Applying for Social Security disability benefits can be exhausting enough, but up until now, disabled student loan borrowers who were hoping to get their loans forgiven had to jump through hoops of fire to make it happen. Luckily, the U.S. Education Department has enacted an important reform that makes it much easier for disabled borrowers to get their federal student loans forgiven. The new rules will recognize certain disability findings by the U.S. Social Security Administration as sufficient grounds to discharge loans; it used to be that disabled borrowers would have to go through double the reviews to determine eligibility.
These new rules came about after last year’s investigation by the advocacy group ProPublica and the Chronicle of Higher Education. They found that the Education Department’s system for evaluating disability with erratic, duplicative, and dysfunctional.
The reforms will go into effect on July 1, 2013, and they will include a big overall of the program. They plan to streamline the application process, and improve communication with applicants to better explain denials.
Disabled borrowers will just have to submit their award letters from Social Security as proof of their disability. If the award letter says they are not scheduled for a medical review for at least 60 months (5 years), that means the borrower has a long-term disability and is immediately eligible to discharge federal loans. This is a wonderful, positive step for disabled individuals who are collecting Social Security benefits.
If you are disabled and were denied SSDI, contact the Pennsylvania disability attorneys at Mednick, Mezyk and Kredo for a free consultation by calling 215-545-1870 or 1-888-807-WORK.