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VA Announces Changes to Servicemembers' Group Life Insurance
Date:12/8/2008

Traumatic Injury Protection Program Expands Benefits

WASHINGTON, Dec. 8 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) announced some severely injured military personnel and veterans will be eligible for improvements to the Servicemembers' Group Life Insurance Traumatic Injury Protection Program, known as TSGLI.

"TSGLI was created to relieve some of the financial burdens on injured military personnel and their families," said Secretary of Veterans Affairs Dr. James B. Peake. "We believe these enhancements to the TSGLI program have made a good program even better."

VA recently completed a comprehensive review of the program, as it marked its first year in operation, to consider whether the program was meeting its intended purpose, whether new injuries or losses should be added, and whether improvements could be made in how the program is administered.

As a result of this review, VA has increased the number of injuries covered as well as liberalized the criteria of other injuries. New injuries covered include the partial amputation of a hand or foot and the degree of injuries based on severe burns.

Another important change to the TSGLI program is the payment of a $25,000 benefit to service members hospitalized for 15 consecutive days as a result of a traumatic injury. This allows payments to begin earlier and financial help to be provided more quickly.

Changes to benefits are retroactive to October 7, 2001, the beginning of Operation Enduring Freedom, consistent with the original legislation creating TSGLI.

The TSGLI program is designed to provide severely injured service members and their families with short-term financial assistance. Service members who sustained certain severe injuries are entitled to payments ranging between $25,000 and $100,000.

TSGLI was designed to offset the expenses a service member's parents or spouse often incur when they move to be with their loved one during long and difficult treatment and rehabilitation periods, frequently causing family members to leave their jobs and homes for extended periods.

Since the program began in 2005, over $309 million in TSGLI benefits has been paid to injured members and their families.

Veterans whose claims for TSGLI benefits were previously disallowed are being contacted if it appears their loss is now eligible for payment due to these changes.

Service members or veterans who sustained severe traumatic injuries are encouraged to check the VA Insurance website at www.insurance.va.gov for eligibility criteria and contact information.

The Web site contains a link to the TSGLI application form, more information about the changes to the TSGLI benefit, and a complete copy of the latest review of the program. For additional information about VA benefits, contact VA's toll-free number at 1-800-827-1000.

For the latest news releases and other information, visit VA on the Internet athttp://www.va.gov/opa.

To receive e-mail copies of news releases, subscribe to VA's list server at: http://www.va.gov/opa/pressrel/opalist_listserv.cfm.


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SOURCE U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
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