WASHINGTON D.C. --
As of October 1, 2011, the Servicemembers' Group Life Insurance Traumatic Injury Protection benefit, also known as TSGLI, will be payable for all qualifying injuries incurred during the period October 7, 2001 to November 30, 2005, regardless of where they occurred, and regardless of whether the member had SGLI coverage at the time of the injury. The Veterans' Benefit Act of 2010 removes the requirement that injuries during this period be incurred in Operations Enduring or Iraqi Freedom.
This is welcome news for the many servicemen and women who suffered serious traumatic injuries while serving stateside or in other areas outside of OEF or OIF during this time period, but until now have not been eligible for TSGLI. TSGLI provides a payment ranging from $25,000 to $100,000 to Servicemembers sustaining certain severe traumatic injuries resulting in a range of losses, including amputations, limb salvage, paralysis, burns, loss of sight, hearing or speech, facial reconstruction, 15-day continuous hospitalization, coma, and loss of activities of daily living due to traumatic brain injury or other traumatic injuries.
Former Reservists and National Guard members who were injured during the retroactive period and suffered a qualifying loss are eligible for a TSGLI payment even if the cause was not related to service, such as a "civilian " automobile accident or severe injury which occurred while working around their home. The law regarding these payments covers these individuals 24/7. Additionally, survivors of Servicemembers who died more than seven days after their injuries are also eligible to receive a TSGLI payment if the member had a covered loss.
VA is working with VA and DoD Public Affairs to publicize this change in the TSGLI law, while the branches of service are identifying any retroactive claims they have denied because the injury was not OEF/OIF and outreaching to those individuals.
Secretary of Veterans Affairs, Eric K. Shinseki stated, "We at VA appreciate the President's and Congress' efforts to improve benefits to our troops. Now all of our nation's Servicemembers who suffered severe traumatic injuries while serving their country can receive the same traumatic injury benefits, regardless of where their injury occurred. "
Although applications are currently being accepted by Branch of Service TSGLI Offices, benefits will not be paid until October 1, 2011, the effective date of the law. For more information or to apply for a TSGLI payment, Servicemembers and Veterans should go to http://www.insurance.va.gov/sgliSite/TSGLI/TSGLI.htm
. They can also contact their branch of service TSGLI Office (contact information available at above link).