When a family loses a loved one, they lose not only the emotional support and love they used to receive, but they may also lose the only source of income they had. It is a devastating time for many servicemembers’ families. If there was SGLI coverage in place at the time of a loved one’s death, it may be used to cover the many financial obligations arising out of the untimely passing of the family member. However, not every SGLI claim is paid out smoothly. Some claims are delayed for weeks and months adding to the stress of a grieving family. In order to expedite a delayed SGLI claim and to make sure it is not denied, it is important to know the reasons behind an SGLI claim delay.
An SGLI claim is considered delayed if it is not paid after all claim forms and proof of death have been submitted to the insurance company. A delayed SGLI claim may be eventually paid or it may be denied. Generally, if a claim is delayed, it means that there are issues that need to be resolved before a payment can be made to the right individual. Your chances of recovering a delayed SGLI claim depend on the reasons behind the claim delay and the specifics of your case.
An SGLI claim may be delayed if two or more beneficiaries file competing claims for the same SGLI benefits. This may be the result of several beneficiary designations or recent beneficiary changes. It may also be the result of a divorce, a child support order or a court order directing the insurance company to pay SGLI benefits to a person other than the designated beneficiary on an SGLI policy.
SGLI claims are controlled by federal laws which protect insured servicemembers’ beneficiary designations. SGLI laws will trump any conflicting state statutes or court orders that state that SGLI benefits must be paid to a person other than the one designated as the beneficiary. Certainly, there are exceptions to this general rule.
SGLI regulations require beneficiaries to submit many forms and documents in order to receive the SGLI payout. If some of these forms are not properly filled out or submitted timely to the insurance company, it can result in an SGLI claim delay. A claim delay may also indicate that the insurance company needs additional documents to prove eligibility, effective dates of coverage, the amount of SGLI selection or the insured’s status at the time of death. For example, if the insured’s status must be confirmed in order for the claim benefits to become payable, the insurance company may request specific records from the Department of Defense and the insured servicemember’s unit. This may delay payment of the SGLI claim for several months. An SGLI attorney will oversee the process of proof of loss submission and will work with the insurance company directly to ensure the SGLI benefits are paid without any delay.
Since the laws governing SGLI claims are complex, many SGLI beneficiaries may be confused about their legal rights. The SGLI attorneys at our firm can work with you to evaluate your case and explain your rights to you. We can also guide you through the process of filing an SGLI claim, expediting a delayed SGLI claim and fighting a denied SGLI claim. Our SGLI lawyers work on a contingent fee basis and charge a legal fee only if we win your case.
Call (888) 510-2212 for a free SGLI consultation.