Department of Education announced it would begin proactively notifying veterans with disabilities that they can discharge their federal student loans
Higher Education Act allows for full discharge of federal student loans for veterans unable to work due to service-connected disabilities
Murray urged Secretary DeVos to work with VA to automatically discharge loans last December
Murray: “I’m pleased Department of Education is… [taking] this strong step forward, and I hope they will streamline this process by making debt relief automatic for people with disabilities, including the men and women who have bravely served their country”
Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), ranking member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee, and a senior member of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee, released the following statement today on the Department of Education’s announcement that it will begin proactively notifying veterans with disabilities about their eligibility for student loan discharges, as it currently does with other borrowers with disabilities.
“The men and women serving in the military sacrifice so much to keep us safe, and those injured in the line of duty should not be saddled with the burden of paying back student loans if they are unable to work,” said Senator Murray. “I’m pleased Department of Education is listening to veterans, families, and Congress to take this strong step forward, and I hope they will streamline this process by making debt relief automatic for people with disabilities, including the men and women who have bravely served their country.”
The Department of Education currently notifies borrowers with disabilities who receive Social Security benefits of their eligibility to discharge federal student loans, but until today, the Department has not done the same for veterans who receive benefits through the Department of Veterans Affairs. In December, Senator Murray urged Secretary DeVos to work with the VA to implement the policy announced today and to improve and streamline the process by making “total and permanent disability” discharges fully automatic. Senator Murray also worked with Senator Reed to secure language in the Veterans Appropriations bill report for Fiscal Year 2018 to help facilitate student loan discharges for veterans with disabilities.