The VA has been offering insurance for veterans and service members since the passage of the War Risk Insurance Act in September 1914. The VA insurance programs that were born because of the passage of the Act were developed to provide insurance benefits for veterans and service members who may not be able to get insurance from private companies because of the extra risks involved in military service and/or who have a service connected disability. A few of the more popular programs for veterans are listed below:
A. Service-Disabled Veterans Insurance (S-DVI)
The Service-Disabled Veterans Insurance program was established in 1951 and is still open to new issues. To be eligible for basic S-DVI, a veteran must meet all the following conditions:
Apply for S-DVI Online
You can apply for S-DVI using VA's online application. OSGLI will instantly evaluate your application and let you know if your coverage is approved or if your application needs further review. Go to https://insurance.va.gov/portal/ to register.
Apply for S-DVI by mail
To apply for S-DVI by mail, complete a VA Form 29-4364, Application for Service-Disabled Veterans Life Insurance and submit it along with a copy of your VA rating letter to Department of Veteran Affairs Regional Office and Insurance Center RH, P.O. Box 7208, Philadelphia, PA 19101. Call them at 1-800-669-8477 to get the form mailed to you, if you don't have Internet access and for more information concerning premium rates, etc.
B. Veterans' Mortgage Life Insurance from 1971 to present
The Veterans Mortgage Life Insurance known as VMLI program was begun in 1971 to provide mortgage life insurance to severely disabled veterans. To be eligible, a veteran must have received a Specially Adapted Housing Grant from VA. Go to www.benefits.va.gov/HOMELOANS/adaptedhousing.asp for more information on this grant. The purpose of such grants is to help the veteran build or modify a home to accommodate his or her disabilities. Veterans must apply for VMLI before their 70th birthday. VMLI is payable only to the mortgage holder (i.e., a bank or mortgage lender), not to a beneficiary. Veterans may select their level of coverage up to $200,000 or their current mortgage balance, whichever is less. This is decreasing term insurance which has no loan or cash values and pays no dividends.
How to Apply
Veterans who receive a grant for the purchase of Specially Adapted Housing are advised by Loan Guaranty personnel at their interview of their eligibility for VMLI to cover the unpaid mortgage on their home. The Specially Adapted Housing Agent will help the veteran complete a VA Form 29-8636, Application for Veterans' Mortgage Life Insurance. If a veteran does not apply for VMLI coverage at that time, VA will send a letter informing them that they are eligible for such coverage. In addition to completing a VA Form 29-8636, the veteran must provide information about their current mortgage.
C. Veterans' Group Life Insurance (VGLI)
VGLI is a program of post-separation insurance which allows servicemembers to convert their SGLI coverage to renewable term insurance. Members with full-time SGLI coverage are eligible for VGLI upon release from service. VGLI coverage is issued in multiples of $10,000 up to a maximum of $400,000. However, a servicemember's initial VGLI coverage amount cannot exceed the amount of SGLI they had in force at the time of separation from service. VGLI Premiums are based upon the separating member's age. Go to benefits.va.gov/insurance/vgli_rates_new.asp to get the updated VGLI premium rates. To convert SGLI to VGLI, an eligible member can:
Apply for VGLI Online
To apply for VGLI online, please go to the eBenefits portal at https://www.ebenefits.va.gov/ebenefits-portal/ebenefits.portal. If you already have login credentials, click the Login box, and if you need login credentials, please click the Register box and follow the directions on the screen. If you need any assistance, please call the eBenefits Help Desk at 1-800-983-0937.
Apply for VGLI by mail
To apply for VGLI by mail you can download and complete a SGLV 8714, Application for Veterans' Group Life Insurance form at http://www.benefits.va.gov/INSURANCE/forms/8714.htm and mail it to the Office of Servicemembers' Group Life Insurance, P. O. Box 41618, Philadelphia, PA 19176-9913 with the required premium and a copy of your DD 214 or other equivalent proof of service. You must apply within one year and 120 days from discharge. Call the insurance center at 1-800-419-1473 for more information.
To find out about other VA life insurance programs visit their website at www.benefits.va.gov/insurance or call them at 1-800-669-8477
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