Service-Disabled Veterans Insurance (S-DVI) provides Veterans’ up to $10,000 in life insurance coverage at standard rates if they have been granted a service-connected disability but are generally in good health. S-DVI was established in 1951 and this is one reason the total payable amount is low by today’s standards. SDVI is available as a term or permanent life insurance product.
Veterans must apply for S-DVI within two years of having the disability rated as being service-connected. To be eligible for S-DVI the Veteran had to leave service after April 24, 1954.
Veterans who are totally and permanently disabled due to a service-related injury are also eligible for S-DVI. It is possible for Veterans in these circumstances to have the premiums waived and they may be eligible to receive Supplemental S-DVI of an additional $20,000 in coverage. To be eligible for this supplemental amount they must pay the premiums on this supplemental insurance, be under the age of 65, be eligible for the S-DVI waiver and apply for supplemental coverage within one year of receiving their S-DVI waiver.
Veterans who are unable to apply for S-DVI due to a service related disability and then die before the application can be filed due to their disability or complications related to their disability can also be covered under Gratuitous S-DVI (“ARH”). In these cases the policy is posthumously issued and the veteran’s relatives are paid a lump sum.
Since 2005 military members eligible for Servicemembers’ Group Life Insurance are automatically enrolled in the Servicemembers’ Group Life Insurance Traumatic Injury Protection Program (TSGLI). TSGLI became effective December 1, 2005 and is also available retroactively to any military member who suffered traumatic injury between October 7, 2001 and December 1, 2005 as a direct result of service related to Operations Enduring Freedom or Iraqi Freedom. This coverage provides a one-time payment between $25,000 and $100,000 depending on the injury to help the family of the service member while he or she is recuperating from a traumatic injury.
SGLI has a two-year Total Disability Extension that will allow the veteran to extend his/her SGLI benefits for free for two years after separation. At the end of this period the veteran will automatically be enrolled in VGLI and be billed for VGLI premiums.
Both S-DVI and TSGLI and SGLI can dramatically help a family cope if they have a disabled loved one. In many cases a disability doesn’t permanently impair a veteran or his abilities to earn a living but often his service-connected disability will make it impossible for the veteran to obtain life insurance at reasonable rates. S-DVI can help provide piece of mind in such cases.