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Do Veterans Get Free Life Insurance

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Service Disabled Veterans Insurance: Dont Miss This Opportunity

According to the Department of Veterans Affairs, the “current basic SGLI premium rate is 6 cents per $1,000 of insurance coverage includes an additional $1 per month for Traumatic Injury Protection coverage .”

These are the rates for SGLI as of July 2019:

Coverage amount
$1.00 $25.00

VGLI rates vary greatly based on your age and coverage amount. The rates were recently updated in April 2021. For details based on age and coverage amount, visit the Department of Veterans Affairs website for VGLI coverage.

What Is The Best Life Insurance

The VA offers coverage that is focused on the specific needs of military members and their immediate families. However, private insurers may also provide a variety of excellent life insurance policy options. The Insurance Information Institute recommends you review various options to determine which kind of policy offers the best life insurance coverage and your family based on your current military status and future plans.

Life Insurance For Veterans With Medical Issues

VGLI coverage may be a good option if you have a medical issue. You can qualify for VGLI coverage regardless of your health if you apply quickly after leaving the military. This means you may be able to get up to $400,000 of coverage without your medical history influencing the cost of your policy. Plus, VGLI coverage can be less expensive than some private options that skip the medical exam, such as guaranteed issue life insurance. These policies dont require any information on your health, but typically offer lower coverage amounts at a higher cost.

For example, a $25,000 guaranteed issue policy for a 50-year-old man costs $844 per year, according to Quotacy. The same applicant can get $100,000 of coverage for $396 per year with a VGLI policy.

However, guaranteed issue premiums typically stay the same throughout your entire life, while premiums for VGLI coverage increase over time. So, its a good idea to get quotes from a range of private insurers before you make a decision.

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Veterans Group Life Insurance

Veterans Group Life Insurance allows former military personnel and veterans to continue their coverage after leaving the military as long as they continue to pay premiums. To remain covered, service members must have had Servicemembers Group Life Insurance .

Coverage: Depending on the coverage level of their previous SGLI policy, veterans can get anywhere from $10,000 to $400,000. Its also possible to raise your coverage limits by $25,000 every five years, up to $400,000, until youre 60 years old.

Eligibility requirements: Veterans must apply for VGLI coverage within one year and 120 days of leaving the military to be eligible. Veterans must show they are in good health after 240 days to continue receiving benefits. Those who use within 240 days of the deadline will not be required to show that they are in good health.

Besides having SGLI coverage, the following requirements must be met by veterans to qualify for coverage:

  • You may not qualify for standard premium insurance if you were injured or disabled while on duty .
  • SGLI was received while serving in the military, and you are within one year and 120 days of being released from active service for more than 31 days.
  • Are leaving or retiring from the National Guards Ready Reserves .
  • Have been assigned to the IRR .
  • Have been placed on the TDRL .

Va Automobile Allowance And Adaptive Equipment

how to find out if a veteran has life insurance

Automobile adaptive allowance is a benefit offered by VA to veterans who have a service-connected disability that prevents them from being able to drive. In addition to the allowance, VA offers an adaptive equipment benefit to assist veterans with certain types of impairments.

If awarded the automotive allowance, the benefit consists of a one-time payment of $21,488.29 that may be used to help buy a specially equipped vehicle as of 2021. In terms of adaptive equipment, the benefit may be used to alter a vehicle.

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Life Insurance Considerations For Veterans

If you have served in the military, you likely carry more than a few bumps and bruises that you have accumulated over the years. Life insurance is not the easiest to obtain when you are a current or former member of the military because you dont have access to many of the same providers that civilians do. Many insurance providers are hesitant to insure those with a higher risk of past, current, or future injury, so they may hit the rejection button instead.

Be sure to consider any exclusions that a provider may have. Not all insurance providers will be willing to extend coverage, and its always better to have a provider who understands the unique needs of insurance for veterans, anyway.

What Is Group Life Insurance

Group life insurance is a term life policy offered by employers to employees that is considered a guaranteed issue. That means that all employees are accepted. This isn’t the case for individual life insurance.

When you apply for individual life insurance on your own, an insurance provider may decide during the underwriting process that you aren’t a good candidate for its coverage, and refuse to cover you. Or, it may agree to cover you, but at a high monthly price point.

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What Happens To A Veterans Benefits When They Die

Are a Veterans Disability Compensation Payments Continued for a Surviving Spouse After Death? No, a veterans disability compensation payments are not continued for a surviving spouse after death. However, survivors may be entitled to a different type of benefit called Dependency and Indemnity Compensation.

How Do I Get These Benefits

VA life insurance helps ease Adam’s mind.

Youll need to apply for benefits in 1 of 2 ways:

Securely upload the form, or mail it to:

Department of Veterans AffairsRegional Office and Insurance Center PO Box 7208Philadelphia, PA 19101

If you want to apply for supplemental S-DVI, you must have already applied for and been granted a waiver of premiums.

To apply for supplemental S-DVI, fill out and submit an Application for Supplemental Service-Disabled Veterans Insurance or send a letter requesting this insurance over your signature.

Note: You must apply for the coverage by December 31, 2022, or within 1 year from the date you receive notice of the grant of waiver of premiums .

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Why You Can Trust Bankrate

Founded in 1976, Bankrate has a long track record of helping people make smart financial choices. Weve maintained this reputation for over four decades by demystifying the financial decision-making process and giving people confidence in which actions to take next.

Bankrate follows a strict editorial policy, so you can trust that were putting your interests first. All of our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and reviewed by subject matter experts, who ensure everything we publish is objective, accurate and worthy of your trust.

Our insurance team is composed of agents, data analysts, and customers like you. They focus on the points consumers care about most price, customer service, policy features and savings opportunities so you can feel confident about which provider is right for you.

  • We guide you throughout your search and help you understand your coverage options.
  • We provide up-to-date, reliable market information to help you make confident decisions.
  • We reduce industry jargon so you get the clearest form of information possible.

All providers discussed on our site are vetted based on the value they provide. And we constantly review our criteria to ensure were putting accuracy first.

How To Determine The Right Policy

With so many policy options and acronyms, it can be difficult to decipher the tangled web of VA benefits. To help, Bankrate created this handy guide, breaking down each kind of life insurance policy and who it may be best for, so you may be better able to find the best life insurance option for you and your family.

Type of policy
Must convert SGLI coverage before one year and 20 days from discharge No-cost coverage for 120 days after IRR

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Va Healthcare Services Exempt From Copayments

The following services do NOT require inpatient and outpatient copays, regardless of the veterans Priority Group:

  • Care related to a service-connected disability
  • Special registry examinations offered by VA to evaluate possible health risks associated with military service
  • Counseling and care for military sexual trauma
  • Compensation and Pension examinations
  • Care related to VA research projects
  • Care for cancer of the head or neck caused by nose or throat radium treatments received while in the military
  • Individual or group smoking cessation, or weight reduction services
  • Hospice care

Military Funeral Honors And Memorial Items

United Shield Life Insurance

Almost all veterans can receive military funeral honors at no cost. They are also usually eligible for free memorial items including:

  • Headstones, markers, and medallions

If youre a veteran or the spouse of one, you can apply to learn if you qualify for burial in a VA national cemetery. If you do, youll get a pre-need decision letter confirming your eligibility. This will make it much easier on your family when they schedule your burial.

Normally, the process to schedule a burial starts with verifying the deceased’s eligibility. To schedule a burial at a VA national cemetery, follow these steps.

Arlington National Cemetery

Eligibility for burial at Arlington National Cemetery is stricter than for other national cemeteries. Only active duty, military retirees, former prisoners of war, and recipients of the Purple Heart and other top awards may be buried at Arlington.

See how to schedule a burial at Arlington National Cemetery.

State Veterans Cemeteries

Requirements for burial in a state veterans cemetery are like those for VA cemeteries. They may also have residency requirements.

To schedule a burial at a state veterans cemetery, contact the cemetery directly.

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Veterans Life Insurance Riders

If you become totally disabled or terminally ill and have VA coverage, you may qualify for additional benefit options with your veterans life insurance. Your spouse could also qualify if they have a terminal illness.

Waiver of premium rider: If you become totally disabled, a waiver of premium rider means you will no longer have to pay your life insurance premiums. Typically, premium payments can only be waived up to one year before filing a claim.

To qualify, applicants must meet all of the following requirements:

  • You have Service-Disabled Veterans Life Insurance coverage
  • Your disability prevents you from working
  • You became totally disabled before age 65
  • Your total disability lasts longer than six months.

There can be exceptions to these eligibility rules.

Accelerated death benefit: For terminally ill policyholders, an accelerated death benefit may be available. With an accelerated death benefit, you can receive up to 50% of your veterans life insurance coverage paid in $5,000 increments before death.

To qualify, you must meet all of the following requirements:

  • You must have a VGLI insurance policy
  • You or your spouse must have a written letter from your doctors stating you have less than nine months to live

Veterans Mortgage Life Insurance

Veterans Mortgage Life Insurance provides mortgage protection insurance to veterans and service members whose houses have been modified due to a service-connected disability. Decreasing term life coverage is the name for this sort of policy. In other words, with each payment of the mortgage balance, the coverage decreases. In other words, with each payment of the mortgage balance, the coverage decreases.

Coverage will terminate after the mortgage balance has been paid in full.

Coverage: Up to $200,000 in coverage is available to eligible veterans or service members. The death benefit is given to the bank or lender who holds the mortgage, not your family, as with other mortgage life insurance policies.

Eligibility Requirements: Veterans or military members must meet all of the following criteria to be eligible:

  • Have a service-connected disability that has been caused or worsened by your service.
  • Received a Specially Adapted Housing grant to pay for modifications to your home to accommodate your disability, such as ramps or wider doorways.
  • Be the legal owner of the home.
  • Own a home with a mortgage
  • Be under the age of 70

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Do Spouses Of 100% Disabled Veterans Get Benefits After Death

Are a Veterans Disability Compensation Payments Continued for a Surviving Spouse After Death? No, a veterans disability compensation payments are not continued for a surviving spouse after death. However, survivors may be entitled to a different type of benefit called Dependency and Indemnity Compensation.

Best For Active Militaryus: Usaa

How to Access your VA Life Insurance Policy Online


USAA offers solid benefits for active military members, boasts the highest financial strength rating that AM Best bestows, and receives very few customer complaints.

  • Benefits for injuries during active duty

  • Anytime conversion

  • Doesn’t offer SGLI, VGLI, FSGLI conversion

  • Few policy types available

USAA is a well-known name for military insurance, founded in 1922 by a group of army officers who pooled together to insure their own automobiles. USAA has an AM Best rating of A++, the highest available, and an excellent track record of very few complaints with the NAIC.

Active military members and their families will appreciate the unique benefits USAA offers. The company provides $25,000 for certain injuries sustained in the line of duty as well as guaranteed insurability at no cost on Level Term V. This benefit lets you increase coverage upon certain life events, such as marriage or having a baby, without having to take a medical exam or answer health questions.

The company also offers an “anytime conversion” rider which lets you convert your USAA term coverage to a permanent policy until the end of the level term period. However, you can’t convert your existing SGLI, VGLI, or FSGLI policy to a USAA policy. And you won’t find many policy options available eitherUSAA only offers term and simplified whole life policies directly.

While USAA offers quotes online, your military information, other qualification, or membership is required.

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Can I Get Life Insurance If I Was Dishonorably Discharged

If you received a dishonorable discharge, other than honorable discharge, or bad conduct discharge, you might not qualify for any VA benefits, including veterans life insurance.

But theres a way to try to qualify. First, you can apply for a discharge upgrade or correction. When you apply for VA benefits, the Department of Veterans Affairs will review your application and determine if your service was honorable for VA purposes. Youll need to provide as much supporting documentation and evidence as possible to prove your case.

This process may take up to a year. So, if you dont qualify for a VA life insurance policy, you may not be covered during that time.

If you have received denial for an upgrade or correction, you can still look into private life insurance policies.

Do Veterans Get Free Life Insurance

The VA helps veterans with part of the costs of life insurance plans, but only those with qualifying impairments are eligible for free coverage.

Veterans who are unable to work or who have one of the following conditions are granted disability status by the VA:

  • Complete loss of hearing in both ears.
  • Loss of speech.
  • Loss of function in both hands, feet, or eyes for an extended period, or vision loss.

In some situations, converting a VA life insurance coverage to a commercial policy may be more cost-effective for veterans, although premiums will vary depending on medical history and age.

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How To Determine The Right Policy For You

In some cases, getting VGLI instead of private coverage makes sense. If you have medical issues that make regular life insurance challenging to qualify for, you may want to consider VGLI. This includes not only PTSD but also other disabilities and medical illnesses, such as those acquired during combat. Mental health issues, neurological issues, and cardiac problems can all impair your ability to obtain insurance. You wont have to take a medical exam if you apply for VGLI coverage during the first 240 days of becoming eligible.

When you are 60 or older and looking for life insurance, you will find that a privacy policy can be pretty costly. Even VGLI premium rates can add up quickly when you become older. However, VGLI premium rates may be more inexpensive if more senior people seek smaller coverage to pay final expenses.

Private final expense insurance for those in their late 60s, for example, costs around $200 per month for a $20,000 benefit. On the other hand, veterans who switch to a VGLI policy would just have to pay $30 per month.

Vocational Readiness And Employment

Applying for Veterans Services: Education &  Training, Health Care, Home ...

Vocational Readiness and Employment is a benefit for disabled veterans and service members who are looking to increase their likelihood of obtaining employment. To be eligible for VR& E, veterans must have a service-connected condition that is at least 10 percent disabling.

VR& E provides a range of career services, including career counseling and rehabilitation planning for employment job training, job-seeking skills, résumé development, and other work-readiness assistance and on-the-job-training, apprenticeships, and non-paid work experience.

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Best For Living Benefits: Prudential


Prudential is a great choice for veterans interested in life insurance with living benefits. Prudential’s Living Needs Benefit rider is free of charge on most policies and let’s you receive a portion of the death benefit if youre diagnosed with a terminal illness, are confined to a nursing home, or require an organ transplant.

  • Worse than average customer satisfaction

  • Expensive term coverage

Prudential was established in 1875 and has an AM Best financial stability rating of A+. The company receives fewer complaints than expected, according to the NAIC, but doesn’t do as well as the aforementioned companies on this list.

We chose Prudential as the best for living benefit because most policies include its Living Needs Benefit rider free of charge, which lets you access the death benefit if youre diagnosed with a terminal illness, are confined to a nursing home, or require an organ transplant.

Prudential offers a range of policies, including universal life, indexed universal life, variable life, and term, as well as optional riders such as an accidental death benefit rider and a waiver of premium for disability. However, the company did not do well in the 2021 J.D. Power U.S. Individual Life Insurance Studyit ranked 15th out of 21 companies. And it’s term policies are relatively expensive.

You can get a civilian Prudential quote online for term coverage or contact one of their agents to get the best rates for SGLI or VGLI conversion options.

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