An increasing number of Social Security disability beneficiaries have federal student loan debt. The Government Accountability Office recently released a report (GAO-14-866T) indicating that “from 2002 through 2013, the number of individuals whose Social Security benefits were offset to pay student loan debt increased about five-fold from about 31,000 to 155,000.” Since the report notes that only about 36,000 of those having benefits offset were aged 65 and older, many individuals with disabilities are having their benefits garnished for student loan debt, even though they may be eligible to have their debt forgiven. Please be aware that there may be though tax consequences of discharged debt and you would need to consult an accountant about your particular financial situation. If you are disabled and think you may be eligible for discharge of your debt, call the SSA to see if you can receive forgiveness of your student loan debt. The SSA's national number is 1-800-772-1213.
DIANNA CANNON, J.D.