President Donald Trump on Wednesday signed an executive order cancelling student loan debt for permanently disabled veterans.
According to President Trump, 25,000 disabled veterans will benefit from this move.
“The debt of these disabled veterans will be completely erased,” Trump said during a speech at the American Veterans National Convention in Louisville. “That’s hundreds of millions of dollars of student loans debt for our disabled veterans that will be completely erased.”
It was my honor to sign a Presidential Memorandum facilitating the cancellation of student loan debt for 25K of our most severely disabled Veterans. With today’s order, we express the everlasting love & loyalty of a truly grateful Nation. God bless our Vets, & God Bless America! pic.twitter.com/MMMsX3RDQM— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 22, 2019
Out of the 50,000 permanently disabled veterans who qualified, only half of them have received the cancellation benefits because of a burdensome application process. Trump's executive order is meant to "expedite" the process so the student loans are cancelled "with minimal burdens," Fox News reported.
Under the current process, disabled veterans can have their debt forgiven under a loan forgiveness program, called Total and Permanent Disability Discharge, or TPD, as long as they have a VA service-connected disability rating of 100 percent. As of July, however, only about 20 percent of the eligible pool of veterans had taken advantage of the program due to the complicated nature of the application and other factors.
Part of expediting the process is identifying veterans who qualify for student loan forgiveness. They will be sent a letter, allowing them to opt out of the forgiveness program. They'll have 60 days to opt out before their debt is automatically forgiven, POLITICO reported.
Since April 2018, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos has granted student loan forgiveness to more than 22,000 veterans. The price tag for the loans totals more than $650 million.