U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Indian Health Service: The Federal Health Program for American Indians and Alaska Natives
A - Z Index:
A
B
C
D
E
F
G
H
I
J
K
L
M
N
O
P
Q
R
S
T
U
V
W
X
Y
Z
#
[Apply Now]
LRP Home
Apply Now
How LRP Works
Participant Responsibilities
Site Scores
FAQ
Archives
Contact the
LRP Office
Career Opportunities
Apply Here for Financial Freedom - LRP IHS Loan Repayment Program

FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions for Applicants

Frequently Asked Questions for Recipients



Frequently Asked Questions for Applicants

What is an Indian health program?
For LRP purposes, the term "Indian health program" is defined in the Indian Health Care Improvement Act (IHCIA, P.L. 94-437) as any health program or facility funded in whole or in part by IHS for the benefit of American Indians and Alaska Natives. These health programs or facilities must be administered directly by IHS, by any Indian Tribe or any Tribal or Indian organization contracted under the Indian Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act, the Buy Indian Act or by an Urban Indian organization under Title V of the IHCIA.

Back to Top

Qualifying Loans

Does the LRP pay for undergraduate loans?

The LRP will pay for undergraduate loans as long as those studies were prerequisites for a graduate degree.

Does the LRP pay for loans that were consolidated?

The LRP will only pay health profession education loans for an LRP participant. Any non-health profession education loan consolidated with a health profession education loan will not be paid. Copies of your final statements from the original lending institution at the time of the loan consolidation will determine the portion of the loan that is eligible for repayment.

Does the LRP pay for loans of family members that were consolidated?

The LRP will only pay health profession education loans for an LRP participant. Any non-health profession education loans or health profession education loans that have been provided by a family member (for example, wife, husband, parents, etc.) will not be paid. Copies of your final statements from the original lending institution at the time of the loan consolidation will determine the portion of the loan that is eligible for repayment.

Back to Top

Employment

Will you help me find employment?

Yes. The LRP will assist in matching you to an IHS-approved priority site. Contact your Discipline Chief or the LRP Branch Office for assistance.

Back to Top

Loan Amounts

How much do I receive if I am awarded loan repayment?

The LRP awards up to $20,000 per year in exchange for a minimum two-year service commitment. Visit the Payments and Examples page for more information.

Do I have to use the full amount of the LRP award to pay back my loan?

Yes, you must use the full award amount to pay your loan debt. If you received a $20,000 award, you must document that the entire $20,000 was paid toward your loan.

Back to Top

Qualifications

Do you have to be American Indian or Alaska Native to receive LRP awards?

No. However, American Indians and Alaska Natives receive priority consideration when rankings are equal between applicants (such as site score and staffing needs).

Back to Top

Other Loan Repayment Programs

Can I receive funding from both the IHS Loan Repayment Program and another loan repayment program at the same time?

If you have received loan repayment from another program, in addition to the funds you are receiving from the IHS Loan Repayment Program, you must notify the LRP office immediately to request information regarding the continuation of your commitment with the IHS Loan Repayment Program.

Do you know of any other loan repayment programs similar to the IHS Loan Repayment Program?

If the IHS Loan Repayment Program is not a loan repayment option for you, another opportunity is the National Health Service Corps (NHSC). Contact the NHSC at (800) 793-1547 or visit the NHSC Exit Disclaimer: You Are Leaving www.ihs.gov website.

Back to Top

Notification of Acceptance

When will I be notified whether or not I've been accepted into the Loan Repayment Program?

Applications are accepted year-round beginning October 1 through the Friday of the second full week of August and are evaluated monthly beginning in January (or as soon as funds become available). Award notifications are mailed on the last working day of each month. Applications will continue to be considered until all funds are exhausted.

All applicants not selected for loan repayment by September 30 are notified at the end of October. Applicants are offered the opportunity to have their application considered during the next fiscal year, if they so choose.

Frequently Asked Questions for Recipients

Back to Top

Payment Schedule

When can I expect my payment?

You should receive your payment within 120 days from the date your contract was signed by the Secretary's delegate or your first day of work at your assigned site. Visit the Payments and Examples page for more information.

Back to Top

Applying for Transfers

If I want to transfer at some point, what is the process?

The LRP requires three letters if you want to transfer: One from you stating why you would like to transfer; one from your immediate supervisor or supervisor chain of authority stating the impact of your transfer on the facility's day-to-day operations; and one from the prospective site, stating that it plans to hire you, the hire date, a position description and the impact of your transfer on the facility's day-to-day operations. The LRP will use the three letters to determine whether to approve the transfer of your LRP contract.

All transfers require approval from the LRP office.

LRP recipients are eligible to transfer to another LRP-approved work location when applying for a contract extension.

Back to Top

Uncompleted Service Commitment

What happens if I don't complete my service commitment?

Failure to complete your LRP contract service commitment is a breach of contract and you will be placed in default. Visit the Termination/Breach of Contract and Default page or download the LRP Participant Guide [PDF - 470KB] for more information.

What happens if I experience a conflict with my supervisor?

If you encounter a conflict with your supervisor that cannot be resolved by your site's personnel department, you should contact your LRP Analyst to discuss your options. Do not resign or transfer to another site without prior LRP approval.

What happens if my spouse's employer transfers him or my spouse is deployed by the military?

The LRP requires all recipients to fulfill their contract to the LRP prior to relocating. You should contact your LRP Analyst to discuss your options. Do not resign or transfer to another site without prior LRP approval.

What happens if the salary I am receiving from my assigned Indian health facility is not sufficient to support my living arrangements?

Prior to accepting employment in the Indian health system, a health professional should discuss salary and benefits with his potential employer. Once you begin receiving LRP payments, your contract cannot be terminated due to salary issues.

Back to Top

Extending an Initial LRP Contract

How do I extend my initial LRP contract?

To receive priority consideration, submit your request in writing via letter or email prior to January 1 of the year your LRP contract expires. Your total period of service cannot exceed the number of years that it will take to repay the total amount of outstanding eligible health profession education loans at the rate of up to $20,000 per year under the terms of this contract.