Yes, it is possible to get your federal student loan balance forgiven if you become totally and permanently disabled. If you are on Social Security Disability with a 5- or 7-year review, then the Department of Education will accept that as evidence of disability.

However, if it is on a 3-year review, or were turned down for Social Security Disability, then there are certain criteria that must be met. In order to be eligible for this forgiveness. You must prove that you are unable to engage in any substantial gainful activity due to a medically determinable physical or mental impairment that

  • can be expected to result in death,
  • has lasted for a continuous period of at least five (5) years, or
  • can be expected to last for an additional continuous period of at least five (5) years

Does Being a Veteran Help?

If you are a veteran, however, you may be eligible if you’ve received a determination from the Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) that

  • you have a service-related disability or disabilities that are totally disabling or
  • you are totally disabled based on an Individual Unemployability determination.

You can apply for this discharge for your William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan (Direct Loan) Program loans, Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL) Program loans, Federal Perkins Loans, or Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) Grant service obligation.

There is a separate application process through the U.S. Department of Education that must be followed, but is certainly worth the effort.

So What Do I Do?

If you would like more information about student loans, you can dowload my free book, I Graduated; Now What? A Guide to Dealing with Your Student Loans.

If you are looking for a solution to your student loan problem and wondering if there is one, then there is a great way to find out for free! Just click here to provide me with all the details on your loans. I will then, for free and with no obligation on your part, look at your situation to see if I can provide you with a way to deal with them. If there isn't one, it didn't cost you anything. If there is, then I will contact you to schedule an analysis session with my office to lay out a plan of action.

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Steven J. Richardson
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Bankruptcy, Collections, Student Loan, DUI and Traffic Court attorney in Woodbury, NJ.