Education Department clears way for $1.3 billion in student debt forgiven for disabled Americans
The Biden administration has now canceled $2.3 billion in student loans, little more than 0.01% in the nation’s total college debt
The U.S. Department of Education announced this week that it had taken steps to ensure that 230,000 student loan borrowers with “total and permanent disability,” who have already had their loans forgiven, will not have their loans reinstated “for failure to provide earnings information during the COVID-19 emergency,” according to a press release.
- “Anyone who is declared by a physician, the Social Security Administration or Department of Veterans Affairs to be totally and permanently disabled is eligible to have their federal student debt canceled. Those who benefit are subject to a three-year monitoring period, in which they must submit annual documentation verifying their income does not exceed the poverty line,” The Washington Post reported.
- The Education Department’s new policy “will waive the paperwork requirement during the coronavirus pandemic, retroactive to March 13, 2020, when President Donald Trump declared a national emergency,” according to the Post.
- “More than 41,000 of these borrowers who had $1.3 billion in loans reinstated will now get their discharges back, have any payments made during the COVID-19 emergency refunded, and will not be asked to submit earnings documentation,” the Education Department said in its press release Monday.
Today, I announced relief for borrowers who have received student loan discharges due to total and permanent disability. These borrowers should be focused on their well-being, not paperwork, especially during a global pandemic. https://t.co/B3yAHW9xVy pic.twitter.com/8LrJ4XveNN— Secretary Miguel Cardona (@SecCardona) March 29, 2021
“Borrowers with total and permanent disabilities should focus on their well-being, not put their health on the line to submit earnings information during the COVID-19 emergency,” Education Secretary Miguel Cardona said in a statement.
Earlier this month, the Education Department canceled $1 billion in student loan debt for borrowers that were defrauded by for-profit schools, Business Insider reported.
- “For-profit institutions that shut down years ago, like Corinthian Colleges and ITT Technical Institutes, violated federal law by persuading their students to take out loans, and Cardona’s new policy will help approximately 72,000 of those students receive $1 billion in loan cancellation,” according to Business Insider.