Many thousands of Americans have student loan debt. In pursuit of higher education, many Americans, including many Michigan residents, obtained student loans to pay for their education. Those persons who are able to work can strive to pay off their loans over time. For permanently disabled Michiganders, however, an inability to work may prevent them from being able to pay off their student loan debt.
Currently, by law, those persons who are permanently disabled are eligible to have their federal student loan debt forgiven. However, according to the Obama administration and the U.S. Department of Education, too few of those persons eligible for forgiveness of student loan debts have been taking advantage of this opportunity. Therefore, the Education Department is seeking to help identify those persons who are eligible for the federal loan-forgiveness program and aid them in the discharge process.
The Department of Education has already identified approximately 387,000 disabled Americans who have student loan debt and are eligible for discharge of their loans. The approximate value of their loans is $7.8 billion. Over 45 percent of those persons eligible for loan discharge are currently in default on their loans. Discharge of student loan debt for those persons in default would be significant because it would mean that they would no longer face the risk of having their Social Security disability benefits seized.
The actions of the Department of Education in identifying persons who are eligible for loan discharge may provide a tremendous relief for many disabled Michigan residents. There are, of course, other hurdles that Michiganders with disabilities must tackle on a daily basis, however. If you or a loved one has questions regarding the discharge of student loan debt or any other federal regulations pertaining to SSDI benefits, you may wish to consider seeking the guidance of legal counsel.
Source: Business Insider, "Obama is forgiving nearly 400,000 people's student loans," April 13, 2016