student loans

Do You Still Have to Pay Student Loans if You Receive SSD Benefits?

Student loan debt puts many individuals at a financial disadvantage. Still, whether it takes 15 or 20 years, most of us are able to work hard and eventually pay it off. Unfortunately, sometimes individuals become injured or ill and are unable to make enough money for basic necessities, let alone to pay back their student loans

Fortunately, student loan disability discharge has become a more widely accessible form of relief for many people.


Individuals who borrow federal student loans but later are unable to work due to a long-term disability may be eligible for forgiveness through what is called Total and Permanent Disability (TPD) Discharge.  TPD requires that:

  • Your impairment has continued for a minimum of five years of could continuously last for the following five years; and
  • Your impairment could result in death. 

However, the individual must be able to demonstrate that he or she is totally and permanently disabled. You can do so in a few different ways:

  1. Veterans can prove their total and permanent disability by submitting documentation from the Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) to prove that their disability is related to their time in the military. 
  2. Those who receive federal benefits can submit an SSA notice to prove that they are receiving disability insurance or Supplemental Security Income (SSI). They can also show that their next disability review will take place in 5-7 years.
  3. Other individuals who are disabled can supply a physician-certified letter to demonstrate their total and permanent disability. This includes both physical and mental disabilities that make an individual TPD

Private Student Loans

Unfortunately, if you borrowed from or refinanced with a private lender, such as a bank or credit union, it can be more difficult to find loan forgiveness regardless of disability. There are however specific lenders, such as Wells Fargo, Discover, and Sallie Mae, that are willing to forgive an individual’s remaining balance if they are found to be TPD and/or if they die. 

TPD Discharge is Voidable

TPD discharge is still voidable if the individual awarded it does not meet specific requirements over the three-year monitoring period if the individual has one. This could include earning an income above the federal poverty guideline or failing to recertify earnings on an annual basis. If the individual in question is found to not be TPD within the monitoring period, he or she can lose the discharge.  

Luckily, those who fail to qualify for TPD forgiveness or forgiveness from a private lender could still receive forgiveness through another program

The Las Vegas SSD Attorneys at Roeschke Law, LLC Can Help

If you or a loved one is struggling with a disability that prevents you from working, you may not know how to proceed. Fortunately, the attorneys at Roeschke Law, LLC can help. We understand the impact that a disability can have on your physical, emotional, and financial health. That’s why it’s our mission to help you. To learn more, or to schedule a consultation, contact us today!