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Disability



Total and Permanent Disability

You can apply for discharge of your Federal Family Education Loans (FFEL) if you become totally and permanently disabled. This is defined as "unable to work and earn money because of an injury or illness that is expected to continue indefinitely or result in death."

You’re not considered totally and permanently disabled if your condition existed when you applied for your loan — unless your condition has deteriorated substantially. In that case a physician must also provide a separate deterioration statement.

During the application process, your lender may grant you a forbearance, postponing repayment of the loan for up to 60 days while awaiting the supporting documentation.

To Apply



You must continue to repay your loan until you’re notified of a decision. If ED determines you may be eligible, the U.S. Department of Education will also inform you of the process.


Temporary Total Disability

You can apply to postpone payments on Federal Family Education Loans (FFEL) while you’re temporarily and totally disabled — or if you can’t work full time because you’re caring for a dependent who is similarly disabled. You can defer a loan for up to three years.

Temporary Total Disability is defined as "the condition of an individual who, though not totally and permanently disabled, is unable to work and earn money or attend school during a period of at least 60 days needed to recover from injury or illness." Caring for a disabled dependent is defined as "spouse or other dependent who, during a period of injury or illness, requires continuous nursing or similar care for a period of at least 90 days."

You’re not considered qualified for temporary total disability deferment if your condition existed when you applied for your loan — unless your condition has deteriorated substantially. In that case, a physician must provide a separate deterioration statement.

To Apply


During the application process, your lender may grant you a forbearance which will postpone your repayment of the loan for up to 60 days while awaiting the supporting documentation.

For more information, contact HESC at 1-888-NYSHESC (1-888-697-4372) or the U.S. Department of Education.