The program, which will be known as TSGLI, is designed to provide financial assistance to service members during their recovery period from a serious traumatic injury. A flat monthly premium of $1. 00 will be added to the monthly SGLI deduction, regardless of the amount of SGLI coverage that the member has elected, officials said, beginning Dec. 1.
A retroactive provision of the law provides that any service member, who suffered a qualifying loss between Oct. 7, 2001, and Dec. 1, 2005, will receive a benefit under the TSGLI program, if the loss was a direct result of injuries incurred in Operation Enduring Freedom or Operation Iraqi Freedom.
The Army has already received the first 144 claims for the Traumatic Servicemembersâ€™ Group Life Insurance for Soldiers who incurred a traumatic injury in support of OIF and OEF.
"Our nation's commitment to our Soldiers is evidenced by this program," said Col. Mary Carstensen, director of U.S. Army Wounded Warrior Program and TSGLI.
"TSGLI is another benefit which assists our fallen warriors and their families so they can focus on recovery, further exemplifying the Warrior Ethos, 'Never leave a fallen comrade,'"Carstensen said.
Administered by the Army Wounded Warrior Program, or AW2, on behalf of the Army, the mission of TSGLI is to ensure eligible Soldiers receive the monetary payments they are entitled to while providing them with the necessary information and assistance to complete and submit their TSGLI claims, officials said.
If a Soldier is unable to complete a claim due to incapacitation or death, family members with an appropriate Power of Attorney or letter of guardianship may apply for TSGLI benefits on behalf of a Soldier, officials said. Family members of a deceased Soldier who survived for 7 days after incurring a traumatic injury and qualifying loss may also apply for TSGLI benefits.
TSGLI covers a range of traumatic injuries, including, but not limited to:
o Total and permanent loss of sight in one or both eyes;
o Loss of hand or foot by severance at or above the wrist or ankle;
o Total and permanent loss of hearing in one or both ears;
o Loss of thumb and index finger of the same hand by severance at or above the metacarpophalangeal joints;
o Quadriplegia, paraplegia, or hemiplegia;
o 3rd degree or worse burns covering 30 percent of the body or 30 percent of the face; and
o Coma or the inability to carry out two of the six activities of daily living due to traumatic brain injury.
TSGLI is not disability compensation and has no effect on entitlement for compensation and pension benefits provided by the Department of Veterans Affairs or disability benefits provided by the Department of Defense, officials said. They said it is an insurance product similar to commercial dismemberment policies.
TSGLI provides money for a loss due to a specific traumatic event while disability compensation is intended to provide ongoing financial support to make up for the loss in income-earning potential due to service-connected injuries.
The Department of Defense developed this program in close coordination with the Department of Veteran's Affairs. The Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness will closely monitor implementation with the services and make necessary adjustments if required, officials said.
Additional information on the traumatic injury protection benefit, as well as a listing on qualifying injuries, can be obtained by calling 1-800-237-1336 or going to www.aw2.army.mil/TSGLI for application and contact information.
Claims can be faxed to 1-866-275-0684 or mailed to:
Department of the U.S. Army
Traumatic SGLI (TSGLI)
200 Stovall Street
Alexandria, VA 22332-0470