According to the Military Times, a new law currently being considered in Congress (called the Federally Requiring Earned Education-Debt Discharges for Veterans Act (FREED Vets) Act) would discharge the student debt of veterans determined to be at 100% disability who had not yet paid back their student loans. The bill follows a proposal made the Department of Education and the Department of Veterans Affairs last year and would affect an estimated 42,000 veterans in the United States.
Previous versions of the bill attempted something similar but were opposed on the grounds that it might unintentionally create a tax burden for those affected. However, according to Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee Chairman Johnny Isakson (R-GA), this risk was negated by clarifying language in the 2017 tax bill. He is one of the co-sponsors of the bills in the Senate, along with Senate Armed Services Committee Ranking Member Jack Reed (D-RI). In the House of Representatives, the bill is being sponsored by Joe Courtney (D-CT), Conor Lamb (D-PA) Andy Levin (D-MI), Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA), and Guy Reschenthaler (R-PA).
While the exact language of the bill is still being hammered out, the sponsors hope the bill will be a major boon to disabled veterans suffering under the burden of student loans. “Congress has an obligation to ease the challenges our veterans face when they come home and return to civilian life,” Representative Lamb said in a statement, affirming Congress’ commitment to disabled veterans. Those who think they may be eligible for the program can find out more information from the Department of Education website here.
If you are a disabled veteran who has questions about veterans’ disability benefits, please contact Sullivan & Kehoe, LLP. The attorneys of Sullivan & Kehoe place a special focus on veteran disability law. With over 50 years of combined experience between its lawyers, our attorneys may be able to assist you or a loved one in obtaining VA disability benefits. Call our office at (800) 395 -7830 to schedule a consultation in our New York City, Garden City, Kings Park, Riverhead, or White Plains office.