Veterans, this week let's discuss changes to two veterans program.
The first is a change to the Veterans Group Life Insurance program. Some veterans covered under the program now have the opportunity to increase their coverage to the current maximum coverage under the Servicemembers' Group Life Insurance program.
Under the Veterans' Benefits Act of 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. 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, 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.
To be eligible to purchase this additional coverage, the veteran must:
• Have active VGLI coverage,
• Have less than the current legislated maximum coverage of $400,000,
• Request the additional coverage during the 120-day period prior to each five-year anniversary date, and
• Be less than 60 years of age on the five-year anniversary date of his or her coverage.
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.
The other new change is in the Oregon Department of Veteran Affairs Home Loan Program. Oregon Department of Veterans' Affairs has again lowered their 30-year fixed home mortgage rate —this time to 3.55 percent to qualified veteran home buyers.
The ORVET Home Loan Program offers a new reduced rate including a 1.375 percent loan origination fee with an APR of 3.793 percent. Loans with a no-cost origination fee have a 3.88 percent APR. A state of Oregon veteran benefit, the ORVET Home Loan Program is separate from the federal VA home loan guaranty program.
For more information, feel free to contact me at 541-962-8802. I am located at the Center for Human Development, 2301 Cove Ave, La Grande.
Byron Whipple is the Union County veterans service officer.