Do You Have Student Loans and You're Receiving Social Security Benefits?
Authored By: Georgia Legal Services Program®
The following information is from the downloadable brochure, "Do you have student loans and you're receiving Social Security Benefits?" prepared by Georgia Legal Services Program, June 2016.
DO YOU RECEIVE SOCIAL SECURITY DISABILITY BENEFITS?
Has Social Security determined your Medical Improvement is Not Expected (“MINE”)?
If you answered yes to either question, then you MAY be eligible to have your Student Loan Debt FORGIVEN.
YOUR LOAN TYPE MUST BE ONE OF THE FOLLOWING:
William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program
Federal Family Education Loan Program (FFEL)
Federal Perkins Loan Program
TEACH Grant Service obligation
Only the above loans can be forgiven through the U.S. Department of Education’s Total and Permanent Disability Discharge Program. You should contact your lender or NelNet to find out if your loan(s) is eligible for discharge.
The Obama administration has asked the U.S. Department of Education to contact people who receive Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits and have a “MINE” determination. Notices will be sent to all people who receive SSDI benefits and have a MINE designation within 16 weeks from April 18, 2016 until August 8, 2016. A second letter will be mailed 120 days after the first, but only if a signed application is received.
The U.S. Department of Education letter will list the following information about your loan:
Loan Holder phone number
If there are loan holders not listed, you can call to have them added.
Then you complete the application provided.
Fill in Section 1, Section 2 and Section 3 ONLY of the application by adding in your name, identifying information and contact information.
You answer two questions about your disability;
sign the application;
and mail it in.
YOU DO NOT NEED TO SEND YOUR SOCIAL SECURITY ADMINISTRATION (SSA) NOTICE OF AWARD OR BENEFITS PLANNING QUERY HANDBOOK (BPQY).
Send the application to:
U.S. Department of Education
P.O. Box 87130
Lincoln, Nebraska 68501-7130
You do NOT need a letter from the U.S. Department of Education (DOE) to apply for the Total and Permanent Discharge Program. Both Individuals who receive Social Security Disability benefits and those who receive Disability benefits through the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs are eligible to apply.
NelNet Total & Permanent Disability Services handles the discharge process for the U.S. Department of Education.
To apply, you can call NelNet directly at 888-303-7818, 8 a.m. until 8 p.m. (Monday – Friday)
You can also apply online at www.disabilitydischarge.com
Note: Receiving student loan forgiveness may affect your taxes. The amount of money discharged can be considered income and taxable. Speak to a tax expert for more information.
Student Aid Bill of Rights
I. Every student deserves access to a quality, affordable education at a college that’s cutting costs and increasing learning.
II. Every student should be able to access the resources needed to pay for college.
III. Every borrower has the right to an affordable repayment plan.
IV. And every borrower has the right to qualify customer service, reliable information, and fair treatment, even if they struggle to repay their loans.
This brochure is for information only and does not constitute legal advice. If you have difficulty understanding the process and need help, call Georgia Legal Services Program® .