The Student Aid Bill of Rights, penned by President Barack Obama last year, was intended to actively help Americans – especially Americans with disabilities – deal with the growing burden of student loan debt.
Previously, it has been the responsibility of the borrower to prove the existence and extent of any disability, which could be a long and arduous process.
“Too many eligible borrowers were falling through the cracks, unaware they were eligible for relief,” said Education Under Secretary Ted Mitchell.
Beginning next week, the Department of Education will mail approximately 387,000 letters to permanently disable Americans who are unable to work and have been identified as eligible for a “Total and Permanent Disability” loan discharge.
Student debts totaling an estimated $7.7 billion could be wiped away.
“Under the new process, we will notify potentially eligible borrowers about the benefit and guide them through steps needed to discharge their loans, helping thousands of borrowers,” said Mitchell.
“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,” he added.
The federal government can still tax any debt amount forgiven.
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