CNN

Attorneys general urge DeVos to forgive disabled veterans’ student loans

May 26, 2019, 2:25 PM
meat price-fixing...
Utah's Attorney General is concerned about price fixing in the meatpacking industry, which has been hit hard by soaring demand during the pandemic. (Scott G. Winterton, Deseret News)
(Scott G. Winterton, Deseret News)

(CNN) — A group of bipartisan attorneys general from 51 states and territories on Friday wrote to Education Secretary Betsy DeVos urging the Department of Education automatically forgive the student loan debt of eligible veterans who became disabled through their military service.

“We write, as the Attorneys General of our jurisdictions, to urge the Department of Education to take prompt action to satisfy its statutory mandate to discharge the student loans of veterans who are permanently and totally disabled or otherwise unemployable,” the letter says. “As a nation, we have a moral obligation to assist those who have put their lives on the line to defend us.”

While the student loans of disabled veterans are required to be discharged by law when they make the request, the letter asks DeVos to make the loan discharges automatic, stating the current requirements to secure loan forgiveness “may prove insurmountable obstacles to relief for many eligible veterans due to the severe nature of their disabilities.”

The letter, which was also signed by attorneys general from three US territories and the District of Columbia, says just 9,000 of 42,000 eligible veterans applied for student loan forgiveness as of April 2018.

“Forgiving their school loans is the least we can do to recognize their service and sacrifice,” Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes said in a statement about the letter. “These veterans have suffered permanent and total disability as a direct result of their service to our country. They and their families have sacrificed health, quality of life, and often their dreams for the future. Many have lost their ability to work and pay off any school debt.”

In a statement to Reuters Friday, the Department of Education pushed back on the letter, saying, “While ‘automatic discharge’ may seem like a simple solution, there are long-term impacts we want all veterans to have the chance to consider before their loans are discharged.”

The department told Reuters they wanted veterans to be aware that loan “discharges might boost their tax bills or make it harder to borrow for education later.”

Despite this, the attorneys general touted bipartisan congressional support for the measure as well as backing from multiple veteran advocacy groups.

“We now urge the department to take action to better protect those who once protected the nation,” they wrote in the letter. “Our veterans deserve nothing less.”

The-CNN-Wire
™ & © 2019 Cable News Network, Inc., a Time Warner Company. All rights reserved.

Today’s Top Stories

CNN

This photos shows the gate to the Duke Energy West End substation in Moore County, N.C. on Sunday, ...
Nouran Salahieh and Hannah Sarisohn, CNN

Tens of thousands still in the dark after ‘targeted’ attacks on North Carolina power substations

With no suspects or motive announced, the FBI joins the investigation into power outages in a North Carolina county.
7 hours ago
Man who shot Lady Gaga's dog walker...
Taylor Romine and Elizabeth Wolfe, CNN

Man involved in shooting of Lady Gaga’s dog walker sentenced to 21 years in prison

Originally Published: 05 DEC 22 21:53 ET     (CNN) — One of the people charged in the shooting and robbery of Lady Gaga’s dog walker last year has been sentenced to 21 years in state prison, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s office said Monday. James Howard Jackson, 20, pleaded no contest to one count of […]
7 hours ago
goblin mode...
Christian Edwards, CNN

‘Goblin mode’ chosen as Oxford word of the year for 2022

According to OUP, the term refers to a behavior which is "self-indulgent, lazy, or greedy, typically in a way that rejects social norms or expectations."
1 day ago
WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 19:  The U.S. Capitol is shown as a looming government shutdown threatens ...
Manu Raju and Phil Mattingly, CNN

Defense bill likely to include end to military Covid vaccine mandate, source says

A massive bill setting defense policy is likely to end the military Covid vaccine mandate, a source familiar with the negotiations tells CNN.
1 day ago
NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 03:  Actress Kirstie Alley attends the "Kirstie" premiere party at Harlow o...
Dan Heching, Amy Simonson and Taylor Romine, CNN

Kirstie Alley, ‘Cheers’ and ‘Veronica’s Closet’ star, dead at 71

Actress Kirstie Alley has died after a brief battle with cancer, her children announced on social media.
1 day ago
Spinosaurus...
Ashley Strickland, CNN

Fearsome spinosaurus wasn’t the scourge of prehistoric seas after all

The Spinosaurus, the largest known predatory dinosaur, may have made for a very slow and awkward swimmer, according to new research.
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

Spicy Homemade Loaded Taters Tots...
Macey's

5 game day snacks for the whole family (with recipes!)

Try these game day snacks to make watching football at home with your family feel like a special occasion. 
Happy joyful smiling casual satisfied woman learning and communicates in sign language online using...
Sorenson

The best tools for Deaf and hard-of-hearing workplace success

Here are some of the best resources to make your workplace work better for Deaf and hard-of-hearing employees.
Team supporters celebrating at a tailgate party...
Macey's

8 Delicious Tailgate Foods That Require Zero Prep Work

In a hurry? These 8 tailgate foods take zero prep work, so you can fuel up and get back to what matters most: getting hyped for your favorite
christmas decorations candles in glass jars with fir on a old wooden table...
Western Nut Company

12 Mason Jar Gift Ideas for the 12 Days of Christmas [with recipes!]

There are so many clever mason jar gift ideas to give something thoughtful to your neighbors or friends. Read our 12 ideas to make your own!
wide shot of Bear Lake with a person on a stand up paddle board...

Pack your bags! Extended stays at Bear Lake await you

Work from here! Read our tips to prepare for your extended stay, whether at Bear Lake or somewhere else nearby.
young boy with hearing aid...
Sorenson

Accommodations for students who are deaf and hard of hearing

These different types of accommodations for students who are deaf and hard of hearing can help them succeed in school.
Attorneys general urge DeVos to forgive disabled veterans’ student loans