Servicemembersí Group Life Insurance (SGLI) Email This Story Print This Story

Family SGLI (FSGLI) coverage provides life insurance coverage for the spouses and dependent children of all servicemembers (Active Duty and Ready Reserve) who have full-time SGLI coverage. A “dependent child” includes the following:

  • natural born child
  • legally adopted child
  • stepchild who is a member of the servicemember’s household
  • child between the ages of 18 and 23 who is a full-time student
  • child who is permanently incapable of self-support before age 18

The SGLI payment is $200,000 unless the member elected a lesser amount or declined coverage in writing. Monthly premium payments for the level of coverage selected by the member were automatically deducted from the member’s pay. Determination and payment of proceeds are made by the Office of Servicemembers’ Group Life Insurance under the jurisdiction of the Department of VA. Payment of proceeds to a beneficiary are exempt from taxation. The insured member may have designated as principal or contingent beneficiary any person, firm, corporation or legal entity, including their estate, individually or as a trustee. If the member designated a trust, they indicated the name and date of the trust in the beneficiary block. If the member designated a trust through a Will, they annotated “Last Will and Testament” in the beneficiary block. If the member chose not to designate a specific beneficiary but preferred the proceeds be paid in the order of precedence, the member selected the “By Law” designation. When the “By Law” designation is used, the proceeds
are automatically paid in the following order of precedence:

  • The member’s lawful surviving spouse.
  • If there is no spouse, to the child or children of the member in equal shares, with the share of any deceased child to be distributed among the descendants of that child.
  • If none of the above, to the parents of the member in equal shares or to the surviving parent.
  • If none of the above, to the duly appointed executor or administrator of the member’s estate.
  • If none of the above, to other next of kin.
  • The claim form required to apply for this benefit is VA Form SGLV 8283, Claim for Death Benefits.

Spousal Coverage

Spousal coverage is a maximum of $100,000 and can be in lesser amounts in increments of $10,000. However, spousal coverage cannot exceed the servicemember’s level of SGLI coverage.

Example: If the servicemember’s coverage is for any level of coverage between $250,000 and $100,000, then the spousal coverage can be as high as $100,000.

If the servicemember’s coverage is $90,000 to $10,000, then the spousal coverage can be no more than the servicemember’s level of coverage.

Sevicemembers married to servicemembers can be covered under both their own member’s SGLI for $250,000 and their spouse’s FSGLI for $100,000 for a maximum combined coverage of $350,000.

Dependent Child Coverage

Dependent child coverage is the set amount of $10,000 for each dependent child.

Automatic Coverage

FSGLI coverage begins automatically for servicemembers who:

  • were married when the program began on November 1, 2001
  • enter service and are married/has dependent children OR
  • get married/gain a dependent child during service AND
  • have full-time SGLI coverage

Spousal coverage is automatically at the maximum level of $100,000 or the servicemember’s SGLI coverage level, if it is less than $100,000.

Automatic coverage begins with the following events:

  • the date of induction into service
  • the date of a marriage while in service (after Nov. 1, 2001)
  • the date a child becomes a dependent (i.e. date of birth, date of adoption, date entered the household)

FSGLI Premiums

The servicemember pays premiums for the spousal coverage. The dependent child coverage is free.

Premiums for spousal coverage are due the month of the event that causes coverage to occur (e.g. Nov 1, 2001, induction of the servicemember into service or the date of a marriage while in service). If the member does not notify the service of his/her marriage, premiums for spousal coverage are still due and will be collected retroactively.

For Army, Navy and Air Force, the collection of FSGLI premiums is based upon the spouse and the spouse’s birth date being registered in DEERS. If the spouse is not registered in DEERS, premiums will not be withheld from the servicemember’s pay. (Servicemembers married to servicmembers must register each other as a spouse in their respective DEERS records.)

Unlike servicemember’s SGLI premiums that are one premium rate for all members, spousal premiums are based on age brackets. When a spouse moves to a new age bracket, the new higher premium begins the first day of the month following the birth month. (See Appendix B for the premium rates for the spousal age brackets.)

For Army, Navy and Air Force, the spouse’s birth date in DEERS determines the premium rate to be collected. If the spouse’s birth date is incorrect in DEERS, the incorrect premium rate will be collected. And if the spouse’s birth date is not in DEERS, premiums will be collected at the maximum rate.

For Army, Navy and Air Force, the spouse’s date of death must be reported to DEERS via RAPIDS in order to stop premium collection.

FSGLI Beneficiary

The servicemember is the beneficiary of the FSGLI coverage, so no naming of a beneficiary is needed. A servicemember is not entitled as beneficiary if he/she is convicted or pleads guilty to involvement in the death of the spouse or the dependent child. In such cases, the beneficiary or beneficiaries are determined under 38 USC 1970(a).

Beneficiary Financial Counseling Service (BFCS)

BFCS is available to a servicemember who claims the FSGLI upon the death of a spouse.

BFCS provides free personal financial counseling to beneficiaries of FSGLI policies. The servicemember will be notified of this benefit when they receive the payment of the proceeds of their FSGLI.


When the FSGLI coverage ends under certain circumstances, there is120 days of free coverage and the spouse can convert the spousal FSGLI coverage to a commercial life insurance policy. If the insurance is converted within the 120 day period, proof of good heath is not needed. Dependent child coverage cannot be converted. The spouse can get information about conversion by contacting the Office of Servicemembers’ Group Life Insurance (OSGLI) by telephone or letter.

Telephone number: 1-800-419-1473. Address: 290 W Mt Pleasant Ave Livingston, NJ 07039-2747

Accelerated Benefits Option (ABO)

Servicemembers with FSGLI coverage have access to up to 50% of the face value of the spousal coverage through the ABO. The ABO is available in $5,000 increments. In order to qualify for the ABO, the spouse must have a medical prognosis of life expectancy of nine months or less. Only the servicemember can apply for ABO and the benefit will be paid only to the servicemember.

Federal employees Group Life Program (FEGLI)

If you leave the Armed Services and go to work as a civilian employee of the Federal Government you could then be eligible for the Federal employees Group Life Program (FEGLI). If you have any questions about eligibility, see your human resources officer.

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