A coalition of more than 30 higher education, consumer and veterans’ groups on Tuesday called on U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos to discharge the student loans of about 350,000 disabled borrowers.

Under the Higher Education Act, student loan borrowers with total and permanent disabilities are entitled to apply for a discharge of their outstanding debt. The Education Department already plans to forgive hundreds of millions of dollars in outstanding loan debt for roughly 25,000 disabled veterans in July, without making them apply for relief. The move came after data showed few veterans who are eligible for forgiveness applied for it, perhaps because they didn’t know they could.

In a letter to DeVos on Tuesday, Student Defense and the other groups said a similar problem exists for other disabled people. Over 60 percent of the 571,527 borrowers identified by the Social Security Administration as eligible for student loan relief have applied for it, said the groups, including the American Federation of Teachers, the National Consumer Law Center and the Institute for College Access and Success.

Read the fully story by Inside Higher Ed, “Groups Urge Debt Forgiveness for Disabled Borrowers” published March 4, 2020.