NYS District Attorney and Indigent Legal Services Attorney Loan Forgiveness (DALF) Program
District Attorney and Indigent Legal Services Attorney Loan Forgiveness Program awards are offered to retain experienced attorneys employed as District Attorneys, Assistant District Attorneys or Indigent Legal Services Attorneys throughout New York State.
An applicant must:
- be a NYS resident;
- be a U.S. citizen or an eligible non-citizen;
- have worked full time as a District Attorney, Assistant District Attorney, or Indigent Legal Services Attorney in New York State for at least four years, but no more than nine years (including the year prior to application);
- have an outstanding balance on an eligible student loan debt;
- be in a non-default status on a student loan made under any NYS or federal education loan program or repayment of any NYS award; and
- be in compliance with the terms of any service condition imposed by a NYS award.
Eligible Student Loans
Eligible student loans include the total loan balance required to be paid by an eligible attorney on the cumulative total of outstanding student loans covering cost of attendance at an undergraduate institution and/or law school, at the time the attorney applies for the Program. Interest paid or due on these loans is considered eligible for reimbursement under this Program. For purposes of this calculation, the amount of the eligible student loan debt will be reduced by any grants, loan forgiveness, or similar reductions to the attorney’s indebtedness that the attorney has received or will receive, such as, law school loan forgiveness and public service scholarships.
The maximum award is $20,400 or eligible student loan debt, whichever is less. Awards are paid in the amount of $3,400 for each annual period of qualified service or the remaining loan indebtedness. Any additional payments made to reduce the outstanding balance may cause a reduction in the total amount of the award. No payments will be made after the student loan has been paid in full.
Note: Any loan forgiveness award payment received may have tax implications. A 1099 form will be issued by the NYS Office of the State Comptroller reflecting the total loan forgiveness payment received by the recipient for the year. Any questions regarding potential tax implications should be directed to a tax professional, the Internal Revenue Service, or the NYS Department of Taxation and Finance.
Payments are available for up to six years of qualified service. The total of absences (including but not limited to vacation days, sick days, and parental leave) may not exceed the equivalent of 42 business days per year. Absences in excess of 42 business days per year (including for parental leave, medical leave or academic leave) must be made up by an equivalent extension of the qualified service period.
How to Apply
DALF Program Application
Complete and submit the District Attorney and Indigent Legal Services Attorney Loan Forgiveness (DALF) Program application. Be sure to print the Web Application confirmation page, sign the application, and submit it, along with the required documentation, according to the instructions.
The number of awards paid under this Program is limited to available funding. A recipient is not guaranteed a payment in each following year, however, priority is given to prior recipients seeking payment.
If there are more applicants than available funding, new recipients will be determined by lottery.
Payments are made directly to the recipient.
The DALF Program Application will be used to establish an applicant's eligibility as well as to process the first award payment.
In subsequent years, a recipient must submit a Payment Application and verification of the qualified service for which payment is sought under this Program by the deadlines set by HESC. Payment Applications are provided annually to recipients in March.