02 Dec Am I Eligible for VA Life Insurance?
The US Department of Veterans Affairs offers VA life insurance options under several programs to provide financial security to service members, Veterans, and family members. Veterans’ Group Life Insurance (VGLI) covers Veterans, Servicemembers’ Group Life Insurance (SGLI) offers financial security to service members, Family Servicemembers’ Group Life Insurance (FSGLI) protects the benefits of family members of Veterans and service members.
You can also opt for short-term protection to recover from traumatic injuries through TSGLI. Also, if you suffer from a service-connected disability/condition, you can also opt for S-DVI. The SGLI covers most service members automatically. Post-retirement, you are required to enroll under VGLI within one year and 210 days of leaving the military, so the coverage offered is continuous.
In this article, we’ll break down VA life insurance eligibility so you know exactly where you stand.
What Is VA Life Insurance (VGLI)?
Specially designed for former armed forces members, VGLI or Veterans’ Group Life Insurance is a renewable term policy that pays a certain amount to the Veteran’s family upon their death.
This policy can offer up to $400,000 of life insurance benefits to eligible members’ families. Your family will receive an amount based on the premiums you’ve been paying as a Veteran after you retire.
To qualify for this program, you must pass specific eligibility criteria defined by the VA. Also, you must also apply for VGLI within one year and 210 days of retiring from your service to qualify for the no-health checkup clause.
The plan includes several other benefits like low premiums and no requirement for a health examination. Also, traditional life insurance takes note of factors like gender, tobacco use, job and recreational activities. VGLI, on the other hand, only considers your age. This means that you can get higher coverage at little cost. Unlike traditional insurance, this coverage will not end after age 65. It will remain in force as long as you decide to pay the premiums.
VA Life Insurance Eligibility Details
In addition to being a SGLI policyholder, you must pass the following eligibility criteria to qualify for VGLI.
You must be within one year and 210 days of:
- Retiring from active duty, order to duty, or training in 31 days or less.
- Getting separated or released from the National Guard or Ready reserves.
- Being placed on Temporary Disability Retirement List.
- Becoming an inactive national guard or having an assignment of the IRR.
It is also possible to qualify for VGLI even if you had SGLI part-time or were injured during the service, which prevented you from getting a traditional life insurance policy.
Before, Veterans had to apply for VGLI before retirement, preferably within 240 days after quitting, to maintain continuous coverage. You can also reap the benefits of the no-health-checkup clause if you apply within that time.
If you fail to get VGLI within that period, you will be required to prove that you are in good health.
However, according to the recent amendments made by the VA, the standard period of 240 days has been increased to 330. Here are the eligibility periods for enrolling under VGLI.
- You must apply within 330 days of retiring from the service and pay the first month’s premium to quality without any health checkups.
- You must apply within one year and 210 days and pay the first month’s premium if you are submitting proof of good health.
When to Apply for VGLI
As stated above, you can apply for Veterans Group Life Insurance (VGLI) within 330 days of leaving the military. The addition of 90 days was done while keeping the financial problems of Veterans in mind.
After 330 days, you can apply, but you would be required to present proof that you are in good health. It is often advisable to apply before being diagnosed with an illness if you missed the 330-day window.
If you suffer from any of the following conditions, it would be difficult to obtain coverage after 330 days.
- Any autoimmune conditions like chronic fatigue syndrome, sarcoidosis, or lupus
- Blood-related disorders like sickle cell anemia
- Kidney and liver diseases
- Heart conditions
- Mental disorders like PTSD, schizophrenia, depression or bipolar
- Neurological conditions like epilepsy, Parkinson’s, multiple sclerosis or ALS
- Respiratory conditions like asthma
- Others like thyroid or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
The Cost of VGLI
VA life insurance rates depend hugely on your age and the coverage amount you’re choosing. Regardless of your age, you can choose the maximum coverage of up to $400,000, with the minimum coverage being $100,000.
Here’s a presentation of the cost of VGLI.
|Age Group||Coverage||Monthly Premium Rates|
|29 and Below||$400,000||$28|
For age groups above 80, the monthly premium for a $400,000 coverage would be $1,800 and $45 for $10,000 coverage. As a VGLI policyholder, you can also increase your coverage by $25,000 every five years until you reach the age of 60.
How to Enroll in VGLI?
You can apply for the Veteran administration life insurance through either of the following ways:
- You can apply through the Prudential website via OSGLI (Office of Servicemembers’ Group Life Insurance)
- You can apply online through VA’s eBenefits portal
- You can apply by mail and fax by filling out the Application for Veterans’ Group Life Insurance (SGLV 8714) form.
- You can mail your application to the below-stated address or fax it to 800-236-6142.
PO Box 41618
Philadelphia, PA 19176-9913
To file a VGLI claim, fill out the form SGLV 8283 and fax or mail it. You can view your claim status by signing in to apps like ID.me, DS Logon or My HealtheVet.
Best VA Life Insurance Eligibility Alternatives
If VGLI falls short, you can get private life insurance from companies like Navy Federal Credit Union or USAA. If you are looking for no health checkups, Navy Federal is the best choice. If you’re looking for the best prices and most cash value, you’re better off with USAA and MassMutual. You can also go for USBA for group plan options.
Also, you can convert your VA life insurance into a civilian policy if you wish. The process does not require any medical exams.
For this, apply at the local sales office of a new life insurance company. The VA maintains a whole list of companies who work for the department. You can access that list and choose your options. Prior to your policy being converted, you will need to provide the new insurance provider with the VGLI conversion notice from the Veterans Affairs OSGLI office.
Find Out Your VA Life Insurance Eligibility
Veterans who are within 330 days of retiring are eligible to apply for the VGLI even if they have health issues. Applying after the 330 days bracket would require you to get a medical health checkup done to ensure that you’re in good health.