By Rob McIlvaineNovember 3, 2011
WASHINGTON (Army News Service, Nov. 3, 2011) -- The Traumatic Injury Protection under Servicemembers' Group Life Insurance is now open to service members of all components -- whether injured in war or back at home.
Previously, Soldiers or former service members injured between Oct. 7, 2001, and Nov. 30, 2005, qualified only if their traumatic injuries happened during Operation Enduring Freedom or Operation Iraqi Freedom.
As of Oct. 1, TSGLI benefits are available to service members injured between those dates no matter if the injury occurred in the states or elsewhere. The Veterans' Benefit Improvement Act of 2010 removed the requirement that the injury occur during OIF or in Afghanistan.
Now it doesn't even matter whether the service member or veteran had SGLI coverage at the time of injury. They are eligible for benefits regardless. Soldiers can now qualify even if injured in an automobile or motorcycle accident in the states.
Qualifying members may be entitled to $25,000 to $100,000 for physical loss -- amputation; limb salvage; loss of sight, speech or hearing; paralysis, burns or facial reconstruction; and for loss of daily activities -- bathing, eating, dressing, toileting, transferring or continence.
"A lot of organizations have lobbied Congress because we were leaving out a select portion of those Soldiers who underwent the same issues for TSGLI but weren't being compensated for it because they weren't in that field of operation," said Lt. Col. Donald L. Deas, branch chief of Combat-Related Special Compensation / TSGLI / Pay Allowance Continuation.
"Since 2005, TSGLI has paid out over $387 million," Deas said, adding that CRSC has paid out about $3.3 billion since 2001.
The 2008 National Defense Authorization Act expanded the eligibility of CRSC to more retirees. CRSC is a congressionally mandated benefits program that recognizes the sacrifice of eligible military retirees. A retiree from the active component must have served 20 years; and from the Reserve or National Guard, retirees must have reached age 60.
"A lot of our veterans have VA compensation," Deas said. "And the VA compensation detracts from the retirement benefits they receive by whatever that ratio is. So, if they are getting $1,000 in retirement and they were getting 10 percent VA, then they would only get $900 worth of retirement.
The Combat-related Special Compensation, he said, steps in and replaces that missing 10 percent.
"So, in effect, the individual then gets $1,100 a month, because they get back up to their full $1,000 plus the $100 -- that's 10 percent they would get from the VA, and all of that is still tax-deductible for our retirees," Deas said.
CRSC is open to all retirees of all components of the Army. It's also available to medical Chapter 61 retirees -- this is when a Soldier is medically discharged from the service and for a qualifying event, from one to 19 years.
"There are a select number of veterans out there who are still getting their retirement and their VA compensation, but aren't aware that CRSC is available to them," Deas said.
The program is also revamping their website.
"There will be some changes coming to the website, making it more interactive and user-friendly. One of the primary things that we've done with the website is that we've included our DVD portion that basically walks our Soldiers and veterans through what the program is ... it's about 10 minutes ... and it also has a tutorial on how to complete the necessary documents in order to qualify for one of these programs -- whether the DA Form 8600 for the TSGLI or the DA Form 2860 for the Combat-Related Special Compensation," Deas said.
For more information about CRSC and TSGLI, email:
CRSC Claims: email@example.com
Or mail them at: Army Human Resources Command; ATTN: AHRC-PDP-V Dept. 480;
1600 Spearhead Division Avenue; Fort Knox, KY 40122
Or visit their websites at: TSGLI: www.tsgli.army.mil, and CRSC: www.crsc.army.mil
Or call them at: TSGLI: 1-800-237-1336, Opt 4, and CRSC: 1-866-281-3254
Or fax them at: TSGLI: 502-613-4513, and CRSC: 502-613-9550