Perm disability for FM but student loans won't recognize disease

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by cajunqueen1955, Jun 14, 2007.

  1. cajunqueen1955

    cajunqueen1955 New Member

    Hello. I have been diagnosed with severe FM and have been on disabilty for almost two years . I applied to have my student loans discharged becasue I have been unable to work. At first, I was granted a temporary discharge with thestipulation that my income stay at a certain level above poverty. It has. A few days ago, I received a letter stating that the AES has decided that Fibromyalgia was not a recognized disease for disabilty so I would have to pay back my loans. I can't understand why if the Federal government deems me as permanently disabled why/how the American Educational Services can refute it. My current insurance policy won't cover any of my medical costs associated with my illness, I can't get Medicare yet so all my SS check is going for medical care. To try to pay 413.00 a month for student loans will put me out homeless on the street. Is anyone ut there experiencing the same problem with student loans? HELP! I have been so stressed over this that I have been bed ridden in severe pain for a week now. Thanks
  2. alyssalyn

    alyssalyn New Member

    My loan servicer is AES as well. If Fibro is not considered legitimate, then CFS (what I had and just got well from) would definitely not be.

    HOWEVER, it seems that there is a nationwide epidemic. Understanding the root causes of what caused this to happen to me helps me to understand why the epidemic. But if you wait long enough, because of the epidemic of FMS and CFS, eventually it will have to be recognized. Unfortunately, until then, it would take a ding on your credit rating. I have a friend sick since 1986. She has no choice but to not pay her loans, and of course the penalties are more than the original loans now. She could apply to have them discharged but didn't want to totally shoot the chance of going back to school on financial aid for another degree, if she ever got well. The financial aid officer, however, said, if they are discharged, and you later get well, that they are still discharged.

    Is only AES like this, or all loan providers? It IS possible to consolidate loans to end up with different payment terms, longer payment plans, etc. But if it is all loan providers, then I am really upset... because it is not taking the concerns of very ill people seriously, and causing them extra unneeded distress, which only makes them sicker. If only people understood.

    But until they do, all you can do is all you can do. A person should NOT have to choose between a home and their student loans if they become disabled.

    One thing you might try is a longer payment plan. AES had three plans. I chose the graduated payment plan because after 3 years of being on General Assistance for the Unemployable, I didn't know when I would find a job. The payments would normally be nearly a hundred dollars a month. As it is, for the first couple years it is interest-only payments, then graduated repayment plan ... that gradually increases as time goes on... which matches that my income capability is gradually increasing.

    Also, if you have any capacity to research, you NEED to research "The Hallelujah Diet" and you NEED to research BarleyLife. In these two, you may find some answers to improve your fibromyalgia. These concepts saved my life before I realized that this way of life had a name.

    Good luck! You can do it!

  3. alyssalyn

    alyssalyn New Member

    and expressed my outrage to them on your behalf, outlining your situation but not giving out personal info, and asked them to point me to the official documentation that says that fibromyalgia is not a disability. I also said to them (I was writing under a pen name and disposable email address), about my history with CFS and if CFS ever returned to my life and landed ME on disability would they be telling the same thing to me? You never know....Expressing outrage could not hurt.
    Hugs and best wishes....



    P.S. I clicked your profile and this was your first post... welcome.
    [This Message was Edited on 06/14/2007]
  4. Didoe

    Didoe New Member

    I had 2 small Perkins loans of $2,300. My financial aid office would shove the checks at us, have us sign and that was it. I graduated, and never knew I had 2 loans to the govt. 7 years (SEVEN) years later while at work the nastiest woman on earth called me (they can find anyone, anywhere) and was screaming that I was a thief, had stole from the govt and demanded $6,000 payable immediately and in full within 30 days.

    What the point? If your loans are due, interest will continue to increase the amount due.

    I called a debt mediator and they arranged a minimum payment plan with the collection agency. I pay a very small amount each month and have barely made a dent in the interest, but it doesnt matter. The fact that it went to a collecction agency, that the govt had to wait so long already messed my credit, but the payments keep them from doing anything further.

    You need to know that if this debt is not paid by the time you want to collect social security benefits (retirement not SSDI) the govt can deduct the amount due prior to giving you your benefits. Try to work out a payment plan, dont bother waiting for FM/CFs to get on the discharge list, it may be a long time coming.

  5. alyssalyn

    alyssalyn New Member

    That the psychiatrist thought I was mentally ill when I was sick with CFS STILL p*sses me off nearly three years later, but now, thinking of this, another diagnosis, a more believable one to the general public, would not have been a half bad idea since people don't take FMS and CFS seriously. Mental health drugs are pretty dangerous though and I wanted no part of that-- neither was the dianosis correct. I am working now, just fine, and I have the last laugh. But - maybe you need an additional diagnosis of something else someone could legitimately get disability for from a doctor that the government would believe .... then eventually you could get the loans off your back.

    One person I knew with CFS actually had a severe form of adrenal insufficiency... and it caused her to be bedridden from the neurally mediated hypotension. Adrenal insufficiency.. another word for it is Addison's Disease. If that is something that also affects you... wonder if the doctors and government have put that on the list yet. Hypothyroidism is severely disabling, don't know if it is on their list. It was one of the underlying causes for my CFS.

    I am reading student loan nightmares... I had put in the search terms fibromyalgia student loan discharge into google, and on the page 1 of results there is a studentloanjustice website that gives horror stories similar to yours and worse, about student loans. Is there any way to sue your lender for pressing undue hardship on you -- even if you had get a lawyer that would take a percentage of your winnings? and then come to court in a stretcher and speak really weakly, so that it is obvious that you cannot repay if your life depended on it? some of these people on this site are mad enough to consider class action lawsuits against unfair practices for student loans.

    Have faith, you can do it!
    [This Message was Edited on 06/14/2007]
  6. alyssalyn

    alyssalyn New Member

    There is a way to discharge student loans... called "undue hardship discharge."

    What the problem is, is coming up with money for court costs. This prevents many from being able to do it.

    But I thought I should make you aware.

    The site I told you about earlier has something to click on, on the bottom, about reforming legislation...
  7. footballmom

    footballmom New Member

    It's easier to make arraingements to pay it instead of trying to find a way to get out of it.
  8. TXFMmom

    TXFMmom New Member

    If you qualifed for SSDI, then they have to recognize it.


    Then, DO GET THE ATTORNEY...get one that deals with disability or debt, and if you qualify for disability, and the plans have a disability clause, THEY HAVE TO SHOVE IT.
  9. alyssalyn

    alyssalyn New Member


    I wrote to AES on your behalf as this is my loan servicer too. They can't read, because they are going to send me a loan discharge application and I clearly said I was working again, but other than that, it would be worth pushing to make some contact with them. Either Jody, the person who wrote back to me, doesn't know what she is talking about, or she does, and maybe you were given wrong information before. If the moderators delete the web address that you need to get the discharge form, then copy the letters below to send to AES when you are inside your account (that is, if you do it online like I do), and ask for the permanent disability loan discharge).

    Good luck!

    I hope that they actually could help. Don't know, but I am crossing my fingers for you!

    Love, Alyssalyn


    Dear Customer:

    Thank you for contacting American Education Services (AES). If you are unable to work as a result of your medical condition, and the condition did not exist at the time your loans were disbursed, you may qualify to
    have your loans forgiven. If your condition existed at the time your loans were taken out, your doctor would have to certify that your condition has substantially deteriorated. A request has been submitted to
    mail you a Loan Discharge Application for Total and Permanent Disability.

    You may also reference the other customer that you referenced in your e-mail below to this website. You may view and download the Total and Permanent Disability Loan Discharge Form by selecting the hyperlink listed


    If you have additional questions or concerns, you may reply to this e-mail, or call toll-free (800) 233-0557 to reach our Customer Service Department, which is open Monday through Friday from 7:30 A.M. until 9:00
    P.M. Eastern Time. You may also contact our eCommunications Department
    via e-mail or live chat through our website,, 24
    hours a day, seven days a week.


    Loan Operations eCommunications


    FW: Contact Us Email [T20070615004HS040Z610411]

    Additional Comments: I was corresponding with a lady on
    (site) who has fibromyalgia and her loan servicer is AES, just like mine is.. What I was horrified to find out is that she said that AES does not consider Fibromyalgia a disability. This, in spite of that she has been on disability payments for two years.

    She is nearly bedridden, and the days she spends stressing about choosing between paying $413 a month to AES and being homeless, she does end up bedridden. Is she mistaken or is this really the case? I had Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and borderline Fibromyalgia and let me assure you that it is extremely disabling. I was out of the work force for three years, I am only well because of natural things not drugs.

    But for those who do believe in drug therapies, they could remain disabled. They should not have to choose between a home and a payment if their medical problems are that serious. If in my life, before my loans are repaid, my Chronic Fatigue Syndrome returned and I ended up on permanent disability, then would the same to be said to me: that it was not considered a disability? Can you point me to the official information that states that is and is not considered a disability? How would you suggest I help this lady in her distress?


    Alyssalyn, horrified and appalled