How to Get Student Loans Forgiven If on Social Security Disability

If you took out student loans in order to cover the cost of a college education, you are generally required to repay the loans after you graduate and begin working -- but sometimes life does not work out as planned. If you become disabled and are no longer able to work before you’ve paid off your student loans, your lender may forgive your loans if you meet specific criteria. Simply qualifying for Social Security disability does not mean your loans will be forgiven, though; you must meet additional criteria.

Talk to your doctor about whether you might qualify to have your student loans forgiven. For you to qualify, your doctor must certify that your disabling condition prevents you from working and has lasted or is expected to last for at least five years. To qualify for Social Security disability, your disabling condition must be expected to last for at least one year, so you might qualify for Social Security disability but still not qualify for forgiveness of your student loans.

Contact the holder of your student loan and request a Total and Permanent Disability Discharge Application. You will not be expected to make payments on your loan while waiting for your application to be reviewed, but you will still accumulate interest on your loan, which you will have to pay back later if your loan is not forgiven.

Complete section one of the application with blue or black ink. Provide your Social Security number, your full name, your address and your telephone number.

Sign Section 3 of the application in ink. You must submit an application for a Total and Permanent Disability Discharge with an original signature; a photocopied signature will not be accepted.

Take the application to your physician and ask him to complete section four. Only a doctor of medicine or a doctor of osteopathy may complete this form. Forms completed by other health care practitioners, such as nurse practitioners or physician assistants, will not be accepted.

Review the application after your physician has completed Section 4. Make sure that all questions have been answered and that your physician has provided detailed information about how your disability prevents you from working.

Mail the completed application to the address on the application.

Provide additional documentation if requested, such as tax records and other proof of income. You may provide a copy of your award letter from Social Security, but additional proof of income may be required.


  • Contact your lender if you need help completing the application for a Total and Permanent Disability Discharge or if you have questions about any documentation requested. Respond to all requests for additional information or documentation promptly.