Do You Qualify for Student Loan (TPD) Discharge as a Disabled Veteran?

If you have become permanently disabled due to serving in the military, you may be eligible for a Total and Permanent Disability Discharge (TPD) of your federal student loans. With a TPD discharge, you would no longer be required to repay some loan types, including:

  • William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan (Direct Loan) Program loans
  • Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL) Program loans
  • Federal Perkins Loans
  • TEACH Grant service obligation

If you are a 100% disabled veteran with student loans, here’s how to qualify for a TPD discharge.

How to Qualify for TPD Discharge of Your Student Loans

To qualify for a TPD discharge, you must meet one of the following criteria:

  1. Receive certification from the VA stating that you are 100% disabled and unemployable.
  2. Have a physician confirm that you are totally and permanently disabled, rendering you unable to engage in any substantial gainful activity and is expected to last continuously for at least 60 months or result in death.
  3. Qualify for SSDI or SSI benefits with a review date of five to seven years since your most recent Social Security Administration (SSA) disability determination.

In addition, you must provide documentation proving this from one of the following entities:

  1. The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)
  2. The Social Security Administration (SSA)
  3. An authorized medical professional

What is an Automatic TPD Discharge?

Both the VA and SSA utilize a data-matching system, which assists the U.S. Department of Education in identifying eligible borrowers for a TPD discharge based on their status. This automated process leads to the automatic forgiveness of student loans or the TEACH Grant Service Obligation for most qualifying borrowers, eliminating the need for them to apply for a TPD discharge.

However, this process is relatively recent. Prior to 2019, all eligible student loan borrowers had to apply for a TPD discharge, regardless of whether they were present in the data-matching system. Later, the VA introduced automatic processing after numerous eligible borrowers failed to apply, and this was later extended to SSA beneficiaries.

If you meet the criteria for a TPD discharge and your student loans have not been automatically forgiven by the VA or SSA, speak with the experienced disability attorneys at Kerr, Robichaux & Carroll for more information.

Speak With Us for Free Today

If you are an 100% disabled veteran with student loans and haven’t received an automatic TPD Discharge, you can begin your application for a TPD Discharge online through the Federal Student Loan Aid website.

If you have become permanently disabled and are struggling to keep up with student loans, contact us today for more information by submitting a contact form or calling our office at 503-255-9092 for a free consultation.

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