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How to Get a Military Life Insurance Premium Waiver

Did you know that qualifying disabled service members may be offered VA military life insurance without having to pay a premium?

According to the Department of Veterans Affairs, this applies to the type of military life insurance offered by the federal government to those retiring or separating from the military.

VA Life Insurance Premium Waiver

VA.gov says, “Most VA Insurance policies contain a waiver” of premiums provision in the standard contract, enforceable “in the event that the insured becomes totally disabled.”

If you don’t know about the VA’s offer of free insurance in such cases, it’s an option worth exploring. This information is found on the VA Life Insurance page, and adds that to qualify, applicants must meet the following requirements:

  • The insured “must have a mental or physical disability” preventing “substantially gainful employment.”
  • The total disability “must begin before the insured’s 65th birthday and must continue for at least six consecutive months,” according to VA.gov.
  • The total disability “may not begin prior to the effective date of the policy”.
  • There is one exception to the above; the waiver “may be granted if total disability commenced prior to the effective date only on S-DVI policies, provided it is due to a service-connected disability.”

Related: Private Military Life Insurance Guide




What Is Military Life Insurance?

Military life insurance is provided to servicemembers and their families to help offset the financial burden of losing a military loved one.

There are many types to choose from, starting with Servicemembers Group Life Insurance (SGLI) offered to those in uniform.

When you leave the military, one option offered by the military is Veterans Group Life Insurance (VGLI). Another is to seek third-party commercial military life insurance policies such as those offered by AAFMAA, and options offered by the federal government, including as Servicemembers’ Group Life Insurance (SGLI) and Veterans’ Group Life Insurance (VGLI).

According to Benefits.gov, those who choose Veterans Affairs life insurance policies “may have their premiums waived if they become totally disabled” but there are regulations governing this offer.

Related: Facts and Fiction About Military Life Insurance

Confusing Guidance?

Unfortunately, at press time, there’s a bit of confusion about the life insurance premium issue for disabled veterans. There is unclear guidance between government agency official sites about who qualifies and under which programs.

For example, at Benefits.gov, we are told:

“Many VA life insurance policies provide for a waiver of premiums if you become totally disabled.” However, the site adds a list of the policies that do not necessarily have a fee waiver option for totally disabled veterans. That list includes:

  • Supplemental Service-Disabled Veterans Insurance
  • Servicemembers’ Group Life Insurance (SGLI)
  • Family SGLI
  • Veterans’ Group Life Insurance (VGLI)
  • Veterans’ Mortgage Life Insurance (VMLI)

However, looking at VA.gov on the Life Insurance page, we learn the following:

“Most” VA Insurance policies contain a waiver of premiums provision, according to VA.gov, offered if the insured becomes totally disabled. The VA then lists the guidelines for qualifying for VA Life Insurance (listed above.)

VA.gov also mentions an option that Benefits.gov does not.

That benefit is known as a Total Disability Income Provision Rider (TDIP), and having one means a qualifying totally disabled veteran’s life insurance monthly payments are “paid to an insured starting on the first day of the seventh month of his or her continued total disability.”

“Payments continue as long as the total disability continues. This provision is available on all NSLI policies, except S-DVI (“RH”) and VRI”

You must apply for TDIP before their 55th birthday and you must be in good health.

VA.gov says the following veterans may qualify for TDIP:

  1. Those with a TDIP Rider in force on the date that total disability began or one year from when the rider ends AND;
  2. Have a mental or physical disability that prevents gainful employment AND
  3. Total disability must begin before the 65th birthday, AND
  4. Must continue for at least six consecutive months.

VA.gov says those who qualify may also be eligible for a waiver of premiums on the basic contract and the TDIP rider.

How To Apply

To apply, complete VA Form 29-357, Claim for Disability Insurance Benefits. Complete the form and submit to the address listed on it. According to the VA official site, the “fastest and most secure way to send documents to VA Insurance is to use our document upload service.”

Related: Private Military Life Insurance Guide


>> Getting affordable life insurance coverage with no medical exam or labs required is easy. Get a no-obligation, free consultation to determine your eligibility.  





About the author

Editor-in-Chief | + posts

Editor-in-Chief Joe Wallace is a 13-year veteran of the United States Air Force and a former reporter/editor for Air Force Television News and the Pentagon Channel. His freelance work includes contract work for Motorola, VALoans.com, and Credit Karma. He is co-founder of Dim Art House in Springfield, Illinois, and spends his non-writing time as an abstract painter, independent publisher, and occasional filmmaker.