Sens. Chris Coons, D-Delaware; Rob Portman, R-Ohio; and Angus King, I-Maine, are leading an effort to urge the U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos, U.S. Secretary of Veterans Affairs David Shulkin and Acting Commissioner of Social Security Nancy Berryhill to discharge outstanding federal student loans for totally and permanently disabled Americans, including veterans.
Under the recently enacted Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, federal student loans that are discharged by the Department of Education due to the death or total and permanent disability of a borrower or the death of a borrower’s child are no longer required to be included in the gross income of the borrower. Therefore, loan forgiveness in these cases is tax exempt. Now that Congress has removed the potential tax consequence associated with this type of loan forgiveness, the senators are urging the department to begin discharging student loans for eligible individuals.
In addition to Coons, Portman, and King, the letter was also signed by Sens. Susan Collins, R-Maine; Tammy Duckworth, D-Illinois; and Cory Gardner, R-Colorado, along with Reps. Ron Kind, D-Wisconsin; and Peter Roskam, R-Illinois.