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H.R. 2835

Service-Disabled Veterans Insurance

Veterans who are granted a service-connected disability but are otherwise in good health may apply to VA for up to $10,000 life insurance coverage. The following is a summary of Service Disabled Veterans Insurance:

Service-Disabled Veterans Insurance

The Service-Disabled Veterans Insurance (S-DVI) program was established in 1951 to meet the insurance needs of certain veterans with service connected disabilities. S-DVI is available in a variety of permanent plans as well as term insurance. Policies are issued for a maximum face amount of $10,000.

Veterans who are granted a service-connected disability but are otherwise in good health may apply to VA for up to $10,000 in life insurance coverage at standard insurance rates within two years from the date VA notifies the veteran that the disability has been rated as service-connected. This insurance is limited to veterans who left service after April 24,1951.

Veterans who are totally disabled may apply for a waiver of premiums. For those who are eligible for this waiver, an additional policy of up to $20,000 is available. Premiums, however, cannot be waived on the additional insurance.

Eligibility For S-DVI Insurance ("RH")

You are eligible if you if:

  • You have received a rating for a service-connected disability.
  • You apply for the insurance within two years from the date service-connection is established. (Public Law 102-86 extended the initial one-year limit for service-connection grants made on or after September 1, 1991.)
  • You are in good health with the exception of your service-connected disabilities.

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Eligibility For Supplemental S-DVI ("Supplemental RH")

The Veterans' Benefits Act of 1992, provided for $20,000 of supplemental coverage to S-DVI policyholders. Premiums may not be waived on this supplemental coverage. You may be eligible for this waiver if you are a S-DVI policyholder and you meet the following criteria:

  • You are eligible for a waiver of premiums.
  • You apply for the coverage within one year from notice of the grant of waiver.
  • You are under age 65

See our Service-Disabled Veterans Insurance page for details.

Visit the Insurance Center to get information, advice, tips and to learn more about your life, auto, renters, and long-term care insurance options.

To apply for Supplemental S-DVI, you must file VA Form 29-0189, Application for Supplemental Service-Disabled Veterans (RH) Life Insurance or send a letter requesting this insurance over your signature. You must apply for the coverage within one year from notice of the grant of waiver of premiums.

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Gratuitous S-DVI ("ARH")

Gratuitous Service-Disabled Veterans Insurance (S-DVI) (ARH) is granted posthumously to Veterans who:

  • Met the basic eligibility requirements for S-DVI; AND
  • Did not apply for S-DVI because of a continued mental incompetence due to a service-connected disability; AND
  • Died before the appointment of a guardian or within two years of such appointment
Veterans Affairs (VA) must receive an application for payment of Gratuitous S-DVI (ARH) within two years from the date of the Veteran's death.

If the person making the claim is mentally or legally incompetent, and did not file the claim in time, VA can receive the application within one year after incompetency ends.

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Premiums For S-DVI Insurance

To provide financial relief from the high premium rates at advanced ages, "RH" term premiums were "capped" at the age 70 renewal rate effective November 1, 2000. This means that the annual premium for these policies will not exceed $69.73 per $1,000 of coverage.

Premiums charged for S-DVI coverage are as follows:

  • Based on the rates a healthy individual would have been charged when the program began in 1951.
  • Waived for totally disabled veterans (36% of S-DVI policyholders).
  • Insufficient to pay all of the claims because the program insures many veterans with severe disabilities.
  • Supplemented on an annual basis by Congressional appropriations.

There are no reserves or surplus funds in this program. Therefore, dividends are not paid.

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Disability Provisions

S-DVI policies (except supplemental coverage) provide for the following disability benefits:

  • A waiver of premiums at no extra cost based on the insured's total disability lasting six months or longer and starting before age 65;
  • A total disability premium waiver in cases where the total disability commenced prior to the effective date of the policy, providing the total disability is service-connected.

The optional Total Disability Income Provision is not available under this program.

Qualified veterans can apply online for S-DVI coverage at the Department of Veteran Affairs S-DVI Website.

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