Marines

Law benefits U.S. troops injured in war

5 Dec 2005 | Lance Cpl. Adam Johnston

Since fighting began in March 2003, more than 2,300 Americans lost their lives in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.  Most of those Marines, sailors, soldiers and airmen were insured under the Service Members’ Group Life Insurance for a maximum of $400,000.  But war isn’t simply just black and white, life and death.  More than 15,000 troops were wounded in action in the past two years.  In an effort to financially aid these service members during their road to recovery, President George W. Bush signed Public Law 109-13 May 11.

The purpose of the Traumatic Injury Protection Under Service Members’ Group Life Insurance program, which was established by Public Law 109-13, is to provide financial compensation to service members during their recovery period from a serious traumatic injury and is effective Dec. 1, according to MARADMIN 572/05.

“All Marines who are covered under SGLI will be automatically enrolled in the TSGLI program beginning Dec. 1 via an automatic increase of $1 per month to regular SGLI premiums,” said Lt. Col. Craig E. Stephens, the administration assistant chief of staff for II Marine Expeditionary Force.

The amount of money an injured Marine receives is based on the severity of the injury and the amount of time needed for rehabilitation.  The money, which is provided by the office of Service Members’ Group Life Insurance, is given in increments of $25,000 with a max of $100,000.

“One of the biggest challenges will be to get the word out to those Marines who were injured and have since been discharged from the Marine Corps,” said Stephens.

For example, if a Marine loses total and permanent loss of sight in both eyes, the Marine would receive $100,000 compensation.  If a Marine loses total and permanent loss of hearing in one ear, the Marine would receive $25,000 compensation.

The TSGLI also offers a retroactive payment for those who received a qualifying injury between Oct. 7, 2001, and Nov. 30, 2005.  To be eligible for this, injuries must have happened while deployed outside the United States in support of the Global War on Terror, or while serving somewhere that qualified the Marine for combat zone tax exclusion.

“Now that it has been implemented, it’s up to the hospitals and commanders to actively pursue the financial compensation offered under the TSGLI for their Marines and sailors,” said Stephens.

For more information on the TSGLI program such as how to submit a claim, log on to the Manpower and Reserve Affairs web site at http://www.manpower.usmc.mil.