I realize that this is not a major issue to most people not with the healthcare debate that is front page across the nation, but to many disabled veterans like myself this is a major issue. Life Insurance for disabled veterans has not been adjusted since WW2, the same life insurance that military members got in WW2 ten thousand dollars is the same amount that my wife will receive when I pass away unless Congress passes a law to change the amounts to a sane level for 2010.
After the beginning of the Iraq War Congress raised the life insurance amount to deceased military members from the 20,000 dollars to the current 400,000 dollars, a really decent amount that would pay off most home mortgages, car loans and leave a nest egg for the spouse and family.
As a 100% disabled veteran the Veterans Administration waives the fee for a 10,000 dollar life insurance policy, they allow me to purchase up to 20,000 dollars in additional life insurance, which is the maximum allowed under current laws. I am grateful for the "free 10,000 dollars" but let's be honest that will about cover my funeral and leave a couple of thousand left over.
The 20,000 additional life insurance I did purchase, will allow my wife to pay off the car loan and have about 8,000 left over. She will be forced to sell our home, as the Social Security payment will be 3/4 of what we now recieve and she will get 1100 a month from the VA for what they term DIC payments for the surviving spouse as long as I die from a service connected medical issue.
Congress can change the laws allowing disabled veterans to purchase more life insurance and mortgage insurance which now is limited only to veterans who have lost the use of their legs and are in power chairs or wheel chairs and qualify for the 50,000 home grant to remodel their homes to accomodate their mobility chairs. Needless to say very few veterans qualify for the 50,000 home grant and mortgage insurance which is also capped at 90,000 dollars. These amounts are not enough to cover most mortgages in this day and time, in most real estate markets. The average "middle class home" seems to average 200,000 and up in most large cities, I am sure there are exceptions like Detroit, and with the market dropping like a rock in Las Vegas, I am speaking as a normal median amount.
I have sent letters to both Senator Akaka, Chairman of the Senate Veteran Affair Committee at this link which is the e mail address for the Committee
and then I sent this letter to Congressman Filner thru his aide Sharon Schultze firstname.lastname@example.org
Congressman Filner, I don't know who else to correspond with concerning this issue, but I find myself a frustrated veteran with it appears an insolvable issue. I am service connected at 100% for PTSD which makes me uninsurable thru commercial insurance companies for life or mortgage insurance. I am also 60% service connected for Coronary Artery Disease which also makes me uninsurable thru any company, due to the stroke and 7 heart attacks and the failed triple by pass surgery, I am also SC at 10% for hypertension. No insurance company will write life insurance for me or any other veteran in my medical situtation.
I am grateful to the VA for the free 10,000 dollar life insurance they waived the premiuims for and then allowed me to purchase another 20,000 life insurance which is the maximum allowed currently by law.
Congressman Filner, when this was passed in 1956 under the changes in VA regulations under then General Omar Bradley 30,000 dollars was a lot of money and would pay for the veterans funeral and pay off the family home, and leave a small amount left besides the DIC payments the spouse and children would continue receiving.
However, in 2009, this amount would not pay off anyone's home, in some cases not even mobile homes as most of them cost more than this. I do not live an expensive lifestyle, I think it is just a "normal middle class lifestyle", we owe 168,000 on our home, we made a 20% down payment, we did not purchase it as a sero down VA loan, we bought it thru our bank at regular mortgage loans. We have a fixed rate 30 year loan, no extravagant or strange loan. We have lived well within out income, we even manage to save money from our VA Compensation and SSD.
However when I do pass away, my family will be forced to sell this home, as the DIC payments and reduced SSD benefits will not cover the mortgage, utility bills and living expenses.
I know the government raised the life insurance for active duty military from 20,000 dollars to 400,000 dollars if the member dies on active duty, which with inflation is a dollar amount that enables the surviving spouse to pay off the home and continue their life.
Disabled veterans should deserve the same treatment, no we should not get 400,000 dollars, but it seems it would be apppropriate if the Congress would allow 100% disabled veterans to purchase additional life insurance from the government up to 100,000 or even 50,000, or maybe make mortgage insurance available to all 100% veterans, since we are prohibited from buying it from the "free market" veterans are being discriminated against, and I realize the Congress can NOT force private companies to sell us mortgage insurance or life insurance, but Congress can make these type of policies available thru the Veterans Administration, and I am sure other veterans like myself would be more than willing to pay fair market value for these products, if Congress would make them available.
Congressman Filner, after almost 60 years, it is time to make insurance amounts available to disabled veterans equal to what is needed to provide for their families, none of us want to leave our families "rich" but we would like enough to make them secure, like anyone else, yet our service connected medical problems prevent this, can you help us?
There are hundreds of thousands of disabled veterans that are not eligible to buy life insurance or mortgage insurance, could you please take the time to write to the two addresses I applied above, this would mean everything to my family and the other veterans and their families.
It would also correct a policy that is more than 60 years old and is outdated and does not keep the PROMISE of this nation to care for the veterans harmed in service to this nation. We are not asking anyone to give us anything, just allow us to purchase these products from the Veterans Insurance section of the Veterans Administration, we are more than willing to pay for this insurance as anyone else would, if we could buy it from insurance companies we would, but our service connected medical problems put us on a black list like the "Soup Kitchen Guy" from Seinfeld instead of "No soup for you" it's "no life insurance or mortgage insurance for you".
Please contact Congress and ask them to correct this, it's past time. Thank you please ask your friends and family to write them also, please can we make this happen?