at least five years. You may qualify for the TPD program immediately if you also qualify for the Social Security Administration's Medical Improvement Not Expected program, which grants special benefits to those with severe and/or terminal medical conditions.
What to Know About the TPD Program
1. Only four types of student loans are eligible for the TPD program:
- Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) Grant Service
- William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program
- Federal Perkins Loans
- Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL)
2. If you have more than one student loan, you must submit a separate application for each loan.
3. Just as with Social Security, your income will be monitored and you cannot earn more than a certain amount, which can change yearly and is based on the cost of living.
4. Your ability to qualify for a new student loan will be greatly impacted, and may be difficult if not impossible.
5. The TPD program may be applied for online.
6. Once you contact the TPD program, collection activity will be suspended, at least temporarily, for 120 days. You have 120 days to get your entire application package submitted, or the collection activity will resume once again.
If you are having trouble getting Social Security benefits, contact a Social Security attorney, like Horn & Kelley, PC Attorneys at Law, for assistance. You cannot qualify for the TPD program without qualifying for Social Security, so get the help you need to qualify for these important benefits.