Veteran's life insurance increases coverage, payments


POSTED: Sunday, December 21, 2008

Question: What changes were made to the Servicemembers' Group Life Insurance?

Answer: Some severely injured military personnel and veterans will be eligible for coverage under the Servicemembers' Group Life Insurance Traumatic Injury Protection Program. The VA has increased the number of injuries covered as well as liberalized the criteria of other injuries. New injuries covered include the partial amputation of a hand or foot and the degree of injuries based on severe burns.

Another change is the payment of a $25,000 to service members hospitalized for 15 consecutive days as a result of a traumatic injury. Changes to benefits are retroactive to Oct. 7, 2001.

The TSGLI program is designed to provide severely injured service members and their families with short-term financial assistance. Service members who sustained certain severe injuries are entitled to payments ranging between $25,000 and $100,000.

Veterans whose claims for TSGLI benefits were previously disallowed are being contacted if it appears their loss is now eligible for payment due to these changes. Service members or veterans who sustained severe traumatic injuries are encouraged to check the VA Insurance Web site at for eligibility criteria and contact information.

For additional information about VA benefits, contact VA's toll-free number at (800) 827-1000.

Q: My disabilities are not related to my service. Are there any benefits for which I might qualify?

A: A VA pension is a benefit paid to wartime veterans with limited income and who are permanently and totally disabled or age 65 or older.

You may be eligible if: You were discharged from service under other than dishonorable conditions; you served 90 days or more of active duty with at least one day during a period of war time; your family income is below a yearly limit set by law; and you are permanently and totally disabled or age 65 or older.

Anyone who enlists after Sept. 7, 1980, generally must have served at least 24 months or the full period for which called or ordered to active duty.


If you have questions about your benefits as a veteran, call Fred Ballard at the Department of Veterans Affairs at 433-0049.