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What's available for VA life insurance

VA's life insurance program received a strong customer satisfaction score of 81 on a scale of 100 from the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI), an independent survey that scores customer satisfaction for more than 300 private companies and federal and local government agencies.

"VA is proud of the excellent service provided by its dedicated Insurance Program employees and the recent ACSI results they achieved," said Secretary of Veterans Affairs Robert A. McDonald.

As part of its mission to serve service members, veterans and their families, VA's life insurance program provides individuals with the peace of mind that comes with knowing their family's financial security is protected, given the extraordinary risks involved in military service. VA provides more than $1.3 trillion in coverage and insured 6.4 million service members, veterans and their families in fiscal year 2015. The following life insurance policies are available to veterans through the Veterans Administration who can meet the appropriate criteria. The criteria for ach can be found at www.benefits.va.gov/insurance:

• SGLI: Servicemembers' Group Life Insurance provides coverage up to $400,000 for service members. Coverage ends 120 days after discharge, but can be extended for up to two years if the member is totally disabled.

• SGLI-DE: If you are totally disabled at the time of separation (unable to work), you can apply for the SGLI Disability Extension, which provides free coverage for up to two years from the date of separation. While you do not need to apply for SGLI coverage, an extension of SGLI due to total disability is not automatic. You must apply to the Office of Servicemembers' Group Life Insurance (OSGLI) for the extension. At the end of the extension period, you automatically become eligible for VGLI, subject to premium payments.

• TSGLI: Servicemembers' Group Life Insurance Traumatic Injury Protection (TSGLI) provides automatic traumatic injury coverage to all service members covered under the SGLI program. It provides short-term financial assistance to severely injured service members and veterans to assist them in their recovery from traumatic injuries. TSGLI is not only for combat injuries, but provides insurance coverage for injuries incurred on or off duty.

• FSGLI is a program that provides term life insurance coverage to the spouses and dependent children of service members insured under SGLI. The service member pays the premium for spousal coverage. Dependent children are insured at no cost.

• VGLI: Veterans Group Life Insurance allows service members to convert their SGLI to lifetime renewable term coverage. VGLI must be applied for within one year and 120 days of discharge. If applied for within 120 days of discharge, there are no good health requirements.

• S-DVI: Service-Disabled Veterans Insurance provides up to $10,000 of coverage for service connected veterans. If totally disabled, they are eligible for an additional $20, 000. Veterans must apply within two years of being rated service connected for a new condition.

• VMLI: Veterans' Mortgage Life Insurance (VMLI) is mortgage protection insurance that can help families of severely disabled service members or veterans pay off the home mortgage in the event of their death.

• NSLI: National Service Life Insurance policy were available from 1940 to 1951 only. Premiums of this policy are capped at the age-70 rates. Once you turned 70, your premiums never increased. Since September 2000, a capped NSLI term policy will receive a termination dividend if the policy lapses, or if the policyholder voluntarily cancels their policy. [Veteran News — Donnie LaCuran — April 29, 2016]

As always please see your local County Veterans Service Officer if you have any questions. You can contact your local VSO at (218) 631-7617 or by email at david.anderson@co.wadena.mn.us and as always have a great week.