Mitigating Student Debt for Disabled Veterans

Trump’s New Executive Order Assists Disabled Veterans’ Federal Student Loan Debt


Courtesy of Pekic

A disabled veteran with an artificial leg sits outside. Trump’s executive order will make it easier for veterans to waiver student loan debt without filling out extensive paperwork.

Kayla Misa, Contributing Writer

A new executive order signed by President Donald Trump on Aug. 21 aims to aid the nation’s disabled veteran students in their federal student loan debt by expediting the process of student loan discharge. 

According to, less than 50,000 disabled veterans have received student loan aid simply because of the extremely complicated process of the current student loan discharge program known as Total and Permanent Disability Discharge (TPD). This program requires veterans to send in extensive data to prove their eligibility to the departments of Veteran Affairs (VA) and Education, making it difficult for them to get the assistance they need. 

The new executive order allows eligible veterans to opt out of the extensive paperwork they would have had to send in order to get their loans waived. 

According to the White House, the “Secretaries of Education and Veterans Affairs [plan] to develop a new expedited process to help totally and permanently disabled veterans discharge their federal student loan debt with ‘minimal burdens.’”

Student loan forgiveness would be extended to veterans that the VA deems unemployable because of a service-connected disability or those who are permanently disabled — as determined by a physician — and borrowers receiving Social Security Disability Insurance or Supplemental Security Income. 

According to NPR, 47 state attorneys wrote to the secretary of the Department of Education, Betsy DeVos, to relieve the growing student debt for those who are permanently disabled by discharging student loans with an easier process that waives the paperwork that veterans would need to send in for eligibility. 

“I appreciate the President’s strong leadership on this issue and his willingness to provide much-needed student loan relief. We will continue to prioritize the needs of our nation’s veterans and provide them the help and support they have earned and deserve,” DeVos said in a statement from the U.S. Department of Education.

According to The New York Times, Trump’s initiative focused on improving the process of discharging student loans, but also making it a point for veterans to not owe any tax bills. The memorandum signed is aimed to cancel both federal and state taxes on the debts that belong to disabled veterans, making it easier to get an education. 

According to a report from CNBC, with the executive order in place, the Department of Education plans to notify more than 25,000 eligible veterans about student loan discharge. This action also wipes out an average of $30,000 in debt per eligible veteran, allowing them to lighten the burden of student loans on their shoulders.“It is America who owes our heroes a supreme debt of gratitude,” said Trump during the American Vets (AMVETS) convention.