38 USC 1980 - Option to receive accelerated death benefit
Sec. 1980. Option to receive accelerated death benefit(a) For the purpose of this section, a person shall be considered to be terminally ill if the person has a medical prognosis such that the life expectancy of the person is less than a period prescribed by the Secretary. The maximum length of such period may not exceed 12 months.
(1) A terminally ill person insured under Servicemembers’ Group Life Insurance or Veterans’ Group Life Insurance may elect to receive in a lump-sum payment a portion of the face value of the insurance as an accelerated death benefit reduced by an amount necessary to assure that there is no increase in the actuarial value of the benefit paid, as determined by the Secretary.
(2) The Secretary shall prescribe the maximum amount of the accelerated death benefit available under this section that the Secretary finds to be administratively practicable and actuarially sound, but in no event may the amount of the benefit exceed the amount equal to 50 percent of the face value of the person’s insurance in force on the date the election of the person to receive the benefit is approved.
(3) A person making an election under this section may elect to receive an amount that is less than the maximum amount prescribed under paragraph (2). The Secretary shall prescribe the increments in which a reduced amount under this paragraph may be elected.
(c) The portion of the face value of insurance which is not paid in a lump sum as an accelerated death benefit under this section shall remain payable in accordance with the provisions of this chapter.
(d) Deductions under section 1969 of this title and premiums under section 1977 (c) of this title shall be reduced, in a manner consistent with the percentage reduction in the face value of the insurance as a result of payment of an accelerated death benefit under this section, effective with respect to any amounts which would otherwise become due on or after the date of payment under this section.
(e) The Secretary shall prescribe regulations to carry out this section. Such regulations shall include provisions regarding—
(1) the form and manner in which an application for an election under this section shall be made; and
(2) the procedures under which any such application shall be considered.
(1) An election to receive a benefit under this section shall be irrevocable.
(2) A person may not make more than one election under this section, even if the election of the person is to receive less than the maximum amount of the benefit available to the person under this section.
(g) If a person insured under Servicemembers’ Group Life Insurance elects to receive a benefit under this section and the person’s Servicemembers’ Group Life Insurance is thereafter converted to Veterans’ Group Life Insurance as provided in section 1968 (b) of this title, the amount of the benefit paid under this section shall reduce the amount of Veterans’ Group Life Insurance available to the person under section 1977 (a) of this title.
(h) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the amount of the accelerated death benefit received by a person under this section shall not be considered income or resources for purposes of determining eligibility for or the amount of benefits under any Federal or federally-assisted program or for any other purpose.
Last modified: July 21, 2011