Essential Programs For Veteran Families
What You Need to Know About VA Life Insurance
Soldiers in any branch of the armed services have the option to obtain life insurance. Active duty at some point turns into Veteran status, but you have the option to roll that coverage over to a different but same policy for your after service years. The following is excerpt from the Department of Defense’s Wounded, III,and/or Injured Compensation and Benefits Handbook.
VA LIFE INSURANCE PROGRAMS
Servicemembers’ Group Life Insurance (SGLI) Total Disability Extension
If you are released from active duty, the Reserves, or the Guard; were covered by full time SGLI; and have a disability that prevents you from being gainfully employed, you may continue your SGLI coverage at no cost for up to two years from your date of separation. The amount of coverage cannot exceed the amount that you had while in service. To apply, contact the Office of Servicemembers’ Group Life Insurance (OSGLI) at: 1-800-419-1473, or visit the VA website at: http://www.benefits.va.gov/insurance/sglidisabled.asp.
Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) BenefitsTraumatic Servicemembers’ Group Life Insurance (TSGLI)
If you have SGLI coverage, then you are automatically covered by TSGLI. The TSGLI program provides short-term monetary assistance to you if you are severely injured and suffer a physical loss as a direct result of a traumatic event. Payments range from $25,000 to a maximum of $100,000. If you are covered by SGLI and suffer a qualifying loss, even if that loss did not occur in the line of duty or in a combat situation, you may be eligible for a TSGLI payment. TSGLI applies to the total force of Active Duty, National Guard, and Reserves.
The TSGLI program became effective on December 1, 2005, but benefits are also payable to you if you had a qualifying loss due to a traumatic injury between October 7, 2001, and November 30, 2005, in Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) or Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF). Additionally, beginning October 1, 2011, a TSGLI benefit can be paid if you were injured and suffered a qualifying loss, even if it was not incurred in OEF or OIF.Veterans’ Group Life Insurance (VGLI)You may convert your SGLI coverage to VGLI within 240 days of leaving active duty regardless of your health or if you are unable to be gainfully employed due to a disability after the two-year SGLI Disability Extension period expires. Veterans released from service after October 31, 2012, have 240 days to convert their SGLI to VGLI without evidence of good health. After the 240 day period, you have an additional year to convert to VGLI, but you must meet good health requirements.
If you are eligible for the SGLI Disability Extension, you are automatically converted to VGLI after the two-year extension period, unless you decline or fail to pay premiums.• Increasing VGLI Coverage: Current VGLI mem-bers who are under the age of 60 and not insured for the maximum amount of VGLI prescribed by law can increase their VGLI coverage by $25,000, once every five years.• Converting VGLI to Permanent Insurance: You can convert your VGLI to a permanent plan of insurance (e.g., whole life) at any time with any of the participating commercial insurance companies. For more information, contact OSGLI at 1-800-419-1473, or visit the VA Insurance website at: www.benefits.va.gov/insurance.
• Service-Disabled Veterans Insurance (S-DVI): The S-DVI program is a life insurance program for Veterans with service-connected disabilities. S-DVI is available in a variety of permanent plans as well as term insurance. Policies are issued for a maximum face amount of $10,000. In order to be eligible for S-DVI, you must have been released from active duty with other than a dishonorable discharge, received a rating for a new service-connected disability, and applied within the last two years of the rating (even a rating of 0%). An increase for a previously rated condition does not provide a new eligibility period for S-DVI. Contact the VA Insurance Service toll-free at 1-800-669-8477, or online at http://www.benefits.va.gov/insurance/s-dvi.aspfor more information.
• Waiver of S-DVI Premiums: S-DVI policyholders who have a totally disabling mental or physical disability may be eligible to have their premiums waived. The policyholder’s disability must have begun before his or her 65th birthday and must continue for at least six consecutive months.• Supplemental S-DVI: Supplemental S-DVI currently provides up to $30,000 of supplemental life insurance to S-DVI policyholders who are approved for waiver of premiums. Application must be made prior to age 65 and within one year of the date the waiver of premiums for S-DVI is granted. Premiums may not be waived on this supplemental coverage.
• Veterans’ Mortgage Life Insurance (VMLI): The VMLI program provides mortgage life insurance to severely disabled Veterans and Service members on active duty, ages 69 or younger. Only Veterans and Service members who have received a Specially Adapted Housing Grant from VA are eligible. VMLI provides up to $200,000 of mortgage life insurance payable to the mortgage holder (i.e. a bank or mortgage lender) in the event of your death. This coverage reduces as the amount of your mortgage is reduced. Additional information can be found here: http://www.benefits.va.gov/INSURANCE/vmli.asp
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