A servicemember who is covered by Servicemembers’ Group Life Insurance (SGLI) and experiences a traumatic injury may be eligible for short-term financial support during their recovery through Servicemembers’ Group Life Insurance Traumatic Injury Protection (TSGLI). These funds can be used however the servicemember sees fit.
All servicemembers with SGLI coverage are automatically given TSGLI, which provides between $25,000 and $100,000 to servicemembers who sustain severe injuries (including the loss of limbs). This coverage costs an additional $1 per month on top of the cost of SGLI. Servicemembers who decline SGLI are not eligible for TSGLI.
TSGLI coverage expires when servicemembers leave active duty.
Qualifying for TSGLI
To qualify for financial support through TSGLI:
- A servicemember must have been insured by SGLI when the traumatic injury occurred, and
- The servicemember must have been serving on active duty, as a member of the Reserve or National Guard, on funeral honors duty, or on one-day muster duty at the time of the traumatic injury’s occurrence, and
- The traumatic injury must have occurred before midnight on the day that the servicemember separated from the military, and
- The servicemember must have survived for at least seven days after the traumatic injury’s occurrence, and
- The traumatic injury must have directly caused a scheduled loss, and
- The scheduled loss must have occurred within two years of the traumatic injury’s occurrence.
The traumatic injury cannot be self-inflicted, involve the use of illegal drugs or controlled substances taken outside of a doctor’s orders, have occurred in the process of committing a felony, or be the result of diagnosis or treatment of an illness or disease.
Traumatic injuries need not have occurred while a servicemember is on duty; a servicemember may also file a claim for injuries suffered off duty that meet the qualifications above.
Filing a TSGLI Claim
Servicemembers can apply for TSGLI payments by filling out SGLV 8600, Application for TSGLI Benefits. Applications can be submitted by fax or email, or through the United States Postal Service, to an address specific to the servicemember’s branch of service. The application requires information and documentation about the traumatic injury, details about when it occurred, and a statement from a medical professional certifying the injuries and qualifying losses suffered by the servicemember.
Note that TSGLI coverage was expanded in April 2023 to include:
- Limb reconstruction surgery
- Inpatient hospital care at a critical care, rehabilitation, or skilled nursing facility
- Care to help servicemembers transition from inpatient medical facilities back to their homes
If a claim for the aforementioned services was previously denied, a servicemember may still be eligible to file a new claim.
Note that a servicemember can only file one claim per traumatic event, regardless of the number of injuries sustained during the event. If a servicemember experiences multiple traumatic events while covered by SGLI, they are able to file multiple TSGLI claims provided the traumatic injuries incurred qualify them for financial support.
The amount of financial support that TSGLI provides depends on the losses that result from the traumatic injury. Losses are defined as either the physical injury suffered or the duration of the servicemember’s hospitalization or inability to perform at least two activities of daily living.
For example, an injury that results in complete and permanent blindness will result in a payment of $50,000 per eye to the servicemember, while one that requires facial reconstruction surgery to correct the loss of 50% or more of the chin (after loss of bone or tissue) will result in a $25,000 payment.
If a servicemember’s injury results in at least 15 consecutive days of hospitalization, they may receive $25,000. If the traumatic injury causes the servicemember to be unable to perform at least two activities of daily living for a period exceeding 30 consecutive days, they are able to receive a payment between $25,000 and $100,000 (depending on the length of their incapacitation).
TSGLI provides financial support to servicemembers who suffer traumatic injuries both on and off duty. If you have questions about TSGLI, our Education and Veterans Services team can help you get the answers you need. You can reach them at 888-298-4442.