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Servicemembers' Group Life Insurance (SGLI) Disability Extension

September 4, 2023

Life in the military is filled with challenges, sacrifices, and moments of unparalleled pride. While the commitment to serve one's country is commendable, it also comes with inherent risks. Recognizing these risks, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) offers the Servicemembers’ Group Life Insurance (SGLI) to provide financial security to service members and their families. This low-cost term coverage is automatically provided to eligible service members, ensuring that their loved ones are protected in the event of unforeseen circumstances.

However, what happens when a service member faces a disability that leads to their discharge? The transition from active service can be daunting, especially when faced with health challenges. To address this, the VA introduced the SGLI Disability Extension, a crucial provision that allows service members who are totally disabled at the time of discharge to retain their SGLI coverage. This extension not only acknowledges the sacrifices made by our brave men and women but also ensures that they and their families continue to have the financial protection they deserve.

In this article, we will delve deeper into the SGLI Disability Extension, its significance, and its implications for service members. Drawing from top resources and official guidelines, we aim to provide a comprehensive understanding of this essential provision, ensuring that our heroes and their families are well-informed and protected.

Program Contact1-800-419-1473
Additional InfoSGLI Online Enrollment System (SOES)
Managing AgencyU.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

Understanding the Servicemembers' Group Life Insurance (SGLI) Disability Extension

The Servicemembers' Group Life Insurance (SGLI) is a program that provides life insurance coverage to eligible service members. This insurance is crucial for many military families, ensuring that they have financial protection in the event of a tragedy. However, what happens when a service member becomes disabled and is discharged from service? This is where the SGLI Disability Extension comes into play.

Servicemembers' Group Life Insurance (SGLI) is a life insurance program specifically designed for eligible members of the U.S. armed forces. It provides financial protection to the families of service members in the event of their death. The program is overseen by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and offers competitive premium rates compared to civilian life insurance programs.

Importance Of Understanding The SGLI Disability Extension

The SGLI Disability Extension is a crucial component of the SGLI program. It ensures that service members who become totally disabled during their service can continue to have life insurance coverage even after they are discharged. Understanding this extension is vital for service members and their families, as it provides continued financial protection during a challenging time.

The Significance For Service Members Who Are Totally Disabled At The Time Of Discharge

The VA's SGLI Disability Extension allows service members who are totally disabled at the time of discharge to retain the Servicemembers' Group Life Insurance (SGLI) coverage they had in service at no cost for up to two years.

To be eligible for the SGLI Disability Extension, a service member must be considered totally disabled at the time of discharge. The criteria for being considered totally disabled include:

  • Permanent loss of use of both hands

  • Permanent loss of use of both feet

  • Permanent loss of use of both eyes

  • Permanent loss of use of one hand and one foot

  • Permanent loss of use of one foot and one eye

  • Permanent loss of use of one hand and one eye

  • Total loss of hearing in both ears

  • Organic loss of speech (This refers to the inability to express oneself, both by voice and whisper, through the normal organs for speech. The ability to speak with an artificial appliance is disregarded in the determination of total disability).

The SGLI Disability Extension is a testament to the commitment of the U.S. government to support its service members, even after their active service has ended. It recognizes the sacrifices made by those who become disabled in the line of duty and ensures that they and their families continue to have the financial protection they deserve.

Key Aspects Of Servicemembers' Group Life Insurance (SGLI)

Coverage for Eligible Service Members: SGLI offers life insurance coverage to eligible members of the U.S. armed forces, including active-duty members of the Army, Navy, Air Force, Space Force, Marines, or Coast Guard. It also covers commissioned members of specific organizations like the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the U.S. Public Health Service (USPHS).

  • Automatic Enrollment: If a service member meets the eligibility criteria, they are automatically enrolled in the SGLI program.

  • Coverage Amount: Service members can get coverage up to a maximum limit of $500,000, with increments available in $50,000.

  • Flexible Coverage Options: Service members have the flexibility to choose their level of coverage or even decline coverage completely. They can also select and change their beneficiaries as needed.

  • Post-Service Coverage: After leaving the military, service members receive 120 days of free SGLI coverage.

  • SGLI Disability Extension: This extension allows service members who are totally disabled at the time of discharge to retain their SGLI coverage at no cost for up to two years.

  • Part-Time Coverage: Reserve members who don't qualify for full-time coverage can avail of part-time SGLI coverage.

  • Premium Rates: The SGLI program offers competitive premium rates. The basic SGLI premium rate is based on the amount of coverage, with an additional charge for Traumatic Injury Protection coverage (TSGLI).

  • Traumatic Injury Protection (TSGLI): This is an additional feature that provides coverage for traumatic injuries, ensuring financial protection for service members who suffer severe injuries.

  • Online Management: Service members can manage their SGLI coverage, including making changes to beneficiaries or coverage amounts, through the SGLI Online Enrollment System (SOES).

  • Transition To VGLI: After leaving the service, members have the option to convert their SGLI to Veterans' Group Life Insurance (VGLI), another life insurance program offered by the VA.

These key aspects highlight the comprehensive nature of the SGLI program, ensuring that service members and their families have robust financial protection during their service and beyond.

Eligibility Requirements

The Servicemembers' Group Life Insurance (SGLI) is a vital life insurance program tailored for members of the U.S. armed forces. It provides financial protection to service members and their families, ensuring they have the necessary support in the event of unforeseen circumstances. To benefit from this program, service members must meet specific eligibility criteria:

Active-Duty Service Members: Members of the Army, Navy, Air Force, Space Force, Marines, or Coast Guard who are on active duty are automatically eligible for SGLI coverage.

Commissioned Members Of Specific Organizations: Commissioned members of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the U.S. Public Health Service (USPHS) are also eligible for SGLI.

U.S. Military Academy Cadets And Midshipmen: Cadets or midshipmen of the U.S. military academies, including the U.S. Military Academy, U.S. Naval Academy, U.S. Air Force Academy, and the U.S. Coast Guard Academy, are eligible for SGLI.

Reserve Officers Training Corps (ROTC) Members: Members, cadets, or midshipmen of the Reserve Officers Training Corps (ROTC) who are engaged in authorized training and practice cruises qualify for SGLI.

Ready Reserve Or National Guard Members: Members of the Ready Reserve or National Guard who are assigned to a unit and scheduled to perform at least 12 periods of inactive training per year are eligible for SGLI. Members in nonpay status with the Ready Reserve or National Guard can also be eligible for full-time SGLI coverage if they are scheduled for 12 periods of inactive training for the year and are drilling for points rather than pay. However, these members must pay their premiums directly.

Individual Ready Reserve (IRR) Volunteers: Volunteers in specific IRR mobilization categories are eligible for SGLI.

Automatic Enrollment: It's essential to note that if a service member meets the eligibility criteria for SGLI, they are automatically enrolled in the program. This automatic enrollment ensures that eligible members have immediate coverage without any administrative delays.

Duration Of Coverage: As long as a service member remains eligible, their SGLI coverage continues, and premiums are automatically deducted from their pay. If a service member's eligibility status changes, they may need to take specific actions to continue, modify, or terminate their coverage.

Benefits Of The SGLI Disability Extension

The SGLI Disability Extension is a significant provision within the Servicemembers' Group Life Insurance (SGLI) program. It's designed to support service members who face total disability at the time of their discharge. Here are the primary benefits of the SGLI Disability Extension:

Extended Coverage: The SGLI Disability Extension allows service members who are totally disabled at the time of discharge to retain their SGLI coverage. This means they continue to have life insurance protection even after leaving active service.

No Additional Cost: One of the most significant benefits of the SGLI Disability Extension is that eligible service members can maintain their SGLI coverage at no cost for up to two years after discharge. This financial relief is crucial, especially when dealing with the challenges of a disability.

Comprehensive Definition Of Total Disability: The criteria for being considered totally disabled under the SGLI Disability Extension are comprehensive. They include conditions such as the permanent loss of use of limbs, total loss of hearing in both ears, and organic loss of speech, among others.

Financial Security For Families: The extension ensures that the families of disabled service members continue to have financial protection. In the unfortunate event of the service member's passing, the SGLI payout can provide essential financial support to their loved ones.

Transition Support: The period after discharge can be challenging, especially for service members dealing with disabilities. The SGLI Disability Extension provides a safety net during this transition, allowing service members and their families to focus on rehabilitation and adapting to post-service life without worrying about life insurance coverage.

Potential Conversion To VGLI: After the two-year free coverage period under the SGLI Disability Extension, service members have the option to convert their SGLI to Veterans' Group Life Insurance (VGLI). This conversion ensures continued life insurance coverage beyond the extension period.

Peace Of Mind: Knowing that they and their families are protected financially can offer immense peace of mind to service members. The SGLI Disability Extension provides this assurance, recognizing the sacrifices made by those who become disabled in the line of duty.

Application Process

The Servicemembers' Group Life Insurance (SGLI) Disability Extension is a crucial provision that allows service members who are totally disabled at the time of discharge to retain their SGLI coverage for an extended period. Here's a detailed overview of the application process for the SGLI Disability Extension:

  • Application Form:

    • To apply for the SGLI Disability Extension, veterans must complete the Form SGLV 8715, titled "Application for Servicemembers' Group Life Insurance Disability Extension."
  • Submission of Application:

    • Once the form is completed, it should be mailed to the Office of Servicemembers' Group Life Insurance (OSGLI). The mailing address is:

      • OSGLI

      • PO Box 41618

      • Philadelphia, PA 19176

    • Alternatively, the form can also be faxed to 800-236-6142.

  • Review and Approval:

    • After the application is received, the OSGLI will review the provided information and documentation to determine the veteran's eligibility for the SGLI Disability Extension.

    • If the application is approved, the OSGLI will send a letter to the veteran providing proof of the extended coverage.

  • Duration of Extension:

    • The SGLI coverage will be extended for a maximum of two years from the date of the veteran's discharge, provided they meet the total disability criteria.

  • Timely Application:

    • It's recommended that veterans apply for the SGLI Disability Extension within 120 days of their discharge date. Applying within this timeframe allows for automatic approval, streamlining the process.

  • Required Documentation:

    • Along with the application form, veterans may need to provide additional documentation that verifies their total disability status. This could include medical records, disability assessment reports, and other relevant documents.

  • Online Resources:

    • Veterans can access the SGLV 8715 form and find more information about the SGLI Disability Extension on the official Veterans Benefits Administration website.

Frequently Asked Questions

To help you better understand Servicemembers' Group Life Insurance (SGLI) Disability Extension, we've answered some of the most frequently asked questions.

What is the SGLI Disability Extension?

The SGLI Disability Extension is a provision that allows service members who are totally disabled at the time of their discharge to retain their SGLI coverage for up to two years without any cost.

How do I determine if I'm eligible for the SGLI Disability Extension?

Eligibility is based on being considered totally disabled at the time of discharge. Criteria include conditions such as permanent loss of use of limbs, total loss of hearing in both ears, and organic loss of speech, among others.

How do I apply for the SGLI Disability Extension?

To apply, complete the Form SGLV 8715, titled "Application for Servicemembers' Group Life Insurance Disability Extension," and submit it to the Office of Servicemembers' Group Life Insurance (OSGLI).

What happens after the two-year extension period?

After the two-year free coverage period under the SGLI Disability Extension, service members have the option to convert their SGLI to Veterans' Group Life Insurance (VGLI).

Is there a deadline to apply for the SGLI Disability Extension?

While there isn't a strict deadline, it's recommended to apply within 120 days of discharge for automatic approval.

Can I choose the amount of coverage under the SGLI Disability Extension?

The coverage amount under the SGLI Disability Extension will be the same as the amount you had while in service. It cannot be increased or decreased during the extension period.

Understanding Your Coverage Under Servicemembers' Group Life Insurance (SGLI)

The Servicemembers' Group Life Insurance (SGLI) Disability Extension is a testament to the commitment and support the U.S. government offers to its service members, especially those facing challenges due to disabilities incurred during service. This provision ensures that our brave men and women, who have given so much in the line of duty, continue to have the financial protection they and their families deserve during a crucial period of transition. As with any insurance program, it's essential to stay informed, understand the benefits, and take the necessary steps to ensure coverage. This guide has shed light on the SGLI Disability Extension, empowering our heroes and their families with the knowledge they need.

Discover more opportunities for American veterans by reading our guide on Servicemembers' Group Life Insurance (SGLI). Visit American Veteran to find comprehensive online resources dedicated to American Veterans.

Michael Blair contributes his expertise to help veterans access government benefits and resources. Through his informative articles and guides, he plays a vital role in empowering veterans and improving their quality of life.
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