Washington, D.C. — The National Association of Attorneys General (NAAG) sent a letter to Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos urging the U.S. Department of Education to discharge the student loans of permanently and totally disabled veterans, also known as total and permanent disability (TPD).
Under the Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008, veterans rendered permanently and totally disabled as a result of their service can have their loans discharged by the Department of Education. Last year, over 42,000 veterans were eligible for TPD discharges but less than 9,000 had completed the application.
In the letter, 53 state and territory attorneys general requested that “the Department of Education develop a process for automatically discharging student loans for veterans identified by the Department of Veterans Affairs as 100 percent permanently disabled or individually unemployable. This approach would eliminate unnecessary paperwork burdens and ensure that all eligible disabled veterans can receive a discharge.”
The letter asks that any new automatic process allow veterans to opt out of loan forgiveness. “Proposals for automatic discharges with opt-out rights already have bipartisan support in Congress and among leading veterans’ advocacy organizations. We now urge the Department to take action to better protect those who once protected the nation. Our veterans deserve nothing less.”
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