By Peter S. Gaytan
According to the Department of Veterans Affairs, veterans and their families may be owed unclaimed life insurance policy payments, dividend checks, and refunds totaling $33 million.
You can check online to see if you or a relative is eligible to receive unclaimed funds. These monies, representing life-insurance policy payments, dividend checks, and refunds, were mailed to the policyholders, but returned by the Post Office because they could not be delivered. They’ve been accumulating since 1917, the beginning of the VA insurance program. The bulk of the unclaimed funds date from World War II, when about 22 million people enrolled in the federal insurance programs. While unclaimed payments can go up to $4,000, most are between $5 and $750.
Insurance Program Policy Numbers begin with the letters…
United States Government Life K
National Service Life Insurance N or V
Veterans Special Life Insurance RS or W
Veterans Reopened Insurance J or JR or JS
Service-Disabled Veterans Life RH
Important Note: The unclaimed funds search does not include SGLI and VGLI policies for those in service from 1965 to the present.
To check to see if you or your family is eligible, you should have the veteran’s name, date of birth, date of death, and if possible, the insurance policy number. You can, however, check if you only have the name and birth date.
To check eligibility, go to: https://insurance.va.gov/liability/ufsearch.htm
There is also a toll-free number: 800-669-8477
Peter S. Gaytan is the author of For Service To Your Country – Updated Edition: The Essential Guide to Getting the Veterans’ Benefits You’ve Earned (Citadel, 2011), available from Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and other booksellers. He has served as an advocate in securing and protecting the earned benefits of America’s veterans for more than a decade. Gaytan is the Executive Director of the American Legion, the largest veterans service organization in America.
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