New Application Procedure for Student Loan Disability Discharge, Effective July 1, 2013

If you are submitting an application to discharge (get rid of) your student loans because you are disabled, the procedure just got easier. (To learn about the criteria for discharging your loans based on your permanent disability, see Canceling Student Loans: Permanent Disability or Death.)

Effective July 1, 2013, if you are applying for a disability discharge you will:

  • submit your application directly to the Department of Education (previously, you had to submit your application to your individual lender)
  • submit only one application for all federal loans
  • submit your application via a new online application system run by Nelnet, found here:  

(Note that veterans may still apply through the separate VA process.)

Also, the documentation for some applicants will be streamlined. Specifically, if you receive Social Security Disability or SSI benefits and your award states that your next review is not for five or more years, you can submit your social security award letter as proof of disability.