August 21, 2019
For Immediate Release
Contact: Barrett Y. Bogue | Senior Communication Advisor (202) 670-5587
Statement by Veterans Education Success on the Presidential Memorandum on Discharging the Federal Student Loan Debt of Totally and Permanently Disabled Veterans
Washington, D.C. – Today’s announcement by President Trump and Secretary DeVos is a welcome development on an issue we have been leading since November 2018. What started as our FOIA request to the Education Department and advocacy by military and veteran service organizations, later joined by 51 State Attorneys General, and bipartisan members of Congress, has led to student loan debt relief for thousands of disabled veterans. In our letter to Secretary DeVos we urged her to immediately provide relief for permanently and totally disabled veterans who were eligible for student loan discharge and had not yet seen relief. The announcement that relief is coming is great news for those we serve. We sincerely thank Senators Jack Reed (D-RI) and Johnny Isakson (R-GA), and Congressmen Conor Lamb (D-PA) and Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA) for their support on this issue.
We strongly urge the Education Department to complete these loan discharges by September 30, 2019. We look forward to working with the Education Department and the Department of Veterans Affairs to educate eligible veterans, to ensure a successful roll out of this program and to determine how it will make whole those disabled veterans who were wrongly put into default, harming their credit scores, offsetting their tax returns, and withholding their VA disability compensation.
Veterans Education Success is a veteran advocacy organization whose mission is to protect and defend the integrity and promise of the GI Bill and other federal education programs for veterans and servicemembers. The organization offers free legal services, advice, and college and career counseling to servicemembers, veterans, their survivors, and families using federal education benefits. VES also helps veterans participate in their democracy by engaging with their Congressional representatives, and conducts non-partisan research on issues of concern to student veterans, including student outcomes and debt levels. Additional information is available at www.vetsedsuccess.org.