The Family Servicemembers' Group Life Insurance (FSGLI) contains a little known benefit for families who experience a late pregnancy loss. FSGLI for stillborn children has specific rules and qualifications.
Warning: Though technically correct, the language used here may be difficult for some people to read. It is hard for me.
FSGLI Coverage Basics
FSGLI coverage is available to spouses of military members who elect Servicemembers' Group Life Insurance (SGLI), and it includes coverage on children complimentary with the spouse coverage. FSGLI is paid via payroll deductions. Coverage is up to $100,000 but may not exceed the amount of SGLI that the service member carries. Children are covered for $10,000. Premium amounts vary depending on the age of the insured spouse.
In most cases, FSGLI coverage is automatic, based upon the information entered in the Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System (DEERS.) FSGLI coverage may be reduced or declined. You can verify FSGLI enrollment by checking the deductions section of your Leave and Earnings Statement (LES.)
Note that FSGLI coverage is not automatic for dual military couples.
FSGLI for Stillborn Children
Under FSGLI child coverage, the $10,000 benefit is paid upon the death of a covered, dependent child. Under FSGLI guidelines, the definition of a dependent child includes stillborn child whose death occurs before expulsion, extraction or delivery, and not for the purposes of abortion, and:
- whose fetal weight is 350 grams or more; or
- whose duration in utero is 20 completed weeks of gestation.
While no one ever hopes to make a claim under the coverage, it may provide financial relief to families during a challenging time. While it may be used for any purpose, common uses are to pay funeral costs and transportation to another location for a funeral service.
Making a Claim
A servicemember starts a claim for FSGLI benefits by notifying his or her personnel support office, who should notify a trained casualty assistance person. Documentation from health care providers will be required.
I hope this information may be helpful to military families who are facing the loss of a child before birth. Please tuck it away in your brain so that you can share it with a friend, family member or co-worker who is in this situation. Thank you.
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