Sample Doctor’s Form for Disability Discharge for Student Loans

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Art: Robin Mead

Gloria was approved for a discharge just two weeks after submitting her final paperwork. She was kind enough to share a copy of her doctor’s form along with a few tips for others:


Gloria’s Story

🌸 At first, I submitted a letter from my physician. It was rejected. I received a letter a few weeks later informing me that they would not accept physician letters and that the physician’s answers had to be written in the VERY tiny boxes on the application page. I reapplied and this time doctor wrote on their form. Approved!

🌸 I applied for student loan discharge BEFORE I applied for social security disability. I believe it was easier for me to get approved because they didn’t base it on social security review periods, but simply on my doctor’s claim that I am totally and permanently disabled.

🌸 Here are the answers my physician gave on the form:

Describe the severity of the applicant’s impairment, including, if applicable, the phase of the impairment:

“The patient exhibits extra-glandular, organ manifestations of systemic Sjogren’s sydrome (Stage 2). Her impairment is signifificant and disabling.”

Limitations on sitting, standing, walking, or lifting:

“Dysautonomia – Tachycardia, pre-syncope, hypertension, dyspnea, loss of hearing/vision while standing/sitting/ walking. Joint pain and stiffness limits mobility/dexterity”

Limitations on activities of daily living:

“Struggles with bathing, cooking, and cleaning. Currently unable to drive due to cognitive changes. Neuropathy makes dressing diffificult and painful”

Residual functionality:

“Unpredictable. Functionality constantly limited due to chronic autoimmune pain, dysautonomia, constitutional symptoms, with flares requiring bed rest”


Thanks for Reading

🌸 This page is part of the free online guide: How to Be Poor in America

🌸 Learn more: How to Make Student Loans Disappear Like Magic

🌸 Art on this page by Robin Mead and Elizabeth D’Angelo.

🌸 Page Updated: 1/10/20

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6 thoughts on “Sample Doctor’s Form for Disability Discharge for Student Loans”

  1. This is insane! 😮 One short application can discharge student loans!!! WHAT!?
    I’m concerned I don’t have the doctor to fill out the form though. I only have one doctor right now who’s a social worker. I have had depression that put me out of work for exactly 4 years now. However, the murky fact is that I graduate college January 2021 (done with classes since June, wanted to stay longer cause I couldn’t hold a job, decided to drop classes, then reapplied to graduate) so the only real “work” I’ve ever done were lots of internships – that’s what it means for me to be out of work 4 years. No other internships/work at all since then. The other worrisome things are:
    1. I don’t feel like this social worker thinks I’m *that* depressed to be debilitated. I got on my college’s disability thanks to her but that’s much simpler (guaranteed acceptance w/ a doctor’s form) than these federal forms.
    2. I started seeing her this January and she, like many other therapists, don’t think I have been disabled by my own mental illnesses. I couldn’t do anything for TWO YEARS!!!!! and was stuck in bed at home 24/7 doing absolutely nothing, but no one can vouch for that because I wasn’t seeing any professional. I saw one other social worker for 2-3 sessions during my time stuck in bed but even he won’t fill any forms confirming that b/c it’s too short of a time that I saw him. My college psychologist wouldn’t support anything I did that “claimed” I had a mental illness because he thinks nothing’s wrong with me — I can’t even start on how he thought my panic attacks were fake, my inability to read/focus is fake, my never-ending depression is fake, etc. He revealed how he thought about me *by accident* in July, he said, “You’re just looking for approval,” when I’m on a phone session with him. I was on sessions every week telling him his advice to me is stuff I’ve tried before and made no real changes to my life (“move on. live in the present.”) and there he goes thinking I’m ok and am just looking for approval through our sessions. I don’t have any other medical professional I’ve seen long enough b/c depression kept me out of life altogether for 4 years now.
    3. I might’ve screwed myself over by applying for CDPAP and being approved. I’m taking care of my mother for 33 hours a week (whenever the fiscal intermediary calls me and tells me I’m ready to start), and my current therapist knows that. The worst part is that I’m only doing CDPAP b/c I need income and can’t hold a more professional job. Is there any way a therapist could not misinterpret this?

    I’m also a lil worried that I did my exit counseling for the student loans wrong. I put my *future* CDPAP pay on the income for repaying the loans – would that affect my ability to discharge it via disability?

    One thing though is, I do have time. My grad is 1/31/2021 so I don’t have to pay my loans anytime soon (7/31 is the start of repayment). In the meantime, perhaps I could start seeing a trauma/PTSD therapist b/c I’ve learned that’s what’s preventing me from recovering from depression at all. I’m positive my situation in session will be so bad, no one can deny something’s wrong with me and I’m disabled due to my mental illnesses. I could see the psychologist (should I look for a doctor with more credentials? e.g. psychologist vs social worker) for some time and then ask him/her to help with the student loan discharge. Would this be a good route to go? Or am I undermining my current therapist (social worker) and she might be a better advocate despite me “holding a job” via CDPAP?

    Any advice would be helpful – even advice on the therapy experience. I am always astonished that NO ONE thinks my depression has impacted me even when I say that for almost 2 whole years, I dropped out of college and couldn’t do one thing because of depression. Obesity, hair loss, I couldn’t even breathe at some point b/c my depression left me in bed unable to do anything but physically and mentally rot away, and so many other problems arose b/c of depression. (People assume I’m fine just because I can type, I am articulate, I can achieve things, I used to achieve things….)

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    1. I’m sorry that I don’t know the rules for this. However, if you are working 33 hours per week, I suspect you might not meet the qualifications as disabled for this program. I could be wrong about this though, so it may be worth looking into what the income criteria is for the program.

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      1. Thank you for replying! I suspect the same and wish I had tried discharging the student loans at the height of my mental illnesses. I’ll try to seek maybe legal help though and see what can be done. Perhaps I’ll have a miracle story that can be shared with you, consequently helping others!

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  2. This is so amazing! Was the more detailed letter and other documentation also submitted with the short answers on this form… or was the discharge granted solely by the info provided on the TDD form?

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