With the passage of HR 3219 that became Public Law 111-275 on 10/13/2010, Totally Disabled Veterans (with a disability waiver) were supposed to be permitted to purchase an additional $10,000.00 of Supplemental Life Insurance from the VA, as this law increased the amount of Supplemental Life Insurance available for purchase by Totally Disabled Veterans from $20,000.00 to $30,000.00 effective 10/01/2011. However the Veterans Administration in applying the law, is refusing to permit Totally Disabled Veterans who have a disability waiver granted before 10/01/2010 to even receive an application for the “New” additional supplemental life insurance. They say that the Totally Disabled Veterans that received their disability waivers prior to 10/01/2010 (even though they may have purchased the $20,000.00 supplemental life) were not eligible to purchase the additional $10,000.00 as provided for in this law.
Here is some background on this issue:
When a veteran is awarded a SC disability by the VA he or she becomes eligible to purchase Service-Disabled Veterans Life Insurance (“SDVI“)through the VA (face value amount of $10,000.00). This program was established in 1951 and still exists currently. Eligible Disabled Veterans have up to two (2) years from the date that the SC Disability was established to apply for this insurance.
If the veteran with this insurance becomes “Totally Disabled” then they may apply for a waiver of premiums for this $10,000.00 of “SDVI”.
Now comes the “SDVI” Supplemental Life Insurance. This program came into existence as a result of the Veterans Benefits Act of 1992 or Public Law 102-568. This permitted Veterans with “SDVI” in which the premiums had been waived to purchase up to $20,000.00 of Supplemental Life Insurance. [ a problem was later discovered that didn’t permit all eligible Totally Disabled Veteran with an existing premium waiver in place to be able to purchase this Supplemental Insurance]. The Statute reads :
[ (b) "to qualify for the supplemental insurance under this section a person must file with the secretary an application for such insurance. Such application must be filed not later than (1) October 31, 1993, or (2) the end of the one year period beginning on the date on which the Secretary notifies the person that the person is entitled to a waiver of premiums under section 1912 of the title, whichever is later.]
This resulted in the 1994 Amendment or Public Law 103-446 which reads [ Subsection (b) substituted "insurance. Such application must be filed not later than (1) October 31, 1993, or (2) the end of the one year period beginning on the date on which the Secretary" for "insurance not later than the end of (1) the one year period beginning on the first day of the first month following the month in which this section is enacted, or (2) the one year period beginning on the date that the Department". ] This provided a window for all Totally Disabled Veterans to be able to purchase this Supplemental Life Insurance.
Now, With the passage of HR 3219 that became Public Law 111-275 on 10/13/2010, History is repeating itself and the VA is refusing to allow all Veterans with a Total Disability, that have purchased the 20,000.00 Supplemental Insurance and that have a premium waiver that existed before 10/01/2010 to purchase this Supplement Increase effective 10/01/2011.
To Correct this: (1) will the VA need it explained to them what is the intend of this legislation or (2) will it take another Amendment like what happened in 1994.
I have shared this Issue with
Mr. Jeff Hall, Legislative Asst. Director of the DAV, #202-554-3501
Mr. Dean Stoline, Legislative Asst. Director of the American Legion, # 202-861-2700
Mr. Shane Barker, Senior Legislative Associate of the VFW, Phone# 202-453-5227
Can the Department for Veterans Affairs, Insurance Center (Supervisor James Johnson) be correct in this interpretation of the law? Is this what the Congress intended when it increased the amount of Supplemental Life Insurance that Totally Disabled Veterans could buy? Yes - that’s right, this insurance is not free, the Vet pays the premium. My understanding for the reason that congress passed this Increase was to provide Totally Disabled Veterans the ability to purchase insurance through the VA because these Veterans were unable to purchase Life Insurance commercially due to their disabilities.
All Disabled Vets, non disabled vets and anyone else who cares about these brave men and women who gave so much to our country that they now bear 100% disability, need to contact both these veteran's organizations and our representatives to correct this injustice!