AG Kaul and 50 AGs Call on Trump Administration to Discharge Student Loans for Disabled Veterans
"Discharging the student loans of veterans who are permanently disabled is the right thing to do—and it’s what the law requires."
MADISON, Wis. – Attorney General Josh Kaul and a bipartisan group of 51 attorneys general called on the U.S. Department of Education (DOE) to automatically forgive the student loans of veterans who became totally and permanently disabled in connection with their military service. The bipartisan coalition issued its letter as the country prepares to honor fallen troops on Memorial Day.
“Discharging the student loans of veterans who are permanently disabled is the right thing to do—and it’s what the law requires,” said Attorney General Kaul. “Instead of imposing roadblocks to debt relief, Secretary DeVos should automatically discharge the student loans of veterans who are eligible for relief.”
Last year DOE identified more than 42,000 veterans as eligible for student loan relief due to a service-related total and permanent disability, the attorneys general note in their letter to Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos. Fewer than 9,000 of those veterans had applied to have their loans discharged by April 2018, however, and more than 25,000 had student loans in default.
Under federal law, DOE is required to discharge the federal student loans of veterans determined by the Department of Veterans Affairs to be unemployable (or totally and permanently disabled) due to a service-connected condition. Although DOE currently requires disabled veterans to take affirmative steps to apply for a loan discharge, those steps are not required by law.
The attorneys general note that the federal government has taken some steps to make it easier for eligible veterans to secure student loan relief. According to their letter, however, an automatic discharge process that gives individual veterans an opportunity to opt out for personal reasons “would eliminate unnecessary paperwork burdens and ensure that all eligible disabled veterans can receive a discharge.”
The letter closes by urging DOE to “take action to better protect those who once protected the nation. Our veterans deserve nothing less.”
Mentioned in This Press Release
Recent Press Releases by Josh Kaul
Attorney General Kaul Joins 49 Attorneys General in Google Multistate Bipartisan Antitrust InvestigationSep 9th, 2019 by Josh Kaul
“We must ensure that competition over technological innovation and privacy protections isn’t stifled.”
“Vigorously prosecuting violent offenders like the defendants in these cases makes communities safer.”
Leroy Whittenberger is a serial sexual offender and has three prior sexual assault convictions from Lincoln and Marathon counties.