by Peter S. Gaytan
This is important news for servicemembers who served between October 7, 2001 and November 30, 2005 and suffered a traumatic injury.
Effective October 1, the Servicemembersí Group Life Insurance Traumatic Injury Protection benefit (TSGLI) will be payable for all qualifying injuries incurred during that period, regardless of the geographic location where the injuries occurred
. Previously only servicemembers injured in Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) or Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) were eligible for the benefit. Now servicemembers who suffered serious traumatic injuries while serving stateside or in other locations during this time period will be eligible for TSGLI. Furthermore, this retroactive benefit will be payable whether or not the servicemember had Servicemembersí Group Life Insurance (SGLI) at the time of the injury.
In addition, National Guard and reserve members who suffered a qualifying loss during this retroactive period are also eligible for a TSGLI payment. The injury does not have to be related to military service and includes civilian car accidents or injuries around the home. Even if you are no longer in the National Guard or reserves, you may apply for TSGLI as long as the injury occurred while you were in service.
TSGLI will provide payment for severe traumatic injuries including: amputations; limb salvage; paralysis; burns; loss of sight, hearing, or speech; facial reconstruction; 15-day continuous hospitalization; coma; and loss of activities of daily living due to traumatic brain injury or other traumatic injuries.
All branches of service are identifying any claims that were previously denied because the injury did not occur during OEF or OIF.
If you believe you are eligible for TSGLI, go to your branch of service TSGLI office or go to this web site: http://www.insurance.va.gov/sgliSite/TSGLI/TSGLI.htm