04.10.19

Sen. Coons introduces Domenic and Ed’s Law to provide relief to parents of disabled children

Bill allows student loan forgiveness for families suffering from child’s permanent disability

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Chris Coons (D-Del.) today introduced Domenic and Ed’s Law, legislation to allow a parent whose child develops a total and permanent disability to qualify for student loan discharge. This legislation was originally part of the Senators’ Stop Taxing Death and Disability Act which would both amend the Higher Education Act to provide student loan forgiveness to parents who take out loans for their children and also change the Internal Revenue Code to exempt individuals from the tax liability created by the forgiveness of their student loans in cases of death and disability.

“We have constituents—hardworking Americans—who bear the burden of student loan debt in the face of their child's total and permanent disability,” said Senator Coons. “Our legislation to eliminate the tax on discharged federal student loans for students who experience a total and permanent disability was signed into law in 2017. However, parents who borrow federal funds on their child's behalf still need relief if the child become totally and permanently disabled. I urge my colleagues from both sides of the aisle to fix this inequity and provide the relief these families deserve.”

The federal government authorizes the forgiveness of certain federal loans in the case of total and permanent disability of the borrower, including:

  • Student loan discharge for disability.  Each year, thousands of Americans, including veterans, develop disabilities or chronic health conditions so severe that they are determined by the federal government to be totally and permanently disabled. In recognition of the tremendous burden of their disabilities, Congress authorized the Department of Education to forgive outstanding federal student loans held by these Americans. Many private lenders also discharge student loans as a result of total and permanent disability.

Despite this law, families of individuals who suffer great personal loss or severe injury are often shocked to learn that the parents who took out student loans for their children are not eligible for the same student loan forgiveness by the federal government and private lenders.

Domenic and Ed’s Law will:

  • Allow a parent whose child develops a total and permanent disability to qualify for student loan discharge.  The bill resolves an inconsistency in statute by authorizing the Department of Education to discharge federal loans owed by a parent of a child who becomes totally and permanently disabled. Currently parents are allowed to discharge federal student loans if their child dies, but not if their child develops a total and permanent disability. 

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Press Contact

Sean Coit (Coons) at 202-224-5042 or sean_coit@coons.senate.gov