Social Security Survivors’ Benefits
Purpose: “To require employees and employersâin the present case, members of the uniform services and the Federal Government, respectivelyâto jointly finance a Federal Old-Age, Survivors, Disability, and Health Insurance program in order to provide pre- and post-retirement income and security to covered employees and their families.”13
Active duty military personnel have been fully covered by Social Security and have paid Social Security taxes since January 1, 1957. In addition to providing monthly benefits to civilian retirees and retired military personnel, the social security program provides benefits to the widows and widowers of deceased military and civilian retirees. Social Security survivor benefits are based on a spouse’s employment, including military service, and are first payable at age 60 at age 50, if the surviving spouse is totally disabled or, at any age if and as long as there are children under the age of 16.
Am I Eligible For Service
You may be eligible for S-DVI if you meet all of these requirements.
All of these must be true:
- You were released from active duty on or after April 25, 1951, and didnt receive a dishonorable discharge, and
- You were rated for a service-connected disability , and
- Youre in good health except for any service-connected conditions, and
- You apply by December 31, 2022, or within 2 years of receiving your disability rating
Note: An increase of a rating you had beforeor a rating of Individual Unemployability, meaning you cant workdoesnt qualify you for S-DVI.Play our video about the benefits of S-DVI
The Affordable Connectivity Program
A surviving spouse or child entitled to the Death Pension is also eligible for the ACP.
This program will offer up to $30 every month to the Internet provider so that you have a discounted Internet subscription.
In addition, you will get a one-time discount of up to $100 for the expenses of a device that accesses the Internet. The device can be a laptop, desktop computer, or tablet. But it cannot be a mobile phone, large phone, or phablet that enables mobile calls. Plus, its cost cannot exceed $150. A household can only have one device.
- Note: You need to show eligibility via a letter from the Department of Veterans Affairs or copies of ID docs.
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What Valife Benefits Will Offer
VALife is bringing benefits that can reach up to $40,000, with smaller payouts available to beneficiaries in $10,000 increments. The rates are subject to change and will depend on a variety of personal factors. With that being said, plans start as low as $11 per month.
VALife is providing whole life guaranteed acceptance coverage. In this type of coverage, the face amount of coverage takes effect two years after enrollment, as long as the premiums are paid during that time. Underwriting is not necessary during this time due to the two-year waiting period. Beneficiaries will receive all premiums paid and interest if the insured Veteran passes away within these two years.
When To Choose Vgli Over Private Life Insurance For Veterans
There are certain instances when it makes sense to get VGLI instead of private coverage. The biggest reason why someone might choose VGLI is if you have medical conditions that make it hard to qualify for traditional life insurance. This isnt just limited to PTSD, but other disabilities and medical conditions as well, including those you might have gotten from combat. Mental health conditions, neurological conditions, and heart conditions can all affect your ability to get insured.
If you are 60 years or older and applying for life insurance, youll find that a private life policy is very expensive. Even VGLI premiums can get very costly the older you are. But, if you are an older individual looking for lower coverage amounts to cover final expenses, VGLI rates might be more affordable.
Every veteran has a unique health history and life insurance needs, and the best provider for one person may not be the best for another. Others may be better off staying on a VGLI policy. You can find the right life insurance policy by working with an independent broker like Policygenius.
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How To Use Life Insurance Plans For The Unknown And The Unexpected
Money is important. Money is essential. But in this post, I am not going to talk about money as money, Im going to talk about money through the lens of something more important than money: taking care of yourself and your loved ones.
Losing the family breadwinner can quickly eat through a familys savings and destroy the possibility of being able to stop working in your sixties or seventies if you arent prepared to deal with these challenges.
It can also destroy the possibility of being able to leave a legacy.
Essentially, were talking here about dealing with the unknown and the unexpected, and when it comes to dealing with the unknown and the unexpected, were talking about insurance.
In the event of an insured person’s unexpected, untimely death, long-term care insurance, and life insurance benefits are meant to assist loved ones financially. Long-term care insurance is intended to cover the cost of caring for yourself or a loved one who can no longer take care of themselves.
Military Death Benefits: Status And Proposals
Department of Defense benefits for survivors of deceased members of the armed forces vary significantly in purpose and structure. Benefits such as the death gratuity provide immediate cash payments to assist these survivors in meeting their financial needs during the period immediately following a memberâs death. Similarly, the Servicemembersâ Group Life Insurance provides the life insurance policy value in a lump sum payment following the servicememberâs death. Other benefits such as the Veterans Affairs Dependency and Indemnity Compensation and the Survivor Benefit Plan , are designed to provide long-term monthly income. Additional death benefits provided by the DOD for survivors and dependents include housing assistance, health care, commissary and exchange benefits, educational assistance, and burial, funeral, and related benefits. Survivors may also receive death benefits from Social Security.
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Veterans Burial Benefits And Death Benefits At Private Cemeteries
Family members of some vets buried in private cemeteries may be able to get a veterans death benefit, or burial allowance. Eligible vets include those who received a VA pension or disability compensation when they were alive. The burial allowance can help pay for burial, funeral, and transportation costs.
Burial Benefits Death Benefits And Memorial Items For Veterans
If youre a veteran and your discharge was not dishonorable, you are probably eligible for burial in a national veterans cemetery.
If youre buried in a private cemetery, your family may be entitled to a veterans burial allowance.
You can receive military funeral honors and memorial items whether youre interred in a veterans cemetery or a private one.
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How Life Insurance For Veterans Works
Life insurance for veterans provides coverage designed to help meet veterans needs. Its important to note that there is a list of requirements needed to ensure that you are eligible to receive full-time SGLI coverage.3 You can also explore other options instead of only sticking with the servicemembers group life insurance offered to veterans.
There may be certain benefits in a separate life insurance plan that you prefer. For example, the maximum amount of SGLI coverage one can receive is $400,000.4 Life insurance from another carrier may offer higher coverage amounts that could better suit your needs.
Life insurance for military veterans doesnt have to be one-size-fits-all. If youre looking for a veterans life insurance plan with greater flexibility around benefits, you may find the best fit for you through a different private life insurance carrier.
How To File A Life Insurance Claim For Servicemembers Group Life Insurance
Servicemembers Group Life Insurance offers low-cost term life insurance to military members.
Claim death benefits by completing and submitting SGLV 8283 and Claim for Death Benefits.
When the deceased was a reserve officer or was discharged from active duty before death, the following services can be sent along with the claim:
- The death certificate should be provided.
- Form NGB-22, Report of Separation and Military Service.
- Documents related to separation.
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Service Members’ Group Life Insurance
SGLI is for active duty service members and for amounts up to $250,000. A rider policy called the Family Service members’ Group Life Insurance . Under FSGLI, dependent children are automatically covered for $10,000, with not premium. Spouses may be covered for up to $100,000, but not to exceed the amount of coverage selected by the veteran in his/her SGLI. FSGLI for spouses are charged a premium.
Contact The Insurance Agent Or Company
One can contact the following people:
- SGLI automatically covers service members. The SGLI Online Enrollment System allows servicemembers with full-time SGLI coverage to designate beneficiaries, reduce, decline, or restore their coverage.
- To apply for Veterans Group Life Insurance , fill out the SGLV 8714 form.
- Family Servicemembers Group Life Insurance coverage can be declined, reduced, or restored through SOES.
- As part of SGLI, all service members are automatically covered for Traumatic Injury Protection . The SGLV 8600 form must be completed and submitted.
- The VA 29-4364 form can apply for S-DVI online or by mail.
- The Veterans Mortgage Life Insurance application form 29-8636 must be completed and submitted.
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Life Insurance Options For Veterans
Veterans have four main life insurance options after leaving active duty.
Let SGLI expire and buy private life insurance If you want to purchase a policy from a private insurer, start the application process early. This option is best for veterans without severe health conditions who will qualify for a cheaper civilian policy.
Convert SGLI to VGLI If you want to keep your military-provided life insurance benefits, youll need to convert to VGLI within 485 days of leaving active duty. Compare your premium with quotes for private life insurance to ensure youre getting the best rates.
Convert SGLI to private life insurance With specific providers, you can convert your SGLI into a civilian policy within 120 days of leaving active duty without taking a medical exam. This is worth considering for veterans with health concerns who know they want private insurance.
Convert SGLI to VGLI, then convert VGLI into private coverage Specific providers allow you to convert VGLI into a civilian policy at any time without a health screening. This gives you more time to compare quotes for private insurance to ensure youre getting the best rates.
The best option for you depends on your specific health history and financial needs. Veterans with complex medical conditions who need a small amount of coverage may benefit from staying on VGLI. Others may find a civilian policy better fits their needs and budget.
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How Are Life Insurance Claims Paid
A life insurance provider pays benefits upon the death of an insured party. To make a life insurance claim, the beneficiary must submit a death certificate to the insurer. The insurance companyreviews a claim for 30 days before it decides whether to pay it, deny it, or ask for more information.
One can also choose how to distribute the death benefit. One can choose from the following payout options.Related Article: Life Insurance Calculator for Veterans
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What To Do If Your Life Insurance Claim Is Denied
You will also be notified in writing if your claim is denied. A claim that has been unfairly rejected should be contacted by the insurance company.
Insurers can answer disputes and questions, and the appeals process is explained. Insurers may need the following evidence to support their appeal:
- The autopsy report
- Verification of premium payments
Qualify To Protect Your Family Members
When the topic of life insurance comes up during active duty service, it is usually about the SGLI, and the response is typically, Im good for insurance. I dont have a family yet, and SGLI will take care of it for me when I do. This creates a tremendous risk of never being able to qualify for a privatized option in the future, should some medical issue come up during service.
It is in everyones financial best interest to qualify for private insurance when they are young and healthy and not wait until they are in their thirties and forties and leaving service with a number of medical issues.
SGLI ends with active duty, so using it as a safety blanket backfires time and again when transitioning service members are not able to qualify for any other life insurance options and have no choice but to take VGLI.
This is a shocking oversight with a costly outcome.
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Va Life Insurance Benefits And Other Services For Survivors And Dependents
Retirees/veterans have a range of insurance programs they may have partiticipated in through the VA. Subsequently, when the veteran/retiree dies, survivors should call the appropriate VA Insurance Center number to see if the veteran/retiree participated in any of those insurance programs. Here are a few listed below:
Servicemembers’ Group Life Insurance
Retirees are covered for 120 days following retirement with no additional premium during the 120-day period. Retirees rated totally disabled on the date of retirement retain SGLI coverage up to one year or until the disability ceased to be total in degree, but not for more than one year. Determination and payment of proceeds are made by the Office of Servicemembers’ Group Life Insurance under the jurisdiction of the Department of VA. Payment of proceeds to a beneficiary are exempt from taxation. The claim form required to apply for this benefit is VA Form SGLV 8283, Claim for Death Benefits, which can be obtained off the Internet using Google. Call the VA Insurance Center at 800-419-1473 for assistance with the form or for any other information.
Veterans’ Group Life Insurance
National Service Life Insurance
Service-Disabled Veterans Insurance or
Family Servicemembers Group Life Insurance
Under the SGLI program , spouses and dependent children of insured service members are eligible for the Family Servicemembers Group Life Insurance program. The FSGLI allocates a maximum of $100,000 of insurance coverage for spouses, not to surpass the amount of SGLI the insured member has, and $10,000 for dependent children.
FSGLI is applicable for family members of individuals currently in the military. Service members can contact their unit or base personnel office to enroll family members in the FSGLI.
Beneficiaries of the FSGLI pay a premium for the benefit. Monthly rates are contingent on the amount of coverage selected and the age of the spouse.
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Veterans Affairs Life Insurance Is Coming In 2023
Do Veterans have life insurance? Thanks to the Johnny Isakson and David P. Roe, M.D., Veterans Health Care and Benefits Improvement Act, they will! Known as Veterans Affairs Life Insurance, or VALife, the program aims at making life insurance accessible to more Veterans who need it.
For years, only specific qualifying Veterans could receive life insurance through private life insurance companies or VA life insurance. Both Veterans Group Life Insurance and Service-Disabled Veterans Life Insurance programs offered life insurance through the VA but were more restrictive for applicants. Now, the VA will be providing a new VA benefit selling guaranteed life insurance to most Veterans, and it will go into effect on January 1, 2023.
The new program meets the needs of service-connected veterans who may not have previously qualified for life insurance with VA, said the VA via a blog post.
Veterans will have more options than ever to help prepare their families in the event of their passing through guaranteed life insurance benefits that can help pay for funeral costs, medical costs, and any other expenses that may occur surrounding the time of their death. The Service-Disabled Veterans Life Insurance program will continue for those who already have a plan, but it will stop taking new applications on December 31, 2022.
Dependency And Indemnity Compensation
This is a monthly payment to eligible survivors of a military member. The member must have :
- died on active duty
- died from a service-connected injury or disease
- died from a non-service-connected injury or disease, and was obtaining, or entitled to obtain VA Repayment for a totally-disabling disability for
- a minimum of 10 years before death, or
- since release from active duty for a minimum of five years preceding death, or
- for a minimum of one year before death as a former POW whose death was after Sep. 30, 1999.
The starting DIC amount for 2022 is $1,437.65. Depending on certain circumstances, there may be more pay added to the $1,437.65. For example, if the deceased military member has a child at school age, there is an extra $301.74, totaling $1,739.39.
Another example is if the surviving spouse is entitled to A& A, add $356.16. And add $166.85 if he or she is entitled to Housebound pay.
If the deceased military member did not have an eligible spouse but did have an eligible child, the rate per month would be $607.01. If he or she did have two eligible children, the rate would be $1,137.36.
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Options For Private Veterans Private Life Insurance
Private insurance companies offer coverage for veterans who may not qualify for the life insurance options through the Department of Veterans Affairs, or who want to explore other life insurance alternatives. The types of life insurance available include term life insurance, whole life insurance and universal life insurance.
For example, the American Armed Forces Mutual Aid Association offers veterans term life policies up to $800,000 and whole life policies up to $1 million for veterans who qualify.
The monthly rates for VGLI are extremely low compared to private options. But its $400,000 coverage cap may not be enough for many veterans. If you need life insurance to supplement a VGLI policy, there are many private life insurance options.