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SGT. SHAFT: Does a vet’s widow retain her military ID card privileges?
Question of the Day
Competitive events will take place at the Greater Richmond Convention Center, Hanover Lanes Bowling Center, the Conservation Club of Virginia Inc. in Charles City, Sports Backers Stadium, Mary Munford Elementary School and Byrd Park. Games will include competitions in 17 different events such as swimming, basketball, table tennis, archery and wheelchair slalom, which is a timed obstacle course. The athletes compete in all events against others with similar athletic ability, competitive experience or age.
In addition to the competitions and the opening and closing ceremonies, the Games will include a “Kids Day at the Games” on Friday, June 29, at Sports Backers Stadium. Local children with disabilities will have the opportunity to interact with the athletes, participate in sporting events, and watch veterans compete.
Veterans interested in competing may download the registration packet from the Games’ website at www.wheelchairgames.va.gov; or contact Marlene Pratt at 804/675-5000, Ext. 3969, or Kristin Windon at 804/675-5002. The deadline for interested athletes to complete their registration is April 15.
The public is invited to attend any of the sports competitions throughout the week of the Games, and admission is free.
• Veterans covered under the Veterans Group Life Insurance program (VGLI) now have the opportunity to increase their coverage to the current maximum coverage under the Servicemembers’ Group Life Insurance (SGLI) program.
“Currently, 70 percent of the veterans covered under VGLI are under age 60, have less than $400,000 of coverage, and will greatly benefit from this law change,” said Allison A. Hickey, Department of Veterans Affairs under secretary for benefits.
Under the Veterans’ Benefits Act of 2010, enacted on Oct. 13, 2010, veterans can increase their coverage by $25,000 at each five-year anniversary date of their policy to the current legislated maximum SGLI coverage, presently, $400,000.
To date, approximately 21 percent of eligible veterans have taken advantage of this opportunity, resulting in nearly $113 million of new coverage being issued.
The VGLI program allows newly discharged veterans to convert their SGLI coverage they had while in the service to a civilian program. Before enactment of this law, veterans could not have more VGLI than the amount of SGLI they had at the time of separation from service.
For example, those who got out of the service prior to Sept. 1, 2005, when the maximum SGLI coverage was $250,000, they were limited to $250,000 in VGLI coverage.
Now on their first five-year anniversary, these veterans can elect to increase their coverage to $275,000. On their next five-year anniversary, they can increase the coverage to $300,000, and so forth.
Eligible veterans are notified of this opportunity a week before the start of the 120-day period prior to their anniversary date, and twice more before the actual anniversary date.
• Send letters to Sgt. Shaft, c/o John Fales, P.O. Box 65900, Washington, D.C. 20035-5900; fax 301/622-3330, call 202/257-5446 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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