More veterans are now eligible for benefits under the Traumatic Servicemembers’ Group Life Insurance (TSGLI) after the Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) announced improvements to policy December 8.
Designed to benefit severely injured military personnel and veterans, the congressionally mandated program has expanded qualifying categories and increased the number of injuries covered.
“TSGLI was created to relieve some of the financial burdens on injured military personnel and their families,” said Secretary of Veterans Affairs Dr. James B. Peake. “We believe these enhancements to the TSGLI program have made a good program even better.”
The announcement came in response to a comprehensive review conducted by the VA on the insurance policy. The purpose of the review was to determine whether the program was operating effectively or if improvements were needed.
As a result of the review, service member eligibility was simplified, allowing for easier interpretation by the general public, according to officials at the Army’s Human Resources Command.
Another important policy improvement includes the $25,000 to $100,000 tax-free payments to service members for each traumatic physical injury experienced.
More than $309 million in TSGLI benefits have been paid to injured military personnel and their families since the policy’s creation in 2005.
The financial support is designed to offset expenses a service member’s parents or spouse accumulates moving to be with their loved one during the difficult treatment and rehabilitation periods.
“The TSGLI benefit expansion helps us further the mission and spirit of the program: helping traumatically injured service members at their greatest time of need,” said Col. John F. Sackett, chief of the Army’s TSGLI Branch, Human Resource Command. “With these changes we can offer assistance to more men and women who have so bravely served our country.”
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.
Information regarding entitled benefits and veteran support can be found at the Southwest Veteran Business Resource Center located at 145 East Fig Street or by calling (760) 728-3200.
Veterans can also contact the VA at (800) 827-1000 or by logging onto the VA’s Web site at http://www.va.gov/opa.