The United States Department of Education has instituted a program allowing for the write-off of student loan debt for individuals with severe mental or physical disabilities.  The program is called Total and Permanent Discharge (TPD).

A TPD relieves the disabled individual from having to repay: (1) William D. Ford Federal Direct Loans; (2) Federal Family Education Loans; (3) Federal Perkins Loans; and/or (4) a TEACH Grant service obligation on the basis of your total and permanent disability.

You can show that you are totally and permanently disabled in one of three (3) ways:

  • If you are a veteran, you can submit documentation from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) showing that the VA has determined that you are unemployable due to service connected disability;
  • If you are receiving Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits, you can submit a Social Security Administration notice of award for the SSDI or SSI benefits stating that your next scheduled disability review will be within five (5) to seven (7) years from the date of your most recent SSA disability determination; or
  • You can submit certification from a physician that you are totally and permanently disabled. Your physician must certify that you are unable to engage in any substantial gainful activity by reason of a medically determinable physical or mental impairment that: (a) can be expected to result in death; (b) has lasted for a continuous period of not less than sixty (60) months; or (c) can be expected to last for a continuous period of not less than sixty (60) months.

The TPD program presents a unique opportunity to discharge student loan obligations if you fall into one of the above mentioned categories.  To start an application online, visit

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