The Department of Education is sending letters to 387,000 individuals who are eligible for a “total and permanent” discharge from their student loan debt. The move cuts through some serious red tape for the people who need debt relief the most, namely people who have a disability that prevents them from being able to work and repay their loans. Thanks, Obama, indeed.
If all of the identified borrowers decide to discharge their loans it is estimated that a total of $7.7 billion will be forgiven. For people with disabilities, receiving this letter means they need not wade through the lengthy application process and instead will have the completed applications sent right to their doors, ready for them to sign. Ted Mitchell, the undersecretary of education, states, “Americans with disabilities have a right to student loan relief. And we need to make it easier, not harder, for them to receive the benefits they are due.”
The situation is dire for Americans with disabilities. About 179,000 of the identified borrowers have gone into default on their student loans and 100,000 could have their social security checks or tax refunds garnished to pay off what they owe. The decision to reach out to people who may not be aware of their eligibility is a bold and compassionate move. Some concern arises for people with psychological disabilities who may not be able to understand the letter they receive, yet many more people will have the opportunity for loan forgiveness through the outreach than ever before.
Via Market Watch