When you took out that education loan, you likely never envisioned being unable to work at that career that you studied so hard to have. When a medical condition makes it impossible to work at your job, you may be qualified for Social Security disability. Unfortunately, the time between your initial application and a final approval could take more than a year. It's easy to see how much financial trouble you could get in during that time if you cannot work to pay your bills. Fortunately, there is a student loan forgiveness program that could help you with at least one of those bills. Read on to learn more about the Total and Permanent Disability Discharge Program (TPD).
Qualifying for the TPD program
You must be approved for Social Security benefits to be eligible for the TPD program, but getting approved for one is no guarantee of being approved for the other. As you may know, you must be unable to work at your job for at least one year (or expect to be unable to work for at least one year in the future) to get Social Security benefits. The TPD programs has higher standards, however. To be approved for the TPD program, you must be unable to work at your job for 60 months (5 years) or expect to be unable to work for 60 months. An exception is made for those who qualify for Social Security's MINE program (medical improvement not expected), in this instance you can expect to undergo only the usual Social Security time of disability, which is one year.
What to know about the TPD program
Not all types of student loans can be forgiven, but if you have a TEACH (Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education), a FFEL (Federal Family Education Loan), a Federal Perkins loan or a William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan you may qualify.
If you have several qualifying loans, you must apply for each separately for the TPD program.
Your income will be monitored (just as it is with Social Security) and you must stay under the limit.
If you are accepted into this loan forgiveness program, you may have a lot more trouble getting approved for student loans in the future.
Collection activities on your student loan will come to a halt as soon as you call about this program, but you only have 120 days to complete all paperwork before the hold is released.
If you having trouble getting your Social Security benefits approved, speak to a Social Security attorney such as Glen Cook Social Security Attorney; it's the first step in getting your financial situation back on track.