Friend is applying for permanent and total disability discharge of federal student loans. The way the system works is, you apply for the discharge, then if you are accepted, you are given a "conditional discharge" which lasts for three years. If you continue to be permanently and totally disabled for the three year conditional discharge period, you get a final discharge.
On discharge application forms which expired 12/08, there were two questions for the physician, a) when did the disabling condition begin, and b) when did the disabling condition render the applicant totally unable to work? It was understood that the conditional discharge period was retroactive beginning when the disabling condition rendered the applicant totally unable to work. I.e., if the physician certified that the applicant became totally unable to work in 5/06, then the conditional discharge period would expire in 5/09, even if the applicant applied for the discharge in 8/09.
But new discharge applications were implemented at the beginning of this year. The new discharge applications do not contain either the question regarding when the disabling condition began, or the question regarding when the disabling condition rendered the applicant totally unable to work.
Can anyone find out/does anyone know if the absence of the questions reflects a change in policy? I.e., are disability discharges no longer retroactive? Or does it simply reflect a change in the application form? Obviously, the difference is critically important to someone applying for a disability discharge for a disability they've had for some time.