More than just a form

  • Published
  • By SrA Brittany Morelock
  • 301st Fighter Wing

When a service member deploys it can be a very emotional and challenging time not only for them, but also for their families.

One of the most important things an Airman can do to help alleviate that stress is to be prepared. One way to do that is by updating the Servicemember’s Group Life Insurance (SGLI). The SGLI is a military member’s life insurance that covers them in the case of their death or injuries while serving.

Mr. Scott Palomino, 301st Fighter Wing Director of Airmen Family Readiness, explains the importance of the SGLI.

“When you first came into the military, you opted into how much you want to pay to maintain your SGLI. I hope everyone does the max, especially if you’re a deploying Airman which almost everybody is,” he said. “I hope you’re doing the max of $400,000, because that’s a way to take care of your family in the event of your death.”

There are a few different ways to ensure that the service member’s information is correct.

To update beneficiary and coverage information, the member can go to their local military personnel section or click this milconnect link. Since the SGLI premium comes out of their checks, the premium can be verified at the financial management office.

It is important to ensure coverage because it not only covers death but can also help compensate a variety of catastrophic losses.

 “[For example] If you go down range and you lose a limb, get a traumatic brain injury that affects your ability to move, get paralyzed, get injured or shot, and no longer have the ability to have children, there is a traumatic portion of the SGLI that will help compensate,” Palomino said. “This portion will payout anywhere from $25,000 to $100,000 on top of your $400,000 and that is to make up for the traumatic experience that you went through.”

The SGLI not only provides coverage for the member but also for their family.

The SGLI program also has an extension for the service member’s family called Family Servicemember’s Group Life Insurance (FSGLI) which offers coverage for spouses and children of up to a maximum of $100,000 of insurance coverage for spouses, and $10,000 per dependent.

Palomino shared a real world example of why it is vitally important to update this form.

“When I was going through my job training, there was an Airman that was involved in a car accident and was in a coma for a couple of weeks. His wife was there day in and day out, being there and taking care of her husband. Her husband eventually passed away. After processing through his paperwork and SGLI, it turns out that the Airman was previously married and his ex-wife was the beneficiary. The payment was made out to the ex-wife leaving the Airman’s current family with nothing, and there was nothing we could do since it was a binding law document.”

The SGLI is more than just a form to fill out and forget about. It needs to be regularly updated to ensure accuracy.

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