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38 USC 1977 - Veterans’ Group Life Insurance

Legal Research Home > US Code > Veterans' Benefits > 38 USC 1977 - Veterans’ Group Life Insurance

Sec. 1977. Veterans’ Group Life Insurance

(a)
(1) Veterans’ Group Life Insurance shall be issued in the amounts specified in section 1967 (a) of this title. In the case of any individual, the amount of Veterans’ Group Life Insurance may not exceed the amount of Servicemembers’ Group Life Insurance coverage continued in force after the expiration of the period of duty or travel under section 1967 (b) or 1968 (a) of this title. No person may carry a combined amount of Servicemembers’ Group Life Insurance and Veterans’ Group Life Insurance at any one time in excess of the maximum amount for Servicemembers’ Group Life Insurance in effect under section 1967 (a)(3)(A)(i) of this title.
(2) If any person insured under Veterans’ Group Life Insurance again becomes insured under Servicemembers’ Group Life Insurance but dies before terminating or converting such person’s Veterans’ Group Insurance, Veterans’ Group Life Insurance shall be payable only if such person is insured under Servicemembers’ Group Life Insurance for less than the maximum amount for such insurance in effect under section 1967 (a)(3)(A)(i) of this title, and then only in an amount which, when added to the amount of Servicemembers’ Group Life Insurance payable, does not exceed such maximum amount in effect under such section.
(b) Veterans’ Group Life Insurance shall
(1) provide protection against death;
(2) be issued on a renewable five-year term basis;
(3) have no cash, loan, paid-up, or extended values;
(4) except as otherwise provided, lapse for nonpayment of premiums; and
(5) contain such other terms and conditions as the Secretary determines to be reasonable and practicable which are not specifically provided for in this section, including any provisions of this subchapter not specifically made inapplicable by the provisions of this section.
(c) The premiums for Veterans’ Group Life Insurance shall be established under the criteria set forth in sections 1971 (a) and (c) of this title, except that the Secretary may provide for average premiums for such various age groupings as the Secretary may decide to be necessary according to sound actuarial principles, and shall include an amount necessary to cover the administrative cost of such insurance to the company or companies issuing such insurance. Such premiums shall be payable by the insureds thereunder as provided by the Secretary directly to the administrative office established for such insurance under section 1966 (b) of this title. In any case in which a member or former member who was mentally incompetent on the date such member or former member first became insured under Veterans’ Group Life Insurance dies within one year of such date, such insurance shall be deemed not to have lapsed for nonpayment of premiums and to have been in force on the date of death. Where insurance is in force under the preceding sentence, any unpaid premiums may be deducted from the proceeds of the insurance. Any person who claims eligibility for Veterans’ Group Life Insurance based on disability incurred during a period of duty shall be required to submit evidence of qualifying health conditions and, if required, to submit to physical examinations at their own expense.
(d) Any amount of Veterans’ Group Life Insurance in force on any person on the date of such person’s death shall be paid, upon the establishment of a valid claim therefor, pursuant to the provisions of section 1970 of this title. However, any designation of beneficiary or beneficiaries for Servicemembers’ Group Life Insurance filed with a uniformed service until changed, shall be considered a designation of beneficiary or beneficiaries for Veterans’ Group Life Insurance, but not for more than sixty days after the effective date of the insured’s Veterans’ Group Insurance, unless at the end of such sixty-day period, the insured is incompetent in which event such designation may continue in force until the disability is removed but not for more than five years after the effective date of the insured’s Veterans’ Group Life Insurance. Except as indicated above in incompetent cases, after such sixty-day period, any designation of beneficiary or beneficiaries for Veterans’ Group Life Insurance to be effective must be by a writing signed by the insured and received by the administrative office established under section 1966 (b) of this title.
(e) An insured under Veterans’ Group Life Insurance shall have the right at any time to convert such insurance to an individual policy of life insurance upon written application for conversion made to the participating company the insured selects and payment of the required premiums. The individual policy will be issued without medical examination on a plan then currently written by such company which does not provide for the payment of any sum less than the face value thereof or for the payment of an additional amount as premiums in the event the insured performs active duty, active duty for training, or inactive duty training. The Veterans’ Group Life Insurance policy converted to an individual policy under this subsection shall terminate on the day before the date on which the individual policy becomes effective. Upon request to the administrative office established under section 1966 (b) of this title, an insured under Veterans’ Group Life Insurance shall be furnished a list of life insurance companies participating in the program established under this subchapter. In addition to the life insurance companies participating in the program established under this subchapter, the list furnished to an insured under this section shall include additional life insurance companies (not so participating) which meet qualifying criteria, terms, and conditions established by the Secretary and agree to sell insurance to former members in accordance with the provisions of this section.
(f) The provisions of subsections (d) and (e) of section 1971 of this title shall be applicable to Veterans’ Group Life Insurance. However, a separate accounting shall be required for each program of insurance authorized under this subchapter. In such accounting, the Secretary is authorized to allocate claims and other costs among such programs of insurance according to accepted actuarial principles.
(g) Any person whose Servicemembers’ Group Life Insurance was continued in force after termination of duty or discharge from service under the law as in effect prior to the date on which the Veterans’ Group Life Insurance program (provided for under section 1977 of this title) became effective, and whose coverage under Servicemembers’ Group Life Insurance terminated less than four years prior to such date, shall be eligible within one year from the effective date of the Veterans’ Group Life Insurance program to apply for and be granted Veterans’ Group Life Insurance in an amount equal to the amount of the insured’s Servicemembers’ Group Life Insurance which was not converted to an individual policy under prior law. Veterans’ Group Life Insurance issued under this subsection shall be issued for a term period equal to five years, less the time elapsing between the termination of the applicant’s Servicemembers’ Group Life Insurance and the effective date on which the Veterans’ Group Life Insurance program became effective. Veterans’ Group Life Insurance under this subsection shall only be issued upon application to the administrative office established under section 1966 (b) of this title, payment of the required premium, and proof of good health satisfactory to that office, which proof shall be submitted at the applicant’s own expense. Any person who cannot meet the good health requirements for insurance under this subsection solely because of a service-connected disability shall have such disability waived. For each month for which any eligible veteran, whose service-connected disabilities are waived, is insured under this subsection there shall be contributed to the insurer or insurers issuing the policy or policies from the appropriation "Compensation and Pensions, Department of Veterans Affairs" an amount necessary to cover the cost of the insurance in excess of the premiums established for eligible veterans, including the cost of the excess mortality attributable to such veteran’s service-connected disabilities. The Secretary may establish, as the Secretary may determine to be necessary according to sound actuarial principles, a separate premium, age groupings for premium purposes, accounting, and reserves, for persons granted insurance under this subsection different from those established for other persons granted insurance under this section. Appropriations to carry out the purpose of this section are hereby authorized.
(h)
(1) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, members of the Individual Ready Reserve and the Inactive National Guard are eligible to be insured under Veterans’ Group Life Insurance. Any such member shall be so insured upon submission of an application in the manner prescribed by the Secretary and the payment of premiums as required under this section.
(2) In accordance with subsection (b), Veterans’ Group Life Insurance coverage under this subsection shall be issued on a renewable five-year term basis, but the person insured must remain a member of the Individual Ready Reserve or Inactive National Guard throughout the period of the insurance in order for the insurance of such person to be renewed.
(3) For the purpose of this subsection, the terms "Individual Ready Reserve" and "Inactive National Guard" shall have the meanings prescribed by the Secretary in consultation with the Secretary of Defense.

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Last modified: July 21, 2011