Office of the Bursar graduation cap
The Billing and Payment Gateway of UMass Amherst

Total and Permanent Disability (non-Veterans)

Eligibility: 
Up to 100%

Total and permanent disability is the inability to engage in "substantial gainful activity" by reason of any medically determinable physical or mental impairment that can be expected to result in death, has lasted for a continuous period of not less than 60 months, or can be expected to last for a continuous period of not less than 60 months.

Effective 07-01-2013 the Federal Government made sweeping changes to the Total & Permanent Disability (TPD) Discharge process.

If you are seeking total & permanent discharge of your student loan(s) based on your disability you have several options available to you.

1 – If you are a veteran, you can submit documentation from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) showing that the VA has determined that you are unemployable due to a service-connected disability;

2 – If you are receiving Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits, you can submit a Social Security Administration (SSA) notice of award for SSDI or SSI benefits stating that your next scheduled disability review will be within 5 to 7 years from the date of your most recent SSA disability determination; or

3 – You can submit certification from a physician that you are totally and permanently disabled. Your physician must certify that you are unable to engage in any substantial gainful activity by reason of a medically determinable physical or mental impairment that:

  • Can be expected to result in death;
  • Has lasted for a continuous period of not less than 60 months; or
  • Can be expected to last for a continuous period of not less than 60 months.

Each option for showing that you are totally and permanently disabled has specific requirements for the supporting documentation that you must submit with your TPD discharge application.

To begin the process, please do one of the following:

Nelnet will then contact the University with instructions to temporarily suspend billing of your loan(s) in order to allow them (NelNet) time to review your application. If the application is approved, Nelnet will forward instructions to the University for action.

If the application is denied, Nelnet will forward instructions to the University to resume billing.

All questions regarding the pending application should be addressed to Nelnet at 1-888-303-7818 between 8:00 AM and 8:00 PM (Eastern time) or by E-mail to: disabilityinformation@nelnet.net.