By Debbie Gregory.
Those who served in the U.S. military are eligible for a multitude of benefits, services and resources through the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). Included in these provisions are a variety of life insurance programs that are designed specifically for Veterans.
The VA offers seven main Veteran life insurance programs. Knowing which programs you qualify for and which program will provide the most benefit to you and your family is very important. Here is a general breakdown of the VA life insurance programs:
- Servicemembers’ Group Life Insurance (SGLI) – A low-cost term life insurance with coverage up to $400,000. Coverage is automatic for nearly all active-duty personnel. It is also automatic for members of the National Guard and Individual Ready Reserve scheduled to perform at least 12 periods of inactive duty training per year, cadets and midshipmen of the U.S. military academies, and Reserve Officers’ Training Corps members, as well as many others.
- Servicemembers’ Group Life Insurance Disability Extension (SGLI-DE) – Active personnel deemed totally disabled at time of their separation from active-duty have the option extend their SGLI coverage for up to two years at no cost.
- Veterans’ Group Life Insurance (VGLI) – A program that offers lifetime renewable group term insurance for Veterans. Veterans who had full-time SGLI coverage are eligible to convert SGLI to VGLI within one year and 120 days after separation.
- Family Servicemembers’ Group Life Insurance (FSGLI) – This option insures spouses and dependent children of active-duty personnel with SGLI coverage up to $100,000. Dependent children are automatically covered under FSGLI at no charge. The monthly rates for insuring spouses range between $0.50 and $50.
- Servicemembers’ Group Life Insurance Traumatic Injury Protection (TSGLI) – In the event that a service member suffers a traumatic injury, including amputations, blindness, or paraplegia as the result of traumatic injuries, TSGLI provides automatic SGLI coverage. TSGLI is not only for combat injuries, but provides insurance coverage for injuries incurred both on and off duty.
- Service-Disabled Veterans Insurance (S-DVI) – Totally disabled Veterans may be eligible for free coverage and may have the opportunity to purchase additional insurance. S-DVI life insurance coverage is for Veterans who received a service connected disability rating from the VA within the last two years; the rating must be for a new disability.
- Veterans Mortgage Life Insurance (VMLI) – This option is a mortgage life insurance protection provided for severely disabled Veterans after the VA has approved a Specially Adapted Housing (SAH) Grant.
The VA provides an extremely useful Interactive Overview of the different VA Insurance benefits at http://www.benefits.va.gov/insurance/overviewInsurance.html
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Military Connection: Breakdown of VA Life Insurance Programs: By Debbie Gregory