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Life Insurance

Filing a Claim for Disability Insurance Benefits

There are two types of disability insurance benefits awarded under VA life insurance policies. These are:

  1. Waiver of premiums due to total disability, and
  2. Total Disability Income Provision (TDIP) payments.

Waiver of Premiums

Most VA Insurance policies contain a waiver a premiums provision in the event that the insured becomes totally disabled. Generally, to qualify for a waiver of premiums:

  1. The insured must have a mental or physical disability which prevents him or her from performing substantially gainful employment.
  2. The total disability must begin before the insured's 65th birthday, and must continue for at least six consecutive months.
  3. The total disability may not begin prior to the effective date of the policy. (Exception: waiver may be granted if total disability commenced prior to the effective date only on S-DVI policies, provided it is due to a service-connected disability.)

There are certain exceptions to the above conditions. However, if you believe that you are eligible for a waiver of premiums, you should apply as soon as possible. VA will determine your eligibility and notify you of the decision. Use VA Form 29-357, Claim for Disability Insurance Benefits which can be downloaded from this site. In most cases, premiums can only be waived up to one year prior to receipt of a claim.

Total Disability Income Provision (TDIP) Rider

A TDIP rider provides for monthly payments to be paid to an insured starting on the first day of the seventh month of his or her continued total disability. Payments continue as long as the total disability continues. This provision is available on all NSLI policies, except S-DVI ("RH") and VRI ("JR" and "JS").

Policyholders must apply for TDIP before their 55th birthday and the applicant must be in good health.

Total disability income provision benefits are payable to individuals who:

  1. Have a TDIP Rider in force on the date that total disability began or one year from when the rider ceases, and
  2. Have a mental or physical disability (it does not need to be service connected) which prevents him or her from performing substantially gainful employment, and
  3. Total disability must begin before the insured's 65th birthday, and
  4. Must continue for at least six consecutive months.

If the insured is totally disabled and qualifies for TDIP payments, he/she is also entitled to a waiver of premiums on the basic contract and the TDIP rider. To apply use VA Form 29-357, Claim for Disability Insurance Benefits.

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