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SSI disability, new recepient, C1M birth defect, & student loan debt incurred per my wanting to earn my teaching certification which subsequently expired while I was sole caregiver to my ill,aged
July 5, 2019
11:33 pm
Karen J,

I’ve just received my packet of info (the awards notice?) for my SSI disability. I’m 56, have a congenital neurological birth defect known as Chiari 1 Malformation, and it has caused me to have syringomyelia. Additionally I have hypertension, diabetes type 2, sleep apnea, restless legs, ocd/anxiety, and have dealt with PCOS a majority of my life. When I spoke to my disability rep of my concern regarding being reviewed, he commented that it was likely i might not be reviewed, at all. I suppose he said that, due to my age (birthdate 9/20/62). Through my search engine queries I figured out that I perhaps fall under grid rules. I was surprised to read in my awards letter that because SSA feels my health may improve, they will do a review in about 3 yrs. The only way my health “might, just might” improve is if I were to have fossa decompression surgery, and said surgery is at best 40 to 50% successful, there can be complications, and many instances, those who have endured surgery wind up experiencing the return of their Chiari 1 Malformation instigated symptoms.(C1M is when a person’s skull is too small for their brain, creating pressure that forces the brain down into a person’s spinal canal, That same pressure can also force brain fluid into the spinal canal, forming a syrinx, which is what is going on with me. It physically compromises a person’s nerves). I had hopes of having my $21k student loan possibly discharged, but I with them stating that I will be reviewed in about 3 yrs, I can only gather that I will be ineligible to apply for a discharge until that review, and possibly will never be able to apply for student loan discharge. I am currently and have been on the income based payment plan under which my payments are -zero-. My student loans date back to 2009 thereabouts, when I decided to return to school at the local university extension to earn my teaching certification which wound up expiring while I was sole caregiver to my elderly mother who was diagnosed during a 2 week stint in physical rehab, as having frontal temporal lobe dementia. Regarding my loans, my SSI monthly payments will be $771.00, the back pay is based on somewhat lesser amounts which existed in the two years of my wait period. All I can figure to do, is to stick with my income driven repayment plan at 0, I do have a neurosurgeon, but of course he wants to operate on me, whereas I wish to manage my symptoms. I can’t help but to wonder if he would even sign the paperwork necessary to permit me to seek discharge, I was so relieved to have received my first SSI payments for June and July, plus some backpay, just three days ago, and now I am worrying all over again, about my student loan, When I was younger I had attended UT Austin, but alongside of payments, and also serving in Americorps, I managed to pay that previous loan off, entirely. But this amount now, scares me, have you ANY suggestions at all, as to what I should, or could do, regarding seeking total discharge?? I’m even afraid to call Neinet for fear of stirring up a hornet’s nest. Tia. (On July 2nd, 2019 I thought maybe I could finally breathe……now I’m alarmed and worried, all over again. )

July 7, 2019
8:26 am
Forum Posts: 357
Member Since:
May 3, 2014
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

I’m no medical expert, but it sounds to me like you might have a good shot at student loan discharge due to disability. You can read more about how to qualify and the steps to take here: https://studentloansherpa.com/student-loan-forgiveness-programs/#Death_Disability_Forgiveness

Until you are able to get the loans discharged, the $0 per month on IBR is a solid choice, as it could potentially be sustained for many years as long as you do the income certification each year.

Best wishes on everything!

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