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CHAPTER 8. Death Claims

8.01 GENERAL
8.02 PROOF OF DEATH AND VERIFICATION OF INSURANCE IN FORCE
8.03 PREPARATION OF SGLV 8283
8.04 CONTACTING THE BENEFICIARY WHEN DEATH OCCURS
8.05 WHEN SURVIVOR HAS NO PROOF OF SGLI COVERAGE
8.06 PAYMENT OF PROCEEDS

 8.01 GENERAL

a. All claims for death benefits for any member who dies while insured under SGLI must be submitted to the OSGLI, 80 Livingston Avenue, Roseland, New Jersey 07068-1733.

b. Upon receipt by the OSGLI of proof that an insured member has died, OSGLI will pay to the proper beneficiary the amount for which the member is insured under the group policy. The form SGLV 8283, Claim for Death Benefits (see Appendix A) is provided for the purpose of claiming the proceeds. Payment will be made to the member's designated beneficiary surviving at the time of the member's death; or if no beneficiary was designated, the proceeds will be paid in order of precedence as provided by law. (See paragraph 6.06 for the order of precedence.)

c. Under no circumstances can more than $400,000 group life insurance (plus interest) be paid in settlement of a death claim. This is emphasized for the situation when a member reenters on active duty, active duty for training or inactive duty training during a period of coverage following an earlier period of such duty.

d. Any determination as to eligibility of a claimant as beneficiary or any request for evidence required in support of a claim will be made by the OSGLI. This office must also receive proof that a claimant is entitled to payment. If, for example, the payment in the order of precedence is made to parents and one parent is deceased, a certified copy of the death certificate for the deceased parent should be furnished. NOTE: If form SGLV 8283 was not furnished to the beneficiary, one may be obtained from the OSGLI, or any VA office. If the beneficiary has no tangible evidence of SGLI coverage, see paragraph 8.05.

8.02 PROOF OF DEATH AND VERIFICATION OF INSURANCE IN FORCE

When a claim is filed for insurance, proof of death and verification of the amount of insurance in force will be established by one of the following types of evidence:

a. If death of a member occurs while on active duty, active duty for training, inactive duty training or in an active duty status as a Ready Reservist/National Guard member, DD Form 1300, Report of Casualty, or its equivalent, will be issued by the deceased member's uniformed service and sent directly to the OSGLI. The beneficiary need not supply proof of death.

b. If a member insured under full-time coverage dies within the period the insurance remains in force following termination of duty, a certified copy of the death certificate and a copy of DD 214, Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty, or Form NGB 22,Certificate of Release from the National Guard must accompany the form SGLV 8283 and be submitted to the OSGLI.

c. If an insured under part-time coverage dies within the 120-day period following a period of duty during which a disability was incurred or aggravated, a certified copy of the death certificate and a statement from the attending physician concerning the disability and period of duty must be sent with the form SGLV 8283 to the OSGLI.

8.03 PREPARATION OF SGLV 8283

a. In filing a claim for the insurance proceeds, form SGLV 8283 must be completed by the designated beneficiary or, in the absence of such designation, by the primary beneficiary as listed in the order of precedence. (See paragraph 6.06 for the order of precedence.)

b. Information (printed or typed) should be furnished on the form SGLV 8283 as explained on the form. All claimants must complete items 1 through 4, and numbers 5 and 6, if known.

(1) A claimant who is the designated beneficiary need complete only items 7, 8, 9 and 10 of part I and all of part IV.

(2) If a spouse was not designated as beneficiary and no other beneficiary was designated, the surviving spouse should complete all items of parts I and IV.

(3) Other claimants should complete items 7, 8, 9, and 10 of part I and all of parts II, III and IV.

c. It is essential that all requested information be furnished. The omission of answers or incomplete answers or the failure to furnish the necessary or requested information may delay settlement of the claim. NOTE: VA has no authority to seek the appointment of a fiduciary (trustee or trusteeship) for SGLI purposes. It is important to remember that any settlement of claims is strictly a matter between the person filing the claim and the OSGLI.

8.04 CONTACTING THE BENEFICIARY WHEN DEATH OCCURS

a. When an insured member dies, the uniformed service will examine the member's personnel file to learn if a beneficiary for SGLI has been designated by the insured. If no designation was made, the uniformed service representative should carefully review the file to learn the next of kin or survivor as shown in the official record and determine if such person would qualify as the eligible beneficiary according to the order of precedence.

b. If the insured has not designated a beneficiary and the person(s) listed in the official records is for some obvious reason not eligible, or there is some doubt concerning that person's eligibility as beneficiary or next of kin, the uniformed service should:

(1) Complete the DD Form 1300 or an equivalent form and make the notation that no form SGLV 8283 was furnished.

(2) If there is no record of form SGLV 8286, list the name and address of the next of kin as shown on DD Form 1300, or equivalent from, and forward the report to the OSGLI. When there is some uncertainty or unusual circumstances involved, a statement of the pertinent facts should be attached.

8.05 WHEN SURVIVOR HAS NO PROOF OF SGLI COVERAGE

a. Occasionally a beneficiary or survivor will ask a uniformed service or a VA office for assistance in filing a death claim and will not have a DD Form 214 as tangible evidence of insurance coverage.

b. If the uniformed service is asked to assist, the service should inform the OSGLI of the amount of insurance and the last named beneficiary or next of kin of record including any other elections by the insured. If the insurance is in force and there is no doubt regarding the beneficiary, form SGLV 8283 should be provided to the beneficiary for completion and submission to the OSGLI.

c. When VA is asked to assist in filing a death claim and the survivor has no evidence of the group insurance, VA will assist the survivor in completing the form SGLV 8283. The claim form and copy of the death certificate will be forwarded to the OSGLI by VA with a letter explaining the circumstances involved, including any other pertinent facts supplied by the survivor, or from VA files which will be helpful to the OSGLI in verifying the deceased member's insurance.

8.06 PAYMENT OF PROCEEDS

a. If a principal beneficiary, otherwise entitled to payment of the insurance proceeds, does not make a claim for the proceeds within 1 year following the death of the insured, or if payment to such person within that period is prohibited by Federal law or regulation, payment may be made to the contingent beneficiary or in the order of precedence as set forth in paragraph 6.06 as if the person had died before the insured. Any such payment shall bar recovery by any other person.

b. If, within 2 years after the death of the member, no claim has been made by any person entitled, and neither VA nor the OSGLI has received any notice that such a claim will be made, payment may be made to any claimant that may be equitably entitled to the proceeds as determined by VA; and such payment will be a bar to recovery by another person.

c. If the insured member elects a lump sum payment, the beneficiary (ies) will be given the option of receiving the lump sum payment either through the Prudential Alliance Account, check, or by Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT).* Beneficiaries who receive a lump sum payment can take advantage of no cost professional financial advice through the Beneficiary Financial Counseling service. More information about BFCS can be found in Chapter 9 of this handbook.

*  Alliance is not available for payments less than $5,000, payments to individuals residing outside the United States and its territories, and certain other payments.  These will be paid by check.

An Alliance Account is an interest bearing draft account established in the beneficiary's(ies') name(s) with a draft book.  The beneficiary can write drafts ("checks") for any amount up to the full amount of the proceeds.  There are no monthly service fees or per check charges and additional checks can be ordered at no cost, but fees apply for some special services including returned checks, stop payment orders and copies of statements/checks.

The funds in an Alliance Account begin earning interest immediately and will continue to earn interest until all funds are withdrawn.  Interest is accrued daily, compounded daily and credited every month.  The interest rate may change and will vary over time subject to a minimum rate that will not change more than once every 90 days.  The beneficiary will be advised in advance of any change to the minimum interest rate via the quarterly Alliance Account statement or the beneficiary may call Customer Support at (877) 255-4262.

Open Solutions Inc. is the Service Provider of the Prudential Alliance Account Settlement Option, a contractual obligation of The Prudential Insurance Company of America, located at 751 Broad Street, Newark, NJ 07102-3777. Draft clearing and processing support is provided by UMB Bank, N.A. Alliance Account balances are not insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC). Open Solutions Inc. and UMB Bank, N.A. are not Prudential Financial companies.

d. Beneficiaries who receive a lump sum payment can take advantage of no cost professional financial advice through the Beneficiary Financial Counseling service. More information about BFCS can be found in Chapter 9 of this handbook.

e. If the proceeds are to be paid in 36 equal monthly payments, the first payment will be payable as of the date of death. The amount of each payment will be computed so as to include interest on the unpaid balance at the then effective rate.

f. If the insured designated that proceeds are to be paid in 36 equal payments to the principal beneficiary and that beneficiary dies before the full 36 payments have been paid, the remaining payments will be paid to the contingent beneficiary as the payments become due. If the contingent beneficiary dies before receiving all payments, or if there is no contingent beneficiary and the principal beneficiary dies before receiving all the payments, the unpaid payments, less the interest which would have accrued, will be paid in one sum to the estate of the beneficiary last receiving payment (principal or contingent). NOTE: The address of the Casualty Office for each branch of service is provided in Appendix B.

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