Permanent Disability Discharge

A Total and Permanent Disability (TPD) Discharge offers student loan forgiveness to those who qualify, relieving you from the burden of paying back your federal student loans, so you can focus on what’s important.

In 2012, the Obama Administration streamlined the Total and Permanent Disability (TPD) Discharge process, giving hundreds of thousands of totally and permanently disabled Americans better access to student debt relief.

 

How to Qualify for a TPD Discharge

As the government takes a more proactive approach to student loan forgiveness for the totally and permanently disabled, there are several ways for you to qualify for a TPD Discharge, depending on your situation.

Military veterans with a service-connected disability, who have received documentation from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) demonstrating their unemployable status, are eligible for a TPD Discharge. Those who don’t meet this requirement may also be eligible for one of several student loan repayment and forgiveness programs designed specifically for Armed Forces service members.

If you are receiving Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits, you can also apply for a TPD Discharge by submitting your notice of award for SSDI or SSI benefits from the Social Security Administration. This will provide the necessary information about your next disability review based on your most up-to-date disability determination.

Your physician can also certify that you are totally and permanently disabled, proving you are unable to participate in any significant gainful activity due to your disability. These include physical and/or mental impairments that have persisted for more than 60 months, are expected to continue for 60 months or more, or will likely result in death.

A TPD Discharge is available to anyone who is totally and permanently disabled with a William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan (Direct Loan) Program loan, FFEL Program Loan or Federal Perkins Loan. Additionally, if you have a Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) Grant service obligation, your obligation may also be discharged once you’re approved for the program.

Find out if you are eligible for a TPD Discharge for free.

SEE IF YOU QUALIFY

How a TPD Discharge Works

Armed Forces veterans approved for a TPD Discharge will have their applications handled in a few ways, depending on how the permanent disability is demonstrated. These include:

  • Notifying student loan holders and/or TEACH Grant service holders of your approval.
  • Directing student loan holders to refund loan payments made on or after your effective disability date (the date the VA determined you were unable to be employed due to a service-connected disability).
  • Instructing loan holders to discharge all remaining student loan balances.

Anyone receiving approval after sending in SSA documentation or a physician’s certification will have their applications handled in one or more of the following ways:

  • Notifying student loan holders and/or TEACH Grant service holders of your approval.
  • Directing student loan holders to refund any loan payments made after documentation for a TPD Discharge was received.
  • Instructing loan holders to transfer student loans and/or TEACH Grant service obligation for discharge. This will enter you into a 3-year post-discharge monitoring period upon approval, which has its own conditions and requirements.
  • Reinstating student loan payment obligations if during the 3-year monitoring period these requirements are not met.

Any qualifying federal student loans will be forgiven if you are approved for any of these TPD Discharge programs. However, any forgiven student loan balances may be considered taxable income by the IRS for the year they were discharged.

TPD Discharge Program Update

In April 2018, the Department of Education partnered with the Department of Veterans Affairs to make signing up for the TPD Discharge program easier for disabled veterans. If you are a disabled veteran with a Direct Loan, FFEL loan, or Perkins Loan, you may be eligible for the program. As an added benefit, any disabled veterans approved for the program will not be responsible for paying taxes on the forgiven amount the following year, which may save you thousands of dollars with the IRS.

Learn more about this change in our recent article “Trump Administration Makes Student Loan Forgiveness Easier for Disabled Veterans” or by visiting Trump on Student Loan Forgiveness.

For more details on the TPD Discharge, speak with student loan specialist by phone at 800-771-6358.

Loan Forgiveness

STUDENT LOAN FORGIVENESS Student loan repayment has undergone tremendous reform over the past few decades. As part of these federal student debt relief initiatives, new options have become available to…

STUDENT LOAN FORGIVENESS Student loan repayment has undergone tremendous reform over the past few decades. As part of these federal student debt relief initiatives, new options have become available to those looking to benefit from today’s student loan forgiveness programs.

Learn More