Using Social Security To Get Student Loan Debt Forgiven

Posted on: 29 June 2018


It's not unusual to learn from an early age that the key to success in life is getting a college education, but that can be expensive. While student loans provide a convenient and useful service to many students, the potential for the loans to become a major financial burden later on is entirely possible. If you find yourself unable to work at your chosen career because of a medical condition, you may be in dire financial circumstances and in need of Social Security disability. Read on to find out how a Social Security approval could lead the way to a program that allows you to have your student loan debts forgiven.

The Total and Permanent Disability Discharge Program (TPD)

This program and the Social Security disability programs are two different but related programs. You should get your SSDI (Social Security Disability Insurance) approval first and then apply to the TPD program. Just because you got SSDI benefits does not mean that you'll get approved for student loan forgiveness, however.

Higher Standards for the TPD Program

While getting approved for SSDI is no walk in the park, it's even more difficult to get approved for the TPD program. For SSDI you must be unable to work at your job for at least a year, but for the TPD program that minimum qualification period stretches to 60 months (about 5 years). A shorter wait time is available for those that qualify for other SSDI programs that offer quicker application processing times, such as the MINE (medical improvement not expected) program.

Only Certain Loans

There are numerous types of student loans out there but only the government-backed loans are eligible for forgiveness through the TPD program. The following loans may be forgiven:

  • William D. Ford Direct Loan
  • Federal Perkins Loan
  • Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL)
  • Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH)

You are permitted to apply for forgiveness for more than one loan but a separate TPD application is required for each one.

After the Approval

If you lose your SSDI for any reason then you may find yourself once again responsible for the loan that was forgiven. Getting approved for any future student loans may be difficult to impossible, so make sure you understand the consequences of not making good on your debt responsibility.

Your first step is getting your SSDI benefits and you might end up getting your initial application denied along with lots of other applicants. Be sure to take advantage of the appeals process and get some legal help while you are at it. A Social Security disability lawyer can assist you in a successful appeals hearing so speak with one today.