The Biden administration announced it will eliminate student loan debt payments for more than 300,000 Americans with severe disabilities, said Allsup, a nationwide provider of Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) representation services.
The move comes after years of criticism from advocates and former students about strict rules and conflicting policies affecting those with disabilities.
“The decision to cancel student loan debt for individuals with disabilities is a significant development and past due,” said Jim Allsup, CEO and founder of Allsup LLC. “Seeking the advantages of an education and economic self-sufficiency is an admirable goal that many individuals set for themselves. Few anticipate that a severe disability will rob them of their ability to apply the skills they worked so hard to obtain, and at such a high price.”
The Allsup organization has successfully represented more than 350,000 former workers and veterans in obtaining their disability benefits from the Social Security Administration (SSA) and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. Managing debt and avoiding bankruptcy are common financial challenges faced by those with disabilities who can no longer work. The average monthly income from SSDI is $1,277, which leaves little room for student debt payments when housing, healthcare and food are the utmost priorities for beneficiaries and their dependents. Allsup data indicated that 27% of its customers have missed loan or credit card payments and 17% have been unable to make mortgage payments.
Allsup also noted that a determination of disability by the SSA, which administers the nation’s disability insurance program, should be the accepted standard for acknowledging a disability by other agencies, including the Department of Education (DOE), which directs the student loan program. Approximately 8.4 million former workers and their dependents are SSDI beneficiaries.
“It makes sense that the SSA and DOE policies and processes align,” added Allsup. “Trying to comply with slightly different DOE rules is an unnecessary burden for those who receive SSDI or Supplemental Security Income benefits and are struggling with student loan debt. The SSA already determines who is disabled and monitors beneficiaries’ and recipients’ medical status.”
Allsup and its subsidiaries provide nationwide Social Security disability, veterans disability appeal, return to work, exchange plan, and Medicare services for individuals, their employers, and insurance carriers. Allsup professionals deliver specialized services supporting people with disabilities and seniors so they may lead lives that are as financially secure and as healthy as possible. Founded in 1984, the company is based in Belleville, Illinois, near St. Louis. Learn more at allsup.com and @Allsup or download a free PDF of Applying for Social Security Disability Insurance: Getting It Right The First Time.