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    Posted: 02/September/2006 at 7:39am

I think we all agree that HRDC's policy about student loan forgiveness is not effective the way it is. As momof2 said, having to have the disability occur within 6 months of completion of studies is utterly ludicrous. And even if it does happen during that time, a person almost has to be dead in order to qualify under HRDC's definition of disability.

Just like the rest of you, my recent application for the permanent disability benefit got denied. In my case, in 2003 I received a life-threatening brain virus that was within 24 hours of being fatal. I was in hospitals for 5 months, and I actually had to be taught how to eat and how to walk again. For the first while, physicians had to feed me pureed food like infants have, and I was "unable to follow simple commands." Physicians officially stated and recorded that I had permanent disability, and that I could "never be expected to work again." So do you think HRDC would forgive my student loan? No. They won't even forgive the interest they changed while I was in the hospitals.

This Canada Student Debt website is full of people who experience things like this, and they would probably get approved for disability insurance with normal banks. At the time I got my brain virus I also had a vehicle loan, and yes RBC did honour the disability insurance on that. Does that mean even corporate banks care more about us than HRDC does?

We need to bring attention about this whole HRDC issue to the media, and let it become better known to the public. That way HRDC will start feeling pressure to adjust their policy on student loan forgiveness, and may be obliged to change it.

Right after you finish reading this, send an e-mail to 1 or 2 of your local or provincial news stations and bring their attention to how immoral HRDC's current disability policy is. Make sure you also give them a link to this website so they can see for themselves how big a problem it is. When the media starts bringing attention to things like this, it almost inevitably causes effective changes to be made. For pretty much every one of us, that will be our only hope.

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