Education Dept. announces new TPD discharge measures for student borrowers
On August 19, the U.S. Department of Education announced that more than 323,000 student loan borrowers who have a total and permanent disability (TPD) will receive automatic discharges totaling over $5.8 billion. Under the final regulations, applicable borrowers will be identified through an existing data match with the Social Security Administration starting with the September quarterly match to allow “the Department to provide automatic TPD discharges for borrowers who are identified through administrative data matching by removing the requirement for these borrowers to fill out an application before receiving relief.” Borrowers matched with the Department of Veterans Affairs have already been able to take advantage of the TPD discharge data match since 2019. Two additional TPD-related policy items were also announced: (i) the Department will indefinitely extend a previously announced policy to stop asking borrowers to provide earnings information beyond the end of the national emergency (“a process that results in the reinstatement of loans if and when borrowers do not respond”); and (ii) the Department will propose eliminating the currently required three-year income monitoring period during a negotiated rulemaking that will begin in October.