CDCR Doctors Eligible for Student Loan Repayment

UAPD wants to thank the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) for spreading the word about the Substance Use Disorder Treatment and Recovery Loan Repayment Program (STAR LRP), which is administered by the federal Health Resources & Services Administration (HRSA).

In 2020, UAPD worked with the State of California on a recruitment and retention plan. We came up with recommendations that included loan repayment programs to reward CDCR doctors who put in multiple years of service. When the State refused to implement the proposal, UAPD presented it to other agencies including the Prison Law Office and the federal court that has oversight over healthcare in the prisons. After all our lobbying, we were happy to see that the federal government decided to implement a program that was virtually the same as what UAPD had proposed.

UAPD is not administering the Substance Use Disorder Treatment and Recovery Loan Repayment Program (STAR LRP). But from what we can read on the HRSA website and the Application Program Guidance (APG), the program provides $250,000 worth of loan repayment to many types of healthcare professionals who are working in “direct treatment or recovery support of patients with or in treatment for substance use disorder.” You also have to work within a facility that has been approved by the program — most but not all CDCR facilities are on that list. If you receive an award, you must work full-time for six years in a STAR LRP-approved facility.

Given the extremely tight deadline and ambiguity about who qualifies for this loan repayment, our advice is that ALL CDCR healthcare employees who have student loan debt submit an application before the deadline, which is this Thursday, July 22, 2021, at 4:30 PM Pacific Time. Get your application in (instructions below) and let the program sort out whether or not your job and your facility qualify you for loan repayment.

Application Instructions:

  • The application deadline is this Thursday, July 22, 2021, at 4:30 PM Pacific Time.
  • HRSA estimates it will take 1 hour to collect the documents needed to apply and submit them through their application portal. Here is the application overview and list of needed materials (PDF) that they provided.
  • To apply, go to the Apply Now link and choose “Applying for the STAR Loan Repayment Program” from the list at the top of the page.
  • You will be prompted to log in (if you’ve used the portal before) or to create a new login and password (if it is your first time using the portal).
  • Instructions on each screen will guide you through the rest of the process.
  • Save your work often, because “due to system security controls you have 30 minutes to save each section, or you will be automatically logged off the system and your changes will not be saved.”
  • If you have technical difficulties while completing the application, you can contact the HRSA Customer Care Center from 5:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Pacific Time at 1-800-221-9393.