If you are a disabled veteran who is struggling to pay off your student loans, you may be eligible for loan forgiveness. The Department of Veterans Affairs offers several programs that can help eliminate your student loan debt. In this blog post, we will discuss the different loan forgiveness available to disabled veterans, as well as the eligibility requirements and application process.
Who Qualifies For Student Loan Forgiveness for Veterans?
Every barracks lawyer thinks they understand student loan forgiveness for veterans. However, they are almost always wrong. Can every veteran get their student loans discharged? No. However, a growing percentage of veterans are now eligible for having their student loans completely forgiven.
4 Ways A Veteran Can Qualify For Student Loan Forgiveness
A total and permanent disability discharge (TPD) means you will not have to pay back a William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan (Direct Loan) Program loan, a Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL) Program loan, or even a TEACH Grant service obligation. However, the government does not forgive private student loans.
They typically do the government student loan forgiveness for veterans four different ways. The most straightforward way is to be 100% disabled (must also be permanent and total). That is a long journey, but check out BOOT CAMP to learn how you can join the “hundo club.” Veterans can expect to spend over a year earning the 100% P&T rating, but it is a guaranteed way to have student loans discharged.
Alternative Ways to Student Loan Forgiveness for Veterans
The alternative method is to have TDIU (total disability based on individual unemployment rating). The VA has TDIU to ensure pay the 100% rate to veterans who can not work, but also can not reach 100%. However, TDIU is less secure than 100% P&T. We want you to attempt to reach 100% P&T before attempting to receive TDIU. You are your best advocate. It is your job to fight for the rating you earned.
Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) is the final good option to have your student loans discharged. A veteran that cannot achieve 100% P&T or TDIU can sometimes still achieve SSDI. As an example, a veteran can illustrate that their PTSD prevents them for working, but they cannot provide a strong nexus to their active duty time. However, SSDI does not require service-connection. Veterans will need to spend time deciding if applying for SSDI is the right answer for their situation.
The Weakest Path To Student Loan Forgiveness for Veterans
The final student loan forgiveness for veterans option is a workaround. This is for veterans who cannot receive TDIU, 100% P&T, or SSDI. Your doctor can submit a form stating that you cannot maintain substantial employment. This can work, but it should never be your first choice. This option is more subjective, and you want to be certain that your loans will be discharged.
Student Loan Forgiveness For Veterans – The Fine Print
You cannot make the mistake of trusting the government. Remember that the VA’s job is to make sure you do not receive the benefits you have earned. In addition, the government also wants to make sure that you never have your loans forgiven. The final “catch” of the student loan forgiveness for veterans is the three-year look back.
The government claims they use the three-year look to ensure fair use of the program. The government will force repayment if they prove you are not disabled during this time. You must prepare yourself to defend your forgiveness during this time. The best way to protect yourself is to understand the rules and regulations of student loan forgiveness for veterans. Make sure you stay on top of your paperwork and keep good records. With the right preparation, you can make sure you get the student loan forgiveness you deserve.
Rules to Follow During the 3 Year Look Back
The government is looking for a few specific things during the look back period:
- Annual earnings from employment that exceed the poverty guideline amount for a family of two in your state, regardless of your actual family size
- A new federal student loan under the Direct Loan Program or a new TEACH Grant;
- Another disbursement (payment) of a Direct Loan or a TEACH Grant that was first disbursed (paid out) before your discharge was approved, and the new disbursement has not been returned to the loan holder or (for a TEACH Grant) to us within 120 days of the disbursement date; or
- A notice from the SSA stating that you are no longer disabled, or that your next scheduled disability review will no longer be five to seven years from the date of your last SSA disability determination.
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