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Helping heroes in times of need

Posted 4/18/2013   Updated 4/18/2013 Email story   Print story


by Judy Trabucco
Airman & Family Readiness Center

4/18/2013 - HANSCOM AIR FORCE BASE, Mass. -- Traumatic Servicemembers' Group Life Insurance helps severely injured military members through their time of need with a one-time payment. The amount varies depending on the injury, but it could be the difference that allows their family to be with them during recovery, helps them with unforeseen expenses or gives them a financial head start on life after recovery.

TSGLI is an insurance program. It is bundled with Servicemembers' Group Life Insurance and an additional $1 has been added to the member's SGLI premium to cover TSGLI. It is not meant to serve as an ongoing income replacement like some types of insurance. It's there to help the servicemember through the tough times that occur as the result of a traumatic injury.

When the original TSGLI law was enacted, Congress directed it would be retroactive to Oct. 7, 2001, for members who incur a qualifying loss as a direct result of injuries incurred on or after that date, through and including Nov. 30, 2005, in Operation Enduring Freedom or Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Effective Oct. 1, 2011, Public Law 111-275 removes the OEF/OIF requirement for injuries incurred during the retroactive period. As a result, TSGLI coverage will be provided retroactively for members who incurred severe losses as a result of traumatic injuries incurred between Oct. 7, 2001, and Nov. 30, 2005, regardless of where the injury occurred and regardless of whether they had SGLI coverage.

Based on findings from a review conducted by the Department of Veterans Affairs, more servicemembers may now qualify for TSGLI because of the newly expanded benefits. The purpose of the review was to ascertain whether improvements could be made to the program that would allow more servicemembers to benefit from it.

As a result, the TSGLI Schedule of Losses was simplified, making it more usable for each branch of service and allowing for easier interpretation by the general public. Existing TSGLI qualifying loss definitions on the schedule, such as those for burns, sight and amputations were expanded and additional qualifying losses including uniplegia, limb salvage and facial reconstruction. Soldiers who incurred a qualifying traumatic injury may be eligible for TSGLI benefits.

After Dec. 1, 2005, all soldiers who are covered by SGLI are eligible for TSGLI coverage, regardless of where their qualifying traumatic injury occurred, however, TSGLI claims require approval. Some parts of the claim form can only be completed by a healthcare provider. In addition, claim forms must be accompanied by documentation that supports the healthcare provider's evaluation of the soldier's injuries.

To submit a claim or for any questions, contact the Casualty Assistance Representative at 781-225-2765 or 781-225-2755.

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