FEGLI Life Insurance Claims for Death Benefits: What Beneficiaries Must Know About Denied or Delayed Cases

The FEGLI death benefit is a payout to the beneficiary of the life insurance policy, annuity, or pension when the federal employee or retiree passes away.

If your FEGLI claim has been denied or it has not been paid within 30 days of submitting the claim, it is best to have a consultation with a FEGLI attorney to understand the reason behind the claim denial. FEGLI claims are very complex, it is necessary to get advice from a life insurance attorney specializing in the field of FEGLI laws.

Our firm also has extensive experience with the complex appeals procedure and litigation of FEGLI matters. We have helped many people who have had their FEGLI benefits denied. 

Many people may not know that their FEGLI claims are subject to Federal laws and thus exempt from state law. In many of these cases remedies are limited and the timelines for filing appeals are very strict. Our FEGLI Lawyers have vast experience in handling matters in the specialized area of FEGLIA.

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

Below we will address some of the most frequent legal questions we get from beneficiaries who are in need of help with their denied or delayed FEGLI claims:

FEGLI Death Benefits Claims FAQ 

Denied FEGLI Claims

When a FEGLI claim is denied, you should consult with an experienced FEGLI attorney to understand the reason behind the claim denial because the laws governing FEGLI claims are very complex. There are many reasons behind a denied FEGLI claim and in the majority of cases, they are related to failure to comply with strict FEGLI regulations.

The most common reasons for denying a FEGLI claim are:

Our firm has extensive experience with the complex appeals procedure and litigation of FEGLI matters. We have helped many people who have had their FEGLI benefits denied for all the reasons listed above. 

To speak to one of our FEGLI attorneys, call (888) 510-2212.

Delayed FEGLI Claims

If your FEGLI claim has not been paid within 30 days of submitting the supporting documentation, it is best to have a consultation with a FEGLI attorney. Expediting a delayed life insurance claim requires vast legal knowledge and expertise in FEGLI laws. 

FEGLI life insurance claim is delayed due to the following reasons:

  • Delay due to insufficient supporting documents;
  • Delay due to because a death certificate cannot be obtained;
  • Delay due to several competing claims filed;
  • Delay due to a beneficiary contest;
  • Delay due to a beneficiary dispute;
  • When only one witness signed a beneficiary change form;
  • When a beneficiary change form was received after the insured’s death;
  • Delay due to no beneficiary designation on file;
  • Delay due to issues with percentages of FEGLI benefits assigned to several beneficiaries;
  • Delay due to  two executors of the decedent’s estate filing competing claims for benefits.

Our FEGLI attorneys know how FEGLI claims are reviewed and what information the insurance company needs to pay your claim fast. They have handled all the situations above with success for FEGLI beneficiaries.

Call (888) 510-2212 for a free confidential consultation.

FEGLI and Divorce 

Divorce FEGLI claim cases are governed by federal laws which take precedence over any conflicting state law or regulation. According to these laws, FEGLI benefits are paid only to the beneficiary designated on the FEGLI beneficiary designation form. However, each case is different and can be an exception to the rule. To understand your rights as an ex-spouse, you need the help of an attorney specialized in FEGLI laws.

Call (888) 510-2212 to get a free consultation with one of our FEGLI attorneys. We have successfully handled many divorce cases involving disputes for FEGLI death benefits claims and have the expertise and knowledge to offer advice on how to fight for your rights. Here’s an example of how we recovered the benefits for our client, a FEGLI beneficiary divorcee.

Learn more about FEGLI life insurance and divorce.

What Is FEGLI & How Does It Work?

FEGLI (or FEGLIA) stands for The Federal Employees’ Group Life Insurance Act of 1954 and is  a group life insurance program for federal and postal employees and annuitants. This insurance is handled by the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) but comes from MetLife, Metropolitan Life Insurance Company.

The FEGLI program covers over 4 million Federal employees and retirees, as well as many of their family members. Most federal government employees are eligible for FEGLI coverage. 

How Long Does It Take for FEGLI to Pay?

Federal Employee Group Life Insurance (FEGLI) death benefits should be paid by the insurance company within 30 days from the date a beneficiary filed a notice of claim and submitted all necessary supporting documents. Processing a claim usually involves reviewing several documents and the claims examiner may request additional information from the beneficiary during the process. If the beneficiary complies with the requests for information and documents, the insurance company must pay the claim. If, however, additional documentation is unavailable or there are other issues with the claim, the insurer may delay or even deny paying it.

FEGLI Coverage: What Is Basic Life Insurance Under FEGLI?

New Federal employees are automatically guaranteed Basic life insurance coverage on the date he is eligible for FEGLI. Premiums will be automatically deducted from employees’ paychecks unless they opt out. If an employee does not wish to participate in FEGLI, he needs to notify his employer in writing. If the employer receives such notice before the employee becomes insured, the insurance will not take effect on the effective date. If the employer receives notice after FEGLI takes effect, it will stop at the end of the pay period in which the notice was received.

A Federal employee’s basic life insurance coverage amount usually equals his annual salary. An employee who is younger than 45 is eligible to be insured for an amount that is equal to the employee’s basic insurance amount (usually the employee’s annual salary) multiplied by the appropriate factor based on the employee’s age. In addition to basic life insurance coverage, FEGLI insureds are eligible for optional coverage and AD&D coverage (group accidental death and dismemberment insurance).

Does FEGLI Cover Suicide?

Unlike commercial life insurance policies, FEGLI doesn’t have a suicide clause. FEGLI proceeds are payable regardless of the cause or location of death. However, OFEGLI won’t pay AD&D benefits since the death is not accidental.

Termination of FEGLI

FEGLI will terminate on the date a Federal employee separates from the service or 12 months after discontinuance of his pay. There is a 31-day temporary extension of life insurance coverage for conversion to an individual policy of life insurance during which FEGLI coverage will remain in effect.

How Does FEGLI Life Insurance Work in Retirement?

If an employee retires on an immediate annuity and has been insured throughout the 5 years of service immediately preceding the date of the employee’s retirement, his FEGLI coverage, without accidental death and dismemberment insurance, may be continued.

Living Benefits under FEGLI

An insured Federal employee may receive living benefits if he is terminally ill and has a medical prognosis that his life expectancy is 9 months or less. A Federal employee may receive an amount of living benefits that is equal to the full amount of his FEGLI coverage or a portion of it. If the insured receives the total amount of coverage as a living benefit lump sum payment, his beneficiaries will not receive FEGLI benefits after his death. If, however, the employee receives only a portion of the FEGLI benefits as a living benefit in case of a terminal illness, his beneficiaries will receive the remainder of the FEGLI benefits upon the insured’s death.

Short-term appointment, seasonal and intermittent employment

The Office of Personnel Management may prescribe regulations necessary to carry out FEGLIA. The regulations of the Office may prescribe and the conditions under which an employee is eligible for coverage. The OPM may exclude an employee on the basis of the nature and type of his employment, such as Short-Term Appointment, Seasonal And Intermittent Employment.

FEGLI Designation of Beneficiary: Life Insurance Payout Order of Precedence

FEGLIA permits an employee to name a beneficiary of life insurance proceeds and specifies an “order of precedence” providing that an employee’s death benefits accrue first to that beneficiary ahead of other potential recipients. 

The amount of group life insurance and group accidental death insurance in force on an employee at the date of his death is paid in the following order of precedence:

  1. To the beneficiary or beneficiaries designated by the employee in a signed and witnessed writing received before death in the employing office or,
  2. If there is no designated beneficiary, to the widow or widower of the employee.
  3. If none of the above, to the child or children of the employee and descendants of deceased children by representation.
  4. If none of the above, to the parents of the employee or the survivor of them.
  5. If none of the above, to the duly appointed executor or administrator of the estate of the employee.
  6. If none of the above, to other next of kin of the employee entitled under the laws of the domicile of the employee at the date of his death.

If payment has not been made within 4 years after the death of the employee and no claim is pending, the FEGLI amount will escheat to the of the Employees’ Life Insurance Fund.

To be effective, the FEGLI beneficiary designation and any accompanying revisions to it must be in writing and duly filed with the Government. A designation, change, or cancellation of beneficiary in a will or other document not so executed and filed has no force or effect.

How Do You File a FEGLI Claim?

If you’re a surviving family member of a deceased federal employee or retiree you first need to report the death of the retiree or survivor annuitant to the OPM. Then you can file a FEGLI claim for death benefits and the required forms and supporting documentation to the insured employing office. The notice of claim will be forwarded to the Office of Federal Employees’ Group Life Insurance (OFEGLI), which is a private entity that has a contract with the Federal Government, processes and pays claims under the FEGLI Program.

Here’s a checklist with the documents you need to submit when claiming FEGLI death benefits:

  • A certified copy of the death certificate or other proof of death;
  • Certification from the employing office for current federal employees, or from the OPM for retirees;
  • The Claim for Death Benefits Form (Form FE-6).

Contact a FEGLI Attorney If Your Claim Has Been Delayed or Denied

FEGLIA is complex and handling a denied or delayed claim should not be a do-it-yourself project. With the assistance of a FEGLI lawyer, your chances of collecting a delayed or denied FEGLI claim are much higher than if you chose to do it yourself. Whatever the reason behind your FEGLI claim delay or denial is, we are here to help. 

At our law firm, our FEGLI lawyers handle claims that have been denied for a variety of reasons. They have extensive experience with the complex appeals procedure and litigation of FEGLI matters. 

We have helped many people who have had difficulties collecting their federal employee death benefits by guiding them in the process of filing a FEGLI claim, expediting a delayed FEGLI claim, and fighting a denied FEGLI claim. Many people may not know that their FEGLI claims are subject to Federal laws and thus exempt from state law. In many of these cases remedies are limited and the timelines for filing appeals are very strict. 

FEGLI Lawyer Fee

If you have questions about a denied FEGLI claim, call our firm for a free consultation. Our attorneys work on a contingent fee basis and will only get paid after you win your case. There is no legal fee if there is no recovery. Only then will we charge a reasonable legal fee. We take pride in offering competitive contingent fee structures and will work with you to ensure you are comfortable with the fee. 

If you or someone you know has issues with a denied or delayed FEGLI claim, call us at (888) 510-2212.

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