First, to apply you still need to have made the 120 qualifying and on-time payments under the program and have already been rejected for public service loan forgiveness.
But not all those rejected can apply — only those borrowers who were initially denied because of their repayment plan. Specifically, if you were deemed ineligible because you were enrolled in a graduated or extended loan repayment program instead of an income-driven one, you should reapply.
One important note: Your most recent payment on whatever plan you were in, as well as your payment made 12 months ago, must be as much as you would have paid on the income-driven repayment plan.
If you learn your payments were too low, you might consider switching into an income-driven repayment plan and reapplying for the fix-it fund in a year. The Department of Education warns, however, "This opportunity is temporary, has limited funding, and must be provided on a first come, first served basis."
Other technical reasons that commonly lead to disqualification remain.
You still need to have a loan from the federal direct program — not a Federal Family Education Loan, Perkins loan or any kind of private loan.
The program also has a narrow definition of a public service worker: generally someone employed by the government or a 501(c)(3) organization.
If you're unsure whether your employer qualifies, you can fill out the Department of Education's employer certification form to find out.