Is help with student loan debt available if I am disabled?

If you are disabled and are burdened with student loan debt, there may be some assistance available to you from the federal government. While many types of student loans are not dischargeable except in certain circumstances, those who are disabled do have access to resources.

However, U.S. News and World Report cautions that even if your student loan debt is forgiven due to your disability, you may still be liable to pay taxes on any amounts that are forgiven over $600. This is important to keep in mind when you are considering pursuing an avenue of loan forgiveness.

The U.S. Department of Education has reached out to hundreds of thousands of people with student loans to advise them of their eligibility to have their loans discharged based on a disability. In order to identify these individuals, the DOE cross-referenced its records with the Social Security Administration to find people who had outstanding student loan balances and who were received social security disability payments. If you meet both of those criteria, you should have received notice in the mail. If you did not receive notice or failed to respond to it, further communications should be forthcoming as eligibility is reviewed on quarterly basis.

This program may be especially helpful if you are currently in default on your student loans. One result of being in default is that the government can deny certain payments and benefits and put that money toward loan repayment. People with disabilities often rely on social security disability payments and having some or all of those payments seized could be devastating financially. This is not intended to be legal advice and is general information on this topic only.

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