Biden Administration to Cancel Federal Student Loan Debt for 323,000 Disabled Borrowers
The Biden administration announced on Thursday, August 19, that it will be automatically wiping out the federal student loan debt for 323,000 borrowers.
The Total and Permanent Disability (TPD) discharge program allows student loan borrowers who are unable to maintain substantial, gainful employment due to a physical or psychological medical impairment to get their federal student loans cancelled.
Disabled student loan borrowers (those with serious health issues) must submit a formal application, but many may not realize that they qualify and also, the process to apply can be another "hill to climb" for those who do qualify.
The Social Security Administration had already identified thousands of disabled student loan borrowers who would qualify for TPD discharges and the Department of Education, though empowered to discharged these debts, had not acted on it until now.
The Department of Education and its Secretary, Miguel Cardona, will move forward in automatic discharges in the amount of approximately $5.8 billion in federal student loans for disabled borrowers identified by the Social Security Administration as eligible for this economic booster shot.
Cardona said "in alignment with our strategies from day one to put our borrowers at the center of the conversation... [this] action removes a major barrier that prevented far too many borrowers with disabilities from receiving the total and permanent disability discharges they are entitled to under the law."
In February of 2017, under former Secretary Betsy DeVos, legislation was introduced by Republicans to abolish the entire Department of Education.
Rep. Thomas Massie, a Republican representing Kentucky's 4th District, introduced a bill in the House in 2017, and here is the text of that bill, in full:
"The Department of Education shall terminate on December 31, 2018."
Rep. Thomas Massie, R-Ky. - Bill Clark/CQ-Roll Call, Inc.
Spoiler alert: The Education Department is still in effect as if this date.