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  #1  
Old 11-07-2009, 08:37 PM
Pray for peace Pray for peace is offline
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Military benefits for families of U.S. soldiers killed in Iraq or Afghanistan

If a U.S. soldier is killed in Iraq or Afghanistan, what benefits are paid to the soldier's family? If the specifics matter, let's assume that she was married and is survived by a husband and 2 children.

Are soldiers given an opportunity to purchase additional life insurance if they wish to do so? Would such insurance (if available) be purchased from the military or a private insurer?

Is the family of a soldier who was killed on the base at Fort Hood entitled to receive the same benefits as the family of a soldier killed in Iraq or Afghanistan?
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  #2  
Old 11-07-2009, 08:40 PM
Bijou Drains Bijou Drains is offline
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Yes they can buy extra life insurance just like private employers offer extra coverage.

Some states have benefits that are beyond what the feds offer. For example a friend of mine lost his father in Vietnam. All the children in his family got free college at public schools in NC. I think that benefit still exists here for NC residents.
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Old 11-07-2009, 09:23 PM
Pray for peace Pray for peace is offline
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Among other benefits, the surviving family is entitled to a death gratuity.

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The death gratuity is a lump sum payment made by the Department of Defense to the survivors or other individuals identified by the service member prior to his/her death while on active duty, active duty for training, inactive duty for training, or within 120 days after release from active duty if the death is due to a service-related disability. The amount of death gratuity is $100,000.00 and is tax exempt.
An electable life insurance policy is available, Servicemembers Group Life Insurance (SGLI), which has a maximum amount of $400,000.

Additional benefits are available, including Survivor Benefit Plan (SBP) payments and Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC). I am not sure of the conditions under which these benefits would apply.
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Old 11-08-2009, 10:05 AM
LSLGuy LSLGuy is offline
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You can buy private insurance as well, but the buyer needs to be careful. Many private life insurance policues have exclusions for combat, terrorism, and other causes of death. Certainly those are not appropriate polices for front-line troops.

When I was in in the 1980s, SGLI topped out at 40K. Nice to see servicemembers lives are worth 10x what they were in the 80s. Not being snarky, it's good they corrected at least one of the many inflation-driven inequities that had accumulated.

Last edited by LSLGuy; 11-08-2009 at 10:06 AM..
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Old 11-08-2009, 11:41 AM
Loach Loach is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LSLGuy View Post
You can buy private insurance as well, but the buyer needs to be careful. Many private life insurance policues have exclusions for combat, terrorism, and other causes of death. Certainly those are not appropriate polices for front-line troops.

When I was in in the 1980s, SGLI topped out at 40K. Nice to see servicemembers lives are worth 10x what they were in the 80s. Not being snarky, it's good they corrected at least one of the many inflation-driven inequities that had accumulated.
Generally those companies that cater to the military do not have those clauses and tell you up front. I'm thinking particularly of USAA.

Quote:
Is the family of a soldier who was killed on the base at Fort Hood entitled to receive the same benefits as the family of a soldier killed in Iraq or Afghanistan?
Yes. It would also be the same if they died in a car accident or falling down the stairs.
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  #6  
Old 11-08-2009, 12:56 PM
Chessic Sense Chessic Sense is offline
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And the rates are extremely cheap. SGLI cost me something like $20 a month for $400k worth of coverage. And then there's groups like Gold Star families and the VA that take care of families with lost loved ones. The Army doesn't screw around with the families of casualties. They're very well taken care of.

Side note: In the military, you have to jump through hoops to to NOT have life insurance. 99% of the Army has the same plan and every time they change a policy related to it, you get a letter saying "Here's the changes. Your policy will be updated automatically." Now for 99% of the Army, that's fine and dandy. But the auto-change kept giving me life insurance that I didn't want. So repeatedly, I'd have to go fill out papers to have it waived over and over again.
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  #7  
Old 11-09-2009, 10:23 AM
Elendil's Heir Elendil's Heir is offline
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Why decline the life insurance?
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  #8  
Old 11-09-2009, 11:05 AM
Chessic Sense Chessic Sense is offline
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No dependents, no expenses, no affairs to wrap up when I'm dead. I was only 19 at the time. Keep in mind that I'd still get buried for free. And I'd never see a dime of it, dead or not. So it's a net loss for me no matter what happens. You call it "life insurance", I call it a "tax for staying alive".

The only person that wanted me to have the life insurance was my mother, the beneficiary. Until I asked her, "Why mom? All those zeros going to take the edge off?"

A lot of people ask me why I would decline such a 'great' deal, until I point out that it's not great from my perspective. So why would I want it?
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  #9  
Old 11-09-2009, 11:46 AM
Bear_Nenno Bear_Nenno is offline
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Only because if every healthy, single, 19 year old in the Army decided to decline his SGLI then that company wouldn't be able to afford to pay the soldiers who actually die.
I was similarly against being forced to pay for SGLI when I didn't want it, and certainly didn't need it. At one point, I realized that what I was actually doing was paying in to a pool that pays the families of fallen soldiers. I couldn't argue with that. It's definitely worth 25 dollars to me to see that the family of every fallen soldier is at least compensated with their half million dollars.
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