The attorneys general of 51 states and territories sent a letter to U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos calling on the department to automatically cancel disabled veterans' student debt, reported NPR.
The Education Department previously identified more than 42,000 veterans who qualify for a federal program known as Total and Permanent Disability Discharge (TPD) that offers to relieve borrowers from repaying certain government student loans. These veterans, the letter says, shoulder over $1 billion in education debt that could be forgiven.
The agency currently requires disabled veterans fill out paperwork to become eligible for federal student loan forgiveness. The attorneys general want that to change. In the letter, they urge DeVos to exercise her power to automatically cancel the debt.
"As a nation, we have a moral obligation to assist those who have put their lives on the line to defend us," the letter reads. "There is no statutory or legal requirement that the Department of Education demand that eligible veterans affirmatively apply for TPD discharges before the Department will forgive their loans."