A KidneyBuzz.com viewer wrote, "I am buried in loans and debts since I got sick and had to start Dialysis. Now I just read that my Student Loans may be discharged (forgiven) due to my disability. Is this true, and if so what is the process?"
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The simple answer is, "Yes." If you are a Dialysis patient or permanently disabled then you may be eligible for Total and Permanent Discharge. Also referred to as TPD, the program relieves Dialysis patients from having to, "pay a William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan (Direct Loan), Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL), and/or Federal Perkins Loan (Perkins Loan) or having to complete a TEACH Grant service obligation on the basis of your total and permanent disability," said Disabilitydischarge.com.
In order to prove total and permanent disability, Chronic Kidney Disease patients on Dialysis will be expected to provide (1) Social Security Administration (SSA) notice of award for Social Security Disability Insurance or Supplemental Security Income benefits stating that your next scheduled disability review will be within 5 to 7 years from the date of your most recent SSA disability determination. Also, (2) patients can submit certification from a physician that you are totally and permanently disabled.
Chronic Kidney Disease patients who conduct Dialysis probably think on face value that this is a long and tedious process. However, that does not appear to be the case. After contacting the US Department of Education - Federal Student Aid (complete below form for direct contact information), the department will provide application information necessary for patient consideration. They will also contact Loan Holders to instruct them to suspend collection activity for 120 days in order to complete the application process. Once all paperwork has been provided, the Department of Education will then evaluate and "either approve or deny your TPD discharge request," suggested Nelnet, Inc. a Student Loan Servicer.
If approved, a Dialysis patient will no longer be responsible for his/her incurred loans. Instead they will be transferred to the Department of Education for discharge. On the other hand, if a Chronic Kidney Disease patient is denied TPD then s/he will be expected to continue his loan payments as previously agreed.
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Should you be denied, the Department of Education will send a letter outlining why you were not selected as well as instructions on what you can do if you have questions about the basis of the decision or if you believe there is other information that the Department should consider.
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