Many disabled veterans struggle financially, but there is help in at least one area but many veterans don’t know about it.

If you are totally and permanently disabled, you may qualify for a discharge of your federal student loans or TEACH Grant service obligation and you will no longer be required to repay your loans or complete your service obligation.

To erase your old student loan debt you must submit documentation from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs showing that the VA has determined that you are unemployable due to a service-connected disability. Then, the Department of Education says, you should contact your loan servicer to start the Total and Permanent Disability discharge process. You can also start the process online.

Once your application is approved, you will be required to provide your financial information annually for a period of three years. If you don’t comply with this requirement, your loan obligation will be reinstated. After three years of faithfully providing your financial information, your student loan debt will be erased. Bear in mind, however, that since loan forgiveness is considered income, there may be tax ramifications, so you may wish to get advice from a tax professional. If you want professional help with your VA disability case, I encourage you to contact our office for a free evaluation of your situation.


Sean D. Cuddigan
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SSA and VA Disability Attorney in Omaha, Nebraska