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“No parent should be forced to shoulder the burden of FFEL loans while caring for their disabled child.”

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Senator JD Vance (R-OH) and Congressman Seth Magaziner (D-RI-2) have introduced Domenic and Ed’s Law. This bipartisan and bicameral legislation, named for Domenic Carducci of Steubenville, Ohio and Ed Desorcy of Harrisville, Rhode Island, would require the U.S. Department of Education to discharge parents’ Federal Family Education Loans (FFELs) if their child becomes severely disabled and is unable to engage in gainful activity due to their disability. FFEL liability would also be discharged if the parent borrower dies or becomes permanently and totally disabled. Under current law, parents are only eligible for FFEL discharge if their child passes away. The legislation is cosponsored by Senators Mike Braun (R-IN) and Chris Coons (D-DE) in the Senate and Representatives Marc Molinaro (R-NY-19), Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-D.C.), André Carson (D-IN-7), Debbie Dingell (D-MI-6), Paul Tonko (D-NY-20), Kevin Mullin (D-CA-15), and Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-IL-8) in the House. 

“No parent should be forced to shoulder the burden of FFEL loans while caring for their disabled child,” said Senator Vance. “Domenic Carducci, a fellow Buckeye from Steubenville, and his family deserve the relief this bipartisan legislation would provide.”

“When a student becomes disabled, their parents should be focused on providing care and support instead of worrying about paying off student loans they’ve taken out on their child’s behalf,” said Rep. Magaziner. “This bipartisan legislation is partly named after my constituent, Ed Desorcy, who lost his vision while attending college – and due to this tragedy, his parents were saddled with student debt and medical bills. No parent should face this financial burden in these difficult circumstances, and this commonsense legislation will provide much-needed relief to families in Rhode Island and across the nation.” 

With the introduction of this legislation, Senator Vance continues the efforts of his predecessor, Senator Rob Portman, who introduced Domenic and Ed’s Law in the 117th Congress.

Domenic Carducci, a graduate from The Ohio State University, became totally and permanently disabled not long after graduation. Domenic was able to have his student loans forgiven but his mother, Carolyn, was forced to continue to pay for the student loans that she took out in her name for Domenic’s education. She and her husband still owe tens of thousands of dollars and will be paying these loans well into their 90s. Ed Desorcy, a constituent in Rep. Magaziner’s district, suffers from Lebers Hereditary Optic Neuropathy and lost his vision while attending college. While Desorcy’s loans were discharged following his disability, the loans taken out by his parents on his behalf were not.

Domenic and Ed’s Law is endorsed by the National Association of Councils on Developmental Disabilities, the National Center for Learning Disabilities, the National Association of Disability Representatives, the National Education Association (NEA), Young Invincibles, the National Down Syndrome Congress, the Special Needs Alliance (SNA), the United Spinal Association Consortium for Constituents with Disabilities, the Social Security Task Force National Association of Disability Representatives, the American Association of People with Disabilities, the National Association of the Deaf Active Minds, the National Federation of the Blind, the Association of University Centers and Disabilities (AUCD), the National Association of Councils on Developmental Disabilities, the Association on Higher Education and Disabilities (AHEAD), ACPA—College Student Educators International, the American Association of Community Colleges, the American Association of University Women, the Education Finance Council, the Higher Education Loan Coalition, the American Council on Education, and the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS).

Read the legislation here.