Grijalva Praises Dept. of Ed Response to His Call to End Social Security Benefits Garnishment
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Raúl M. Grijalva (D-AZ) released the following statement today after the U.S. Department of Education announced action to proactively identify, assist and protect Social Security benefits for borrowers with disabilities who have defaulted on federal student loans.
“I am pleased that the Department of Education answered my call to protect Social Security benefits for those who need it the most” Rep. Grijalva said. “The announcement is a significant step that will ease the process of obtaining student loan forgiveness. Every day, people from across this country scrape by living paycheck to paycheck; earning a higher education should never add to their struggles.
“I applaud the Department of Education and the administration for making this issue a priority. Their actions will better the lives of people who are saddled with student debt. I encourage them to build on these actions by making everyone currently seeing their benefits garnished eligible for a loan discharge.”
On October 21, 2015 Rep. Grijalva led a letter signed by 38 other members of Congress to the Social Security Administration, the U.S. Department of Treasury and the Department of Education urging them to stop the garnishment of Social Security benefits for unpaid student loans. In November, Rep. Grijalva introduced The Stop Social Security Garnishment For Student Debt Act, which reverses the 1996 law with respect to outstanding student debt, so that Social Security, along with the traditionally protected black lung and railroad benefits, can no longer be garnished for unpaid federal student debt.
This week, the Department of Education announced action to end the garnishment of the Social Security benefits for those with Total and Permanent Disabilities (TPD), which make up a large portion of individuals having benefits garnished for student debt. Beginning on April 18, 2016, eligible individuals will receive a customized letter explaining that the borrower is eligible for loan forgiveness and the simple steps needed to receive a discharge.