Bill Seeks Higher Payouts for Veteran Life Insurance

Washington Report

(October 31, 2017) Rep. Steve Pearce, R-N.M., introduced legislation last week that would hike the cap on life-insurance payouts for disabled veterans from $10,000 to $95,000. In introducing the Disabled Veterans Life Insurance Act, H.R. 4146, he pointed out that the provisions of the program are based on mortality and annuity tables from 1941.

“For over 70 years, the [Service-disabled Veterans’ Life Insurance program] has been basing their costs off the assumption that veterans only live to an average age of about 62 years old,” he said in a statement. “The legislation I’m introducing will modernize this program to lower premium costs for veterans and provide increased funds to the families of deceased veterans.”

He called it an “antiquated insurance system that does little to provide the quality care and services [veterans] deserve.”

The bill would also extend the enrollment period from two years to 10 years.

The program was created in 1951 to allow veterans to purchase life insurance if their service-connected disabilities prevented them from purchasing it from private providers.

Pearce’s legislation has received support from several organizations, including the Veterans of Foreign Wars and the Disabled American Veterans.

Garry Augustine, the DAV executive director, said it would “make a real difference for many disabled veterans, their families and survivors