A disabled veteran had over $ 72,000 in student loans – under the Biden administration, her debt was canceled
Earlier this month, Allison Gill watched her student loan debt drop online from $ 72,400.97 to $ 0.
It was an emotional and exciting moment for Gill who posted a photo on Twitter to her more than 143,000 followers with the headline “Thank you, @POTUS.”
Gill, a disabled veteran, is one of more than 500,000 borrowers who were canceled as part of the Biden government’s attempt to repair the federal student loan system. At the end of August, the Biden administration announced that borrowers with total or permanent disability would be acquitted of their student loans. The change applied to borrowers who were identified through an existing data comparison with the Social Security Administration.
“I felt immense relief. I mean, I cried about it. I cried ugly about it, ”said Gill.
Almost $ 10 billion in student loans have been waived since President Biden took office. The beneficiaries include people with disabilities, dupes from for-profit schools, and soldiers deployed in war zones.
Gill fits into two of these categories.
She raised her credits during her PhD to get a specific government job – a job she was fired from in 2020 under the Trump administration.
Gill, 47, of San Diego joined the Navy in 1994, the first year they allowed women to serve as nuclear reactor technicians and mechanics. She says she was recruited because of her high test scores and was transferred to the Navy Nuclear Training Command. In the few years of service, says Gill, she has been sexually abused – twice.
“I have 100% PTSD from this trauma,” she said.
In 1996, Gill was honorably discharged. (She appeared in the 2012 documentary, The invisible war, an investigative documentary about the rape epidemic of soldiers in the U.S. military.)
After retiring from the military, Gill earned her bachelor’s degree in behavioral science, which was free due to her disabled veteran status. Then she got her Masters Degree, paid for by the GI Bill (The GI Bill provides educational support to service members, veterans, and their loved ones.)
In 2009, after school, Gill found a position as a medical assistant in the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). She loved the job so much that in 2010 she decided to do a PhD in Health Administration; It was a decision she knew would help her move up in the VA in both job title and pay.
After seven years, she had about $ 76,000 in student loans left. But she got the job she hoped for as a health systems specialist.
Gill continued to work for the VA while she paid off her loans, but in 2017 she started a podcast that would eventually leave her unemployed. It was around the time Special Counsel Robert Mueller was investigating the 2016 election and the Trump campaign’s relations with Russia. Gill was intrigued by the situation and wanted to create a place where people could find out all the news. So she started a podcast called at night and on weekends Müller, she wrote.
“It was a hobby because I worked for the federal government,” she said. “I didn’t use my name or title. (The Hatch Act prohibits federal employees from engaging in some forms of political activity.)
But the Office of General Counsel opened an investigation into their podcast – which had grown in popularity with over 100,000 followers and fans.
“I was told I couldn’t be represented on any of the calls, and that started the long road until I was eventually removed from my position in the federal government, “she said.
After she was fired, Gill continued podcasting. Then she and a group of other podcasters raised half a million dollars for President Biden and Vice President Harris’s campaign, as well as Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock’s Georgia Senate campaigns.
“The irony is that Trump fired me. But then I could turn around and help fire him,” she laughed.
And now her loans have been canceled because of the president she helped elect.
Gill is grateful for Biden’s initiative, but hopes it will go further.
“My number one feeling was instant relief, but my second thought is always why don’t we do this for every American?” said Gill.