Trump EO On Disabled Veteran Student Loans

Yooper

Up. Identified. Lase. Fire. On the way.
PREMO Member

WingsOfGold

Well-Known Member
Great news, Trump once again rewards those that have done and given the most! I think I'll vote for him yet again!:starcat: I imagine there is a percentage of disability to be eligible, I wonder what it is or did I miss it?

The inept pos before him didn't go this route but he did manage to have the FBI spy on political opponents.
 

Yooper

Up. Identified. Lase. Fire. On the way.
PREMO Member
I imagine there is a percentage of disability to be eligible, I wonder what it is or did I miss it?
Not sure. My guess is 100% (or close to it). I confess to being a bit confused at this point as VA educational benefits do cover quite a bit of the cost (if not all). So there must be more to the story....

Anyway, I will post additional news as I come across it; would ask others to do the same. TIA.

--- End of line (MCP)
 

Chris0nllyn

Well-Known Member
Um, maybe I'm reading this wrong, but Trump's EO basically says his administration will simply enforce laws already on the books but limits his EO to disabled vets (because who can say no to that!?), despite the law he references applying to all disabled people who may not be "permanently disabled", but are "unable to engage in any substantial gainful activity".

The EO says:
The Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended by the Higher Education Opportunity Act in 2008 and other acts (Higher Education Act), honors veterans who are totally and permanently disabled as a result of their service to the Nation by providing for the discharge of their Federal student loan debt. Borrowers who have been determined by the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to be unemployable due to a service-connected condition and who provide documentation of that determination to the Secretary of Education are entitled to the discharge of such debt.
Only half of the approximately 50,000 totally and permanently disabled veterans who currently qualify for the discharge of their Federal student loan debt have availed themselves of the benefits provided to them by the Higher Education Act.
Therefore, my Administration will take prompt action to ensure that all totally and permanently disabled veterans are able to obtain, with minimal burden, the Federal student loan debt discharges to which they are legally entitled.
https://www.whitehouse.gov/presidential-actions/presidential-memorandum-discharging-federal-student-loan-debt-totally-permanently-disabled-veterans/

The Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008 says:
Under the Federal Family education Loan Program:
(Sec. 437) Requires the Secretary to discharge a borrower's liability under the FFEL and DL programs if a borrower, although not permanently and totally disabled, is unable to engage in any substantial gainful activity because of a medically determinable impairment which can be expected to result in death or last at least 60 continuous months. Allows the Secretary to develop anti-fraud safeguards.

Requires the Secretary to accept documentation that the Department of Veterans Affairs has determined that a student borrower is unemployable due to a service-connected condition as sufficient documentation for the discharge of such borrower's FFELs due to permanent and totally disability.
Under the Federal Perkins Loans:
Requires the Secretary to cancel a borrower's liability under the PL program if the borrower, although not permanently and totally disabled, is unable to engage in any substantial gainful activity because of a medically determinable impairment which can be expected to result in death or last at least 60 continuous months. Cancels the liability of borrowers determined by the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to be unemployable due to a service-connected disability. Allows the Secretary to develop anti-fraud safeguards regarding PL liability cancellation.
https://www.congress.gov/bill/110th-congress/house-bill/4137
 

Yooper

Up. Identified. Lase. Fire. On the way.
PREMO Member
I appreciate everyone's input. As a 100% DV myself one of the things I try to do (as best as I can; which, sadly, ain't a whole lot at this point) is support other DVs (regardless of percentage of rating). So this sort of stuff is important to me even though I don't have any educational loans of concern.

For anyone who has tried to navigate the "disabled" or "substantial gainful activity" stuff at the Federal and/or State level this can be a frustrating "hall of mirrors" exercise. And for folks who are no longer playing with a full deck (physically and/or mentally) these wickets can seem/be insurmountable. I know it was for me; I had to navigate it at a really bad time and it almost - literally - did me in.

So again, I appreciate the input for this thread (and for any other info/threads that are posted in support of our vets).

Thank you. Sincerely.

--- End of line (MCP)
 

MiddleGround

Well-Known Member
I appreciate everyone's input. As a 100% DV myself one of the things I try to do (as best as I can; which, sadly, ain't a whole lot at this point) is support other DVs (regardless of percentage of rating). So this sort of stuff is important to me even though I don't have any educational loans of concern.

For anyone who has tried to navigate the "disabled" or "substantial gainful activity" stuff at the Federal and/or State level this can be a frustrating "hall of mirrors" exercise. And for folks who are no longer playing with a full deck (physically and/or mentally) these wickets can seem/be insurmountable. I know it was for me; I had to navigate it at a really bad time and it almost - literally - did me in.

So again, I appreciate the input for this thread (and for any other info/threads that are posted in support of our vets).

Thank you. Sincerely.

--- End of line (MCP)
I can believe that. A friend of mine spent 5 YEARS trying to get his disability claims processed. 5... YEARS!!
 

Yooper

Up. Identified. Lase. Fire. On the way.
PREMO Member
I can believe that. A friend of mine spent 5 YEARS trying to get his disability claims processed. 5... YEARS!!
Thank you for your post. I hope your friend is doing well these days.

My claim took almost that long. With hearings thrown in (to include one where I was falsely accused of falsifying my application; a criminal matter, btw) and other devious little ploys used by the VA to nudge vets to self-select out of the disability process it seemed far longer (than 5 years). Adding to the Chinese water torture my application process occurred at a time where my known issues rated 100%, but I also had other, more serious, yet to be diagnosed, service-related issues lurking in the background and sapping me of whatever grit I had left (which wasn't much).

Perhaps by the grace of God, perhaps simply good fortune, perhaps serendipity, I bumped into someone who had been down a similar path, took me under his wing, and helped me to navigate a system that wants to help, but has the competing interest to keep costs down (hence, the very real self-select out pressures vets get from the VA). And while the national service organizations recognized by the VA can be/are often of great assistance and value, my experience with a few is that the officers appear too close to the VA (not just in office location, but also in their relationship with VA officials). Does cast a bit of doubt as to whose side the NSO actually is. Yes, I know it is the vet, but at the time I'm betting the frustrated vet doesn't see it that way. I know I didn't.

So I try to repay that person's help by paying it forward myself.

Again, thanks for the comment. As you can no doubt see, this is a "near and dear" issue for me.

Have a great day!

--- End of line (MCP)
 
Last edited:

itsbob

I bowl overhand
Not sure. My guess is 100% (or close to it). I confess to being a bit confused at this point as VA educational benefits do cover quite a bit of the cost (if not all). So there must be more to the story....

Anyway, I will post additional news as I come across it; would ask others to do the same. TIA.

--- End of line (MCP)
My UNDERSTANDING..

100% permanently disabled vets already qualify for loan forgiveness, and free college/ vocational training.

Somehow there was a sizable group that fell into some kind of gap, this closed that gap and pays off all their student debt, like it should be.
 

MiddleGround

Well-Known Member
Thank you for your post. I hope your friend is doing well these days.

My claim took almost that long. With hearings thrown in (to include one where I was falsely accused of falsifying my application; a criminal matter, btw) and other devious little ploys used by the VA to nudge vets to self-select out of the disability process it seemed far longer (than 5 years). Adding to the Chinese water torture my application process occurred at a time where my known issues rated 100%, but I also had other, more serious, yet to be diagnosed, service-related issues lurking in the background and sapping me of whatever grit I had left (which wasn't much).

Perhaps by the grace of God, perhaps simply good fortune, perhaps serendipity, I bumped into someone who had been down a similar path, took me under his wing, and helped me get navigate a system that wants to help, but has the competing interest to keep costs down (hence, the very real self-select out pressures vets get from the VA). And while the national service organizations recognized by the VA can be/are often of great assistance and value, my experience with a few is that the officers appear too close to the VA (not just in office location, but also in their relationship with VA officials). Does cast a bit of doubt as to whose side the NSO actually is. Yes, I know it is the vet, but at the time I'm betting the frustrated vet doesn't see it that way. I know I didn't.

So I try to repay that person's help by paying it forward myself.

Again, thanks for the comment. As you can no doubt see, this is a "near and dear" issue for me.

Have a great day!

--- End of line (MCP)
Thank you as well!

On another note, I have another friend who exited the service with a minimal disability rating (30% I believe) due to "degenerative discs" in his back caused by various abuses while serving. He recently received mail from the VA downgrading his rating to 10%.

My question is... if it was diagnosed as "degenerative" then WHY was it downgraded? Doesn't degenerative, by definition, mean that the situation gets WORSE over time?

I told this to my other friend (from my original post) and he promptly cancelled his scheduled appointment with the VA doctors in DC because he is now afraid he will get downgraded even though he see doctors on the regular and is in physical therapy once a week for pain management!
 

Chris0nllyn

Well-Known Member
100% permanently disabled vets already qualify for loan forgiveness, and free college/ vocational training.
Correct. As do service and non-service members who aren't "permanently" disabled.

This is nothing more than a political stunt.

Permanently I can see but total... that's a bit much. 60 or 70% would be more reasonable. 100% is often a vegetable state.
As stated above, if the condition causes one to be "unable to engage in any substantial gainful activity" and is "a medically determinable impairment which can be expected to result in death or last at least 60 continuous months", you get your college loans forgiven.

Which is a small part of the larger reason tuition prices are rising so fast. Government-backed loans.
 

Yooper

Up. Identified. Lase. Fire. On the way.
PREMO Member
On another note, I have another friend who exited the service with a minimal disability rating (30% I believe) due to "degenerative discs" in his back caused by various abuses while serving. He recently received mail from the VA downgrading his rating to 10%.

My question is... if it was diagnosed as "degenerative" then WHY was it downgraded? Doesn't degenerative, by definition, mean that the situation gets WORSE over time?

I told this to my other friend (from my original post) and he promptly cancelled his scheduled appointment with the VA doctors in DC because he is now afraid he will get downgraded even though he see doctors on the regular and is in physical therapy once a week for pain management!
I'm not a qualified NSO assistance officer in any regard, so that's the first thing I would tell your friend: get a relationship going with any of the NSO like DAV, AMVETS, etc. They can best assist. You can find the list of approved NSO here: https://www.va.gov/vso/ ; download the pdf.

I would NOT speak to a VA rep until seen and advised by one of the NSO reps.

Strictly personal opinion follows....

My sense (not fact) is that the downgrade letters are meant to keep vets for going back to increase their rating; that it serves as a threat b/c going in for other issues can (does?) entail a review of any previous rating/condition. A close relative of mine was rated at 90% and had the documentation to get fully 100% rated due to serious life-threatening injuries/conditions (to include TBI) incurred in AFG but resisted doing so (and gaining benefits due him) b/c he feared the eventual result would be a downgrade rather than an increase. Nothing I could say could persuade him to do otherwise. Interestingly, that was several years ago and the downgrade never took place. So it's confusing.

WRT your friend's back (degenerative discs) I had a similar issue as a result of airborne stuff (hard landings and all that). That condition was downgraded until I had to go in for an essentially full spine fusion; at which point the rating went back up. Apparently, surgery trumps x-rays (in other words, surgery showed the problem WAS serious whereas an xray and some discomfort only showed that it MIGHT be serious and get worse).

Who knows? Anyway, best advice, I think, is to see an NSO rep (or as many as necessary for him to feel comfortable and trusting enough of the people he's going to deal with), sign a power of attorney to let the NSO take control of his case, and let slip the dogs of war. Doing it alone wrt the VA is risky business; doing it with the help of an NSO significantly increases his chances of being treated fairly. And it's free (unless he's so thrilled with the help that he decides to join up, etc. I support DAV, AMVETS, and several other NSO).

I would also take advantage of state VA dept reps. They are paid to help in all senses of the word and don't pry. I found the local state office I used very beneficial in figuring out the best NSO and their advice helped me understand the strategy the NSO used to advance my case. Which made me a heck of a lot more comfortable during an otherwise really stressful period.

There is quite a bit of gaming going on in the process (for whatever reason) so trying to do it alone means the deck is absolutely stacked against the vet.

FWIW. Hope to have helped in some small way. Cheers!

---End of line (MCP)
 
Last edited:

Yooper

Up. Identified. Lase. Fire. On the way.
PREMO Member
Take it as you will, but I didn't know about this benefit before (despite asking questions about things like this to the VA on any number of occasions).

So political stunt or not, my take is to be glad to have found out about this previously-available benefit.

I'm wondering what I should be more pissed off about; that it was a WH stunt or that a benefit supposedly so well known and available in fact wasn't (in either case). Hmmm.

--- End of line (MCP)
 

Clem72

Well-Known Member
Permanently I can see but total... that's a bit much. 60 or 70% would be more reasonable. 100% is often a vegetable state.
A "Permanent and Total" rating just means the issues that warrant their 100% rating aren't expected to get better. I know tons of Permanent and Total disabled Vets that would take offense at being called vegetables. Most of them are in better health than I am, and likely better health than the average American their age (they may have tinnitus and gerd and fused vertebrae in their neck/back instead of cardiovascular disease and type II diabetes).

You are probably thinking about Individual Unemployability (IU) which is a higher rating meaning, well, exactly what it says. Still doesn't require being a vegetable.
 
Top