11 Nov A Quick Guide to Life Insurance for Disabled Veterans
Life insurance can never be overstated in terms of its importance. It remains essential for active military personnel and veterans who face a higher risk than the average civilian. Members of the armed forces and veterans need life and disability insurance to ensure that their families will be cared for after they are gone.
In contrast, military life insurance is different from your ordinary life insurance policy, and disabled Veterans’ life insurance can be even more challenging to find. A few life insurance companies specialize in providing life insurance for disabled veterans. Even the best companies cannot offer the full range of support needed under this type of coverage.
What Is Service-Disabled Veterans Life Insurance (S-DVI)?
A Service-Disabled Veterans Insurance (S-DVI) policy is a life insurance policy available to Veterans to whom the Department of Veterans Affairs has assigned service-connected disability ratings. Basic S-DVI insurance will insure eligible Veterans for up to $10,000 in coverage under the program, commonly referred to as “RH insurance”
If a veteran is disabled and has S-DVI coverage to the basic level, they are eligible for a premium waiver. Veterans who receive a waiver under the Supplemental S-DVI Program may qualify for additional coverage of up to $30,000 if the waiver is granted.
S-DVI Life Insurance Benefits
Service-connected disability insurance (S-DVI) offers a large number of benefits to veterans with service-connected disabilities. Following is a list of some of them:
- S-DVI offers low-cost life insurance coverage to veterans with service-related disabilities.
- Veterans with total disability are eligible for free coverage and have the option to buy additional insurance.
- Total disabled veterans can get waivers of the monthly premium. The waiver allows for an additional $30,000 policy for those who are eligible.
- S-DVI products include term insurance as well as permanent plans.
- A policy may have a maximum face value of ten thousand dollars.
How to Know if You’re Eligible for S-DVI
To be eligible for S-DVI Life Insurance, you must meet the following requirements:
- Your active duty service ended other than dishonorably
- A service-connected disability has been rated for you (even if it is only 0%).
- Applicants must apply within 2 years from the date the VA grants them service-connected disability (the VA grant of a higher disability percentage does not count).
- In general, you are healthy except for any conditions related to your military service.
Other Than Honorable Discharge
The term OTH discharge, or other than honorable discharge, falls under undesirable discharges. Veterans with this character or service are referred to as having “bad papers.” However, these individuals may still be eligible for certain VA benefits. In other words, administrative discharges are not decided by a court-martial but by an administrative process.
Including Discharge for Bad Conduct or Dishonorable Discharge, Are You Eligible?
Discharge for Bad Conduct
Discharge for lousy conduct is a punitive discharge, so in these situations, discipline is typically involved. The member may be barred from reenlisting after receiving this type of discharge. They may also spend time in a military prison. A special court-martial determines these service characteristics.
Discharged With Dishonor
Discharge may be under dishonorable conditions for members of the military who commit severe crimes while serving. A court-martial determines release under these conditions. Veterans with dishonorable discharges are not eligible for VA benefits.
If the discharge review board does not modify your character of service, the determination remains on your military record. As a result of this board, service characters can be modified, corrected, or changed only if not imposed by a court-martial.
Does S-DVI Cover Spouses or Family Members?
No, the Service-Disabled Veterans Insurance (S-DVI) is only available to veterans who have been declared disabled by the Department of Veterans Affairs due to a service-connected disability. This policy covers neither spouses nor family members.
What Is Supplemental S-DVI Coverage?
Veterans who meet the basic requirements for Service-Disabled Veterans Insurance (S-DVI) and are disabled can have their premiums waived. There is the possibility of applying for an additional allowance of up to $30,000. If a waiver is granted, totally disabled veterans may apply for supplementary S-DVI coverage of up to $30,000. There is no way, however, to waive the premiums for Supplemental S-DVI coverage.
Who is eligible for the S-DVI supplemental program?
To be eligible, you must be an S-DVI policyholder who meets the following requirements:
- S-DVI policy premiums can be waived if you are disabled; AND
- Under 65 years of age.
- Upon receiving approval of the waiver, the S-DVI policy must be implemented within one year.
What Is Gratuitous S-DVI?
The Gratuitous Service-Disabled Veterans Insurance (ARH) is a program designed to provide posthumous life insurance coverage for certain Veterans who have been permanently and disabled. The Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA) administers the Gratuitous Service-Disabled Veterans Insurance (ARH).
Requirements of the S-DVI Program:
To qualify for the generous VA Service-Disabled Veterans Insurance program, Veterans need to meet the following guidelines:
- You must meet the basic requirements to be eligible for S-DVI;
- Not applied for Service-Disabled Veteran’s Insurance owing to continued mental incompetence;
- Has died before a guardian has been appointed or within two years of being appointed
A Veteran must apply to Veterans Affairs (VA) for gratuitous S-DVI (ARH) within two years of their death. VA would accept an application within one year after a person becomes competent again if they did not file their claim in time due to mental or legal incapacity.
How Much Does S-DVI Cost?
A lower face value makes S-DVI more affordable. Most experts recommend having enough life insurance to cover your financial obligations and debts, generally 10 to 15 times your income. However, older veterans and retirees likely don’t need as much life insurance as they once did.
You can view the VA’s most recent guide on premium rates for S-DVI. There are several plans to choose from. Your rates will vary depending on how much life insurance you choose, your age, and your chosen method. As an example, the cost of providing $10,000 of coverage to a 51-year-old veteran would be $25.70 per month.
Can You Get a Waiver, so You Don’t Have to Pay Premiums?
VA will waive premiums for eligible members under 65 years of age who have been disabled for at least six months due to a service-related condition. The cost of premiums for an S-DVI policy will increase if you are no longer disabled.
Get the Coverage You Need for Your Family
For disabled veterans, the VA offers nine different life insurance options, but veterans with less severe disabilities may get competitive life insurance coverage through a traditional insurer. S-DVI offers base coverage up to $10,000, with the option to purchase additional coverage up to $30,000.
If you decide to enroll in life insurance through the VA after comparing rates, you may do so by mail, phone, or visit the VA website.