VGLI Claims and Divorce Cases: A Divorced Spouse’s Rights to Collect Veterans Death Benefits After Separation

Life insurance is often discussed in family law cases because it is taken into consideration when people go through divorce and determine spousal support and child support. The proceeds of a VGLI policy may be included as an item in a divorce decree, spousal and child support arrangements, and equitable distribution contracts. For these reasons, it is important to understand Veterans’ Group Life Insurance in the context of divorce and family law. 

Besides, being governed by federal laws, VGLI laws make divorce cases even more complex to deal with by yourself. To understand your rights and options, you should consult with a VGLI lawyer.

If you or someone you know has issues with a delayed or denied VGLI claim after divorce, call us at (888) 510-2212 for a free consultation. 

veterans benefits divorced spouse

VGLI Beneficiary Designation: Who Gets the Life Insurance Benefits of the Deceased Veteran?

VGLI, or Veterans’ Group Life Insurance, is a program that provides term life insurance coverage to veterans. While in active service, service members are covered by SGLI (Servicemembers’ Group Life Insurance). When a service member leaves active duty, he has an option of converting his SGLI policy to a VGLI policy or to a commercial policy. If a veteran chooses VGLI coverage, he will complete a VGLI beneficiary designation form asking him to name at least one individual who will receive his VGLI benefits after his death.

Under VGLI laws, an insured veteran may change a beneficiary at any time without the previous beneficiary’s consent. A change of beneficiary is valid when it complies with the insurer’s requirements for changing a beneficiary and is received before the insured’s death. Under laws controlling denied VGLI claims, the insurance is not required to inform the previous beneficiary of a subsequent beneficiary change.

How VGLI Claims for Veterans Benefits Work in Divorce Cases?

In a divorce, a VGLI policy may be included in a state divorce decree and it may obligate a divorcing veteran to maintain this coverage for the benefit of his former spouse or children. Such divorce decrees restrict the insured’s actions in changing life insurance beneficiaries and may be valid in state law cases. However, VGLI claims are governed by the federal law which allows the insured veteran to change beneficiaries at any time.

Further, federal law protects the insured’s wishes and does not allow any contradicting state law claims. Thus, even if a divorced individual has a state court order restricting him from changing beneficiaries on his VGLI policy, he may still change beneficiaries under the federal statute. Since the federal law trumps any conflicting state law, after the veteran’s death, the divorced individual’s VGLI claim may be denied by the insurance company.

divorced spouse of deceased veteran benefits

Contact a VGLI Lawyer If Your Death Benefits Claim Has Been Denied or Delayed After Divorce

If a life insurance claim is denied, all legal issues must be examined in order to protect the parties’ rights. Since every denied life insurance case is a unique set of facts and circumstances, there is no one rule that is applicable to all VGLI claim denials. However, VGLI laws are complex, therefore a VGLI claim denial or delay should not be a do-it-yourself project. You have a higher chance of winning your case if you consult with a VGLI lawyer prior to filing a claim. 

At our law firm, we have helped many veterans’ families and beneficiaries collect VGLI benefits. If you or someone you know has a denied life insurance claim, call our life insurance attorneys for a free consultation. A denied VGLI claim attorney will review your case and advise you on how to proceed to ensure the maximum recovery of VGLI benefits. 

No Legal Fee Unless We Win Your Case!

Our VGLI lawyers work on a contingent fee basis. That means we will not charge a legal fee unless we collect the VGLI life insurance death benefits for you. Only then we will agree on a reasonable fee you are comfortable with.

If your claim to VGLI benefits has been delayed or denied, contact our VGLI attorneys for help.  We have the dedication, knowledge, and experience needed to win your case. 

For a free case evaluation, call us at (888) 510-2212.

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About the author

Attorney Tatiana Kadetskaya has over 10 years of experience in life insurance law representing beneficiaries and policy owners. She is best known for successfully collecting denied and delayed claims and settling complex beneficiary disputes and interpleader lawsuits.

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