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Office of Public and Intergovernmental Affairs


One Million Vets Share $320 Million in VA Insurance Dividends

January 14, 2009, 08:00:00 AM

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Peake: Payments “Tangible Evidence” of Nation’s Commitment

WASHINGTON – One million veterans are in line to share $319.8 million in annual insurance dividends during 2009, according to the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).

“These dividends are tangible evidence of VA’s continuing commitment to safeguard the interests of America’s veterans,” said Secretary of Veterans Affairs Dr. James B. Peake.

VA operates one of the nation’s largest life insurance programs, providing more than $1 trillion in coverage to seven million service members, veterans and family members.

The dividend payments are being sent to an estimated one million holders of VA insurance policies on the anniversary date of their policies.  Sent automatically through different payment plans, the amounts vary based on the age of the veteran, the type of insurance, and the length of time the policy has been in force.

The dividends come from the earnings of trust funds into which veterans have paid insurance premiums over the years, and are linked to returns on investments in U.S. government securities.

VA officials caution veterans about a long-running scam in which various groups charge fees to “locate” veterans who are eligible for the dividends.  Veterans eligible for the dividends have had VA life insurance policies in effect since they left the military and have received annual notifications from VA about the policies.

Dividends are paid each year to veterans who served between 1917 and 1956 and who hold certain government life insurance policies.  The policies are known by letters that appear at the beginning of each policy’s identification number.

World War II veterans holding National Service Life Insurance ("V") policies comprise the largest group receiving 2009 insurance dividend payments.  They are expected to receive total payments of $243.8 million.

An additional group of World War II-era veterans, those who have Veterans Reopened Insurance ("J", "JR" and "JS") policies, will in total receive dividends of $8.1 million.

Korean War era veterans who have maintained Veterans Special Life Insurance ("RS" and "W") policies can expect to receive dividends totaling $67.2 million.

Dividends totaling $725,000 will be paid to veterans who served after World War I until 1940 who hold U.S. Government Life Insurance ("K") policies.

Veterans who have questions about their policies may contact the VA insurance toll-free number at 1-800-669-8477 or send an email to VAinsurance@va.gov.  They may also visit the Internet at www.insurance.va.gov.

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