Veterans’ life benefit raised to $400,000
: I understand the Veterans Group Life Insurance coverage has been increased. What is the new amount?
Answer: The president recently signed into law legislation that will allow the maximum coverage for Service Members' Group Life Insurance and Veterans' Group Life Insurance to be increased to $400,000. This action makes permanent the maximum coverage available to service members and veterans. The bill also boosts the incremental increases in both levels of coverage for both these life insurance programs from the current $10,000 to $50,000. The coverage of all policies in force, regardless of coverage amount, would immediately be changed to the maximum $400,000. Policyholders would then have the opportunity to decrease coverage if they choose For more information on SGLI and VGLI, call (800) 827-1000.
Q: If Guard members want to claim VA compensation for injuries received while federally activated, what documents should they expect would show the federal nature of their service?
A: If injured while performing "active service" in the National Guard, and the injury is compensable, a federally activated member will meet VA's definition of a veteran if discharged or released from active service. In submitting a claim, the Guard member should include information that documents the call to active duty, the time actually spent on active duty and release from active duty. This is normally accomplished by submitting all copies of the individual's military orders, a copy of his or her most recent military leave and earning statement and the member's release papers, which also may provide documentation of the federal nature of the call to duty. Also, the Guard member should submit military and civilian medical records relevant to the injury. For more information on benefits available to National Guard members, contact the VA at 433-1000.
If you have questions about your benefits as a veteran, call Fred Ballard at the Veterans Affairs at 433-0049 or visit the VA Web site at www.va.gov/hawaii
or the Star-Bulletin at 529-4747.
Gregg K. Kakesako, who covers military affairs for the Star-Bulletin, can be reached by phone at 294-4075
or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org