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Thursday, June 20, 2024

New Guidance on Medical Condition-Based Student Loan Forgiveness Aims to Assist Borrowers

The Biden administration unveiled updated guidance this week to help borrowers with disabling medical conditions qualify for student loan forgiveness through the Total and Permanent Disability (TPD) discharge program. The key points are:

Expanded Provider Eligibility

The new regulations, effective July 2023, expanded the categories of medical providers who can certify a borrower’s eligibility for TPD discharge. In addition to medical doctors and doctors of osteopathy, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, and certified psychologists licensed in the U.S. can now complete the certification.

Guidance for Providers

The updated guidance is designed specifically for medical providers completing the TPD discharge application certification. It aims to help providers understand how to properly fill out the form and avoid common mistakes that could lead to application rejection.

Eligibility Criteria

To qualify for TPD discharge, a borrower must be unable to maintain substantial gainful activity due to a physical or mental condition that has persisted or is expected to persist for at least 5 years, or is terminal. Borrowers can demonstrate eligibility through VA disability certification, receipt of SSDI benefits under certain criteria, or provider certification.

Automatic Discharges Planned

The Biden administration’s proposed “Plan B” for student loan forgiveness could provide additional relief to borrowers qualifying for existing programs like TPD discharge but who haven’t applied. Borrowers’ age, medical conditions, expenses, and debts may also factor into hardship-based forgiveness under this plan.

By expanding provider eligibility and providing clearer guidance, the administration aims to streamline the TPD discharge process and help more borrowers with disabilities obtain student loan forgiveness.

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