As this blog discusses often, people in the Houston area who are suffering from a debilitating illness or injury may be able to obtain benefits through the Social Security Administration. Social Security disability benefits, which are commonly referred to as SSD benefits, can provide a source of monthly income to a Texan who needs these funds to support him or herself.
However, as a recent report shows, there are other potential benefits to having the Social Security Administration find a person legally disabled under the Administration’s criteria. One such benefit, which seems to be a well-kept secret, is that a person on disability and who has outstanding student loans may be able to get the loans discharged, even without resorting to bankruptcy.
In summary, the program allows disabled individuals to apply for relief through the Department of Education. If accepted, the applicant will have loan payments suspended for three years but will have to submit detailed information about income and assets. After three years, provided the person still qualifies, the loan can be discharged.
Relatively few people know about this government program. Recent numbers suggested that among those eligible to receive a discharge, only 28% take advantage of the opportunity. Only within the last five years did the Department of Education start both comparing its records with those of the Social Security Administration and trying to contact eligible borrowers via conventional mail.
The big trick in all of this is that a person still has to prove that she is disabled in the first place before she can take advantage of this additional benefit. Proving a disability to the satisfaction of the Social Security Administration can be difficult, which is why many people seek assistance when applying for benefits.