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VA Service Disabled Life Insurance: DEADLINE: Jan. 1, 2023, Do Not Wait To Sign Up!

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VA Free Life Insurance.png

Do not miss this deadline. 

The VA website states, "they won't accept any more SVDI insurance applications after Jan.1, 2023".  

I would apply "even if" I was not 100 percent, "but I thought I may be" some time in the future, as you may get in on the insurance.  But who knows?  

This means if you are 100 percent and don't yet have the free 10,000 life insurance, then apply, so VA GETS your application by/before Jan. 1.  Note:  The VA Life insurance calls it "waiver of premiums," but that means, if eligible, you get the premiums waived and get the benefits of the insurance, that is, what I call "free insurance."  

This is whole life insurance meaning it "builds cash value" over time. You can borrow or cash it in from that cash value, even though you haven't paid any premiums.  

I get a letter yearly on the cash value of my life insurance at VA.  

This can provide emergency money if you need it in a few years.  

Don't miss that deadline. Read the rules:

Go Here Now to Apply: VA Disabled Veterans Life Insurance

Edited by Tbird
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Unfortunately, it may not fix this.  However, if you so choose, you can appeal this denial.  The 2 year deadline is "arbritrary".   There is something called "equitable tolling" which generally applies if you have one or more conditions which prevented you from applying.  

A great example is PTSD or other mental disorders.  

I suggest simply filing an appeal, and if the appeal is denied, then consider legal representation for equitable tolling as to this arbritrary deadline.  

VA has many deadlines for Veterans, but they dont have any!  They get our claim processed "when they want to" and not one second earlier. Some have taken decades.  

I would love to see this appealed by, oh, say attorney Ken Carpenter.  He is one of the best.  

Remember, BVA appeals "are not just" for VA compensation, but for other areas of VA benefits when they deny.  



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Here's a discussion of equitable tolling it might be helpful as it refers to specific regulations/laws  in this decision:

Citation Nr: 1309919    Decision Date: 03/25/13    Archive Date: 04/02/13

DOCKET NO.  09-33 388    )    DATE

On appeal from the Department of Veterans Affairs Regional Office in St. Louis, Missouri


Entitlement to an effective date prior to January 23, 2008 for the grant of service connection for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD).



The Veteran contends that he is entitled to an earlier effective date because the nature of his PTSD prevented him from pursuing an appeal of the June 1993 rating decision, and his PTSD prevented him from understanding what he needed to do to appeal his claim.  Based upon the Veteran's argument that he did not understand what was required to pursue an appeal, the Board has considered the doctrine of equitable tolling.  

The application of equitable tolling within the context of veterans law stems from Irwin v. Department of Veterans Affairs, 498 U.S. 89, 111 S.Ct. 453, 112 L.Ed.2d 435 (1990), wherein the United States Supreme Court (Supreme Court) held that equitable tolling may be applied to toll a statute of limitations "where the claimant has actively pursued his judicial remedies by filing a defective pleading during the statutory period, or where the complainant has been induced or tricked by his adversary's misconduct into allowing the filing deadline to pass."  The Supreme Court held that there is a rebuttable presumption that all federal statutes of limitations contain an implied equitable tolling provision.  Id.  

As it applies to the governing statute in this case, 38 U.S.C.A. § 5110, Andrews (Holly) v. Principi, 351 F.3d 1134, 1137-38 (Fed. Cir. 2003) held that equitable tolling, which may be applied to a statute of limitations, does not apply to 38 U.S.C.A. § 5110 because it does not contain a statute of limitations but merely prescribes when benefits may begin and provides for an earlier effective date under certain limited circumstances. 

The following year, Barrett v. Principi, 363 F.3d 1316 (2004) expanded equitable tolling to apply not only where the claimant has been "induced or tricked by his adversary's misconduct" but also where his or her "failure to file was the direct result of a mental illness that rendered him or her incapable of 'rational thought or deliberate decision making.'" As Barrett dealt with the statute of limitation for filing appeals to the Court from decisions of the Board under 38 U.S.C.A. § 7266, it did not reverse Andrews on the point that the effective dates prescribed by 38 U.S.C.A. § 5110 are not statutes of limitation.  Therefore, the controlling case law, Andrews (Holly) v. Principi, 351 F.3d 1134   (Fed. Cir. 2003), is that equitable tolling does not apply to 38 U.S.C.A. § 5110.  As the effective date established for service connection for the Veteran's PTSD was based on 38 U.S.C.A. § 5110, the Board must continue to deny this appeal even with this additional consideration.  

Another, more recent decision of the Federal Circuit also addressed this issue, cited to Andrews as good law, and similarly concluded that equitable tolling is not an available remedy to an appellant under § 5110.  See Butler v. Shinseki, 603 F.3d 922   (Fed. Cir. 2010) (per curiam).  Accordingly, the Veteran's equitable tolling argument must fail on this basis because he is essentially asking the Board to "waive the express statutory requirements for an earlier effective date," which it cannot do.  See Edwards, 22 Vet. App. at 36- 37, quoting Andrews, 351 F.3d at 1138.  Thus, the doctrine of equitable tolling is not for application in this case.

The Veteran has essentially argued that he did not file a notice of disagreement to the June 1993 rating decision because his PTSD prevented him from understanding what was required to pursue a claim.  Although the doctrine of equitable tolling is an evolving area of VA jurisprudence, current jurisprudence indicates that the time period for filing a notice of disagreement is also not subject to equitable tolling.  In Henderson ex rel. Henderson v. Shinseki, 131 S.Ct. 1197, 1198 (2011), the Supreme Court affirmed that statutory jurisdictional requirements are not subject to equitable tolling exceptions created by courts; rather, only claims processing rules without jurisdictional consequences are subject to equitable tolling.  See also Bowles v. Russell, 551 U.S. 205 (2007).  

The Board concludes that the requirement that a claimant file a timely notice of disagreement is a jurisdictional predicate to the Board's adjudication of a matter.  The Board has jurisdiction over appeals from all questions of law and fact necessary to a decision by the VA Secretary under a law that affects the provision of benefits by the Secretary to veterans and their dependents or survivors.  See 38 U.S.C.A. 
§ 7104(a) (West 2002); 38 C.F.R. §§ 20.101, 20.200 (2012).  A claimant may initiate an appeal to the Board from an unfavorable decision by the Secretary by filing a notice of disagreement.  38 U.S.C.A. § 7105(a)  (West 2002). The statute provides that the notice of disagreement "shall" be filed within one year of the mailing of notification of the unfavorable decision.  38 U.S.C.A. § 7105(b)(1)  (West 2002).  The statute further provides that if the claimant does not file a notice of disagreement within the one-year period, the decision "shall become final."  Id.  If a timely notice of disagreement is filed, however, the claimant completes the appellate process by submitting a substantive appeal after a statement of the case is furnished in accordance with 38 U.S.C.A. § 7105(d)(3) (West 2002).

In Percy v. Shinseki, 23 Vet. App 37 (2009), the Court noted that, although Congress used "permissive language" in the statute for filing a substantive appeal (38 U.S.C.A. § 7105(d)(3) ), the language used by Congress in enacting the statute for filing a notice of disagreement was "mandatory," indicating a clear intention to foreclose the Board's exercise of jurisdiction over a matter where a notice of disagreement had not been filed, but not where a substantive appeal had not been filed.  Id. at 44, citing Act of Sept. 19, 1962, Pub. L. No. 87-666, 76 Stat. 553  (enacting both NOD and Substantive Appeal requirements).  Indeed, the Court noted that "[t]he permissive language of section 7105(d)(3) stands in stark contrast to the statutory language mandating that claimants file a timely NOD: "notice of disagreement shall be filed within one year from the date of mailing of notice of the result of initial review or determination" and "[i]f no notice of disagreement is filed . . . within the prescribed period, the action or determination shall become final."  See also Manlincon v. West, 12 Vet. App. 238, 240 (1999) (indicated that a NOD is a jurisdiction-conferring document that required remand rather than referral); Roy v. Brown, 5 Vet. App. 554, 555 (1993) ("appellate review of an RO decision is initiated by an NOD"); Marsh v. West, 11 Vet. App. 468, 470 (1998) ("an untimely NOD deprives [BVA] of jurisdiction").  For these reasons, the Board finds that the filing of a notice of disagreement is jurisdictional, thus not subject to the equitable tolling doctrine; therefore, there is no basis upon which to assign an effective date earlier than November 26, 2008 based on the Veteran's implied equitable tolling arguments.

Even assuming, arguendo, that equitable tolling was available to the Veteran, an earlier effective date would remain unwarranted.  According to Barrett, mental illness could justify equitable tolling and the generalized standards should govern claims of mental incompetence.  To obtain the benefit of equitable tolling, a Veteran must show that the failure to file was the direct result of a mental illness that rendered him incapable of "rational thought or deliberate decision making," or "incapable of handling [his] own affairs or unable to function [in] society."  See Barrett v. Principi, 363 F.3d 1316 (2004), citing Melendez-Arroyo v. Cutler-Hammer de P.R., Co., 273 F.3d 30, 37 and Smith-Haynie  v. Dist. of Columbia, 
155 F.3d 575, 580.

It has not been shown in this case that the Veteran's mental illness rendered him incapable of rational thought or deliberate decision making or incapable of handling his own affairs at the time of the rating decision in June 1993.  There is no evidence indicating that the Veteran has ever been found incapable of rational thought or was incapable of handling his own affairs at that time.  An August 2008 VA examination found that the Veteran's thought processes were linear, logical, and goal-directed.  The Veteran was considered to be competent for VA purposes.  Based on the above, the Board does not find that the Veteran's PTSD and associated symptoms in June 1993 rendered him incapable of rational thought or deliberate decision making, incapable of handling his own affairs, or unable to function in society.  As such, equitable tolling, if it was available to the Veteran, would not be warranted.

In the August 2008 VA examination, the VA examiner referred to the award of the  Army Commendation Medal with Valor Device for "Heroism and Meritorious Service During an Iraqi Missile Attack on the Company Barracks."   The Board notes that the Army Commendation Medal citation is not listed on the 
DD Form 214.  The award certificate for the Army Commendation Medal was initially associated with the record when it was submitted by the Veteran in February 2008.  

Under 38 C.F.R. § 3.156(c), except as otherwise provided, if, at any time after VA issues a decision on a claim, VA receives or associates with the claims file relevant official service department records, that existed but were not associated with the claims file when VA first decided the claim, VA will reconsider the claim notwithstanding paragraph (a) of the same section.  An award made based all or in part on records identified in § 3.156(c)(1) is effective on the date entitlement arose or the date which VA received the previously decided claim, whichever is later, or such other date as may be authorized by the provisions of this part applicable to the previously denied claim.  38 C.F.R. § 3.156(c)(3).  

Reconsideration of the Veteran's prior claim in light of the Army Commendation Medal citation does not provide a basis for an earlier effective date for service connection for PTSD.  The June 1993 rating decision denied service connection for PTSD based on a lack of a diagnosis of a psychiatric disorder.  A diagnosis of PTSD and a nexus opinion linking PTSD to service was initially shown in August 2008.  Therefore, even with consideration of the Army Commendation Medal citation, entitlement to service connection had not arisen in June 1993, as there was no evidence of a diagnosis of PTSD or a nexus opinion linking PTSD to service at that time. 


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Question on S-DVI premium waiver...

The site states that in order to be eligible to have premiums waived, one must meet these three requirements:

  1. You have a mental or physical disability which prevents you from performing substantially gainful employment.
  2. Your total disability must begin before your 65th birthday, and must continue for at least six consecutive months.
  3. Your total disability may not begin prior to the effective date of the policy.

I've been 70% since 2001, and was recently (less than 1 year ago) awarded 100% on a new disability. Requirements 1 and 2 are no problem; but apparently I wouldn't qualify for the premium waiver because of the third requirement since I'm already at 100% before applying for S-DVI.

Am I right, or am I missing something?


Thanks for any and all replies!

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You’re correct. Your policy must already exist when you’re awarded 100% P&T, in order to apply for the premium waiver. Also, they no longer accept applications for those policies since the new veterans life insurance came out.

Edited by LadyVet
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