Suspended payments will count toward Public Service Loan Forgiveness(PSLF) if you meet all other loan forgiveness requirements. These requirements include: (1) having direct loans, (2) being on a qualifying repayment plan prior to the event, and (3) continuing to work for an eligible employer.
If you are interested or think you may qualify, you can find out more details about the requirements of the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program here. In brief, PSLF provides forgiveness after 120 qualifying payments (often 10 years), so receiving credit for these paused months while making $0 payments can be a substantial benefit.
This also applies to other types of loan forgiveness.
If you are currently in an income-driven repayment (IDR) plan the suspended payments will still qualify for IDR forgiveness. For example, under the PAYE plan, borrowers receive forgiveness after the 20 year repayment period.
For Teacher Loan Forgiveness (TLF), the government will “waive the requirements that years of teaching service shall be consecutive” if: (1) your teaching service has been interrupted due to COVID-19 and (2) if you continue teaching after the COVID-19 emergency ends. (CARES Act, §3519) This means that you will still be eligible for teacher loan forgiveness if you must stop teaching due to COVID-19, so long as you resume once the crisis ends.
Find the official Department of Education guidance regarding all coronavirus relief efforts here. https://studentaid.gov/announcements-events/coronavirus