What To Do If SGLI Is Denied

We Recover What Belongs to You

The Denial of SGLI Benefits Makes the Tragedy of Losing a Loved One Even Worse

We understand that when dealing with SGLI denied claims it is often difficult to know where to turn. Many people may try to handle a denied SGLI claim on their own, only to find that their situation becomes more complicated and time-consuming than they had anticipated. Attorney Russell Amsberry is a former military Judge Advocate General (JAG) who knows the SGLI beneficiary rules and recognizes that the challenges you are facing can be overcome.

What Is SGLI?

Servicemembers group life insurance (SGLI) is a low-cost group life insurance program for active duty and reserve members of the armed forces and members of the National Guard. Congress enacted the Servicemen’s Group Life Insurance Act in 1965 to provide military life insurance death benefits to servicemembers, mainly in combat zones.

SGLI coverage is automatic for active-duty servicemembers who qualify. An SGLI policy includes a basic life insurance policy with a face value of $400,000. Service members who become totally disabled or terminally ill while on active duty can keep their SGLI coverage for up to two years at no cost. A person diagnosed as terminally ill can also request an accelerated death benefit.

Premiums for SGLI coverage are deducted from servicemembers’ paychecks, and the policy is effective on the date of enlistment or commissioning of active-duty status. SGLI coverage can be continued after leaving military service, and servicemembers can elect to convert their SGLI coverage to an individual life insurance policy (known as VGLI) within 120 days of leaving military service.

Unfortunately, service members do not always fully understand how important it is to properly set up their Servicemembers Group Life Insurance Beneficiary Election. When done incorrectly, problems such as a denied SGLI claim can cause unnecessary anguish to beneficiaries.

We know how frustrating it is to deal with insurance companies. End the frustration and get the full SGLI death benefits you deserve by talking with our team of nationwide SGLI lawyers at (210) 354-2244. Call today or fill out our online form.

Denial of SGLI Claim

Insurance Companies Don’t Help People. We Do. Turn to The Amsberry Law Firm When You Need Help with Your SGLI Claim.

Many non-military life insurance death benefits policies have certain conditions which may void a policy or result in the denial of payment to beneficiaries. Similarly, according to SGLI beneficiary rules, if the insured soldier is found guilty of the following conditions, they may cause an SGLI payout to be voided or denied:

  • AWOL for more than 30 days
  • Desertion
  • Treason
  • Mutiny
  • Spying.

Additionally, a beneficiary may be denied or delayed the payment of SGLI benefits due to:

  • Incorrect documents
  • Competing beneficiaries
  • Improper filing of paperwork
  • Not following Soldier Readiness Processing (“SRP”) protocol
  • Former spouse vs. surviving spouse
  • Incorrect calculation of shares
  • Intentionally killing the insured servicemember
  • The insurance company claims that premiums were not paid
  • The policy was not updated
  • Unclear or unusual beneficiary designations
  • Policyholder had inactive duty status
  • Missing signatures on paperwork
  • Not following the intent of the policyholder
  • Missing beneficiary election forms
  • Confinement or incarceration at time of death
  • Incorrect payout amount.
If your claim for SGLI benefits has been denied or the full amount of the policy was not paid out, you have legal options. The Amsberry Law Firm in San Antonio doesn’t believe in unreasonable delays from insurance companies. Call (210) 354-2244 today.

Why Hire Us?

Not All Attorneys Have the Know-How and the Experience to Successfully Resolve SGLI Claim Denials

1. We are available to our clients. 

We know that when our clients come to us, they are oftentimes in great emotional distress. We want to be there for our clients when they need us most. We are honored to say that we have been able to help countless people through some of the most difficult times in their lives. We know that you need someone to talk to, and we are here for you. You are not alone in this, and we will help you through this tough time.

2. We charge an ethical fee. 

We believe that everyone should be able to access the legal services they need. That is why we offer a variety of options so that no one has to miss out on the important work that we do. We are a skilled team of attorneys dedicated to serving the community with integrity and commitment, making us a trusted source for legal assistance across a wide range of matters.

3. We get results. 

Board-certified attorney Russell Amsberry founded our law firm in 1995. We have a long track record of successful results. Our goal is always to provide our clients with the best possible outcome, whether that means negotiating a favorable settlement or taking a case to trial. We are proud of the work we do and the results we achieve. If you need help with a military service-related issue, such as a denied SGLI claim, please contact us today.

SGLI claim denial cases can be complex. As experienced SGLI lawyers, we have a thorough understanding of the SGLI claims process and know how to effectively fight for your rights. Call (210) 354-2244 today.

Who Can Be A Beneficiary of SGLI?

The main purpose of SGLI is to provide financial protection for loved ones in the event of a servicemember’s death; therefore, a servicemember who is enrolled in an SGLI plan needs to choose a beneficiary. There are two types of beneficiaries: primary beneficiaries and secondary beneficiaries.

Primary Beneficiaries

A primary beneficiary is a person or entity designated by the servicemember to receive the life insurance proceeds. A person can choose more than one primary beneficiary as long as the total of the proceeds for all primary beneficiaries equals 100% of the payout of the policy. Providing SGLI spouse coverage is a common example of a primary beneficiary.

If a primary beneficiary should pass away before the servicemember does, then the remaining primary beneficiaries will receive the SGLI payout in equal shares or all to the sole remaining beneficiary.

Secondary Beneficiaries

A secondary beneficiary is a person designated by the servicemember to receive the life insurance proceeds if the primary beneficiary or beneficiaries die. If the servicemember’s group life insurance primary beneficiary is an entity, but the entity was dissolved before the servicemember’s death, then the SGLI payout would go to a secondary beneficiary.

The following are examples of beneficiaries of an SGLI policy:

  • Child
  • Parent
  • Spouse
  • Other Family
  • Trust
  • Estate
  • Charitable Institution.

If a service member does not name a specific beneficiary, then the life insurance proceeds can be paid to the survivors as follows:

  1. Widow or widower;
  2. A child or children in equal shares, with the share of any deceased child being distributed among the descendants of that child;
  3. A parent or both parents in equal shares;
  4. A duly appointed executor or administrator of the insured’s estate;
  5. Next of kin.

Do I Need an Attorney for My SGLI Claim Denial?

Exceptional and Focused SGLI Claim Representation in San Antonio, Texas

When it comes to making a claim for benefits through the Servicemembers’ Group Life Insurance program, many beneficiaries of military members may be unsure of exactly what to expect or how to proceed.

It can be especially daunting if your claim has been denied or otherwise mishandled by insurance providers or military personnel, leaving you with questions about what to do next. In these cases, it is often advisable to seek out the guidance and support of an experienced military attorney who can help you navigate the process and ensure that your rights are protected.

Contact us today at (210) 354-2244 to learn more about how we can help with your SGLI claim denial. We look forward to assisting you.

Frequent Questions Regarding the Denial of SGLI Claims

We Are a Veteran-Owned SGLI Law Firm Serving all of Bexar County, Including San Antonio and Surrounding Cities and Counties


Does SGLI cover death by suicide?

Yes. SGLI coverage extends to deaths that result from suicide. As long as the policy was active and the servicemember was enrolled in SGLI at the time of death, a beneficiary will receive an SGLI payout of life insurance coverage. Even if a person dies as a result of driving under the influence, an SGLI claim will still be paid to beneficiaries.

What happens if “by law” is listed as the beneficiary?

If “by law” is written for the beneficiary in an SGLI policy, the proceeds will be distributed according to federal guidelines. Under these guidelines, payments will first be made to any surviving widow or widower, followed by distribution to any children, then to the parents of the insured, then to the estate to be distributed by a will or by state law if no will exists.

What happens if “by will” is listed as the beneficiary?

When you specify “by will” as the beneficiary of your SGLI policy, the money will be transferred to your estate when your will is probated. Once in your estate, this money can be used to pay any unpaid debts or bills. It can take several months for your loved ones to receive the proceeds from your SGLI policy. Additionally, if you have significant personal debt at the time of your passing, there is a chance that your loved ones may end up receiving nothing from the life insurance payout.

Can you still represent me if I don’t live in Texas?

Yes. Since military law is federal law, the military lawyers at The Amsberry Law Firm can represent active duty, inactive duty, veterans, retired military persons and their families for SGLI denied claims in any state or U.S. territory.

At The Amsberry Law Firm located in San Antonio, Texas, our goal is always to get you the benefits that you deserve as quickly and efficiently as possible. We represent clients in Bexar County, Medina County, and Hondo County, as well as military clients nationwide.

Attorney Russell Amsberry

Attorney Russell J.G. Amsberry

Attorney Russell J.G. Amsberry founded the Amsberry Law Firm in 1995 with the goal of providing clients with exceptional, focused representation on their issues. His success as a legal advocate has been reflected in the numerous professional honors he has received, such as speaking engagements and inclusion in Scene in SA magazine’s listing of the best lawyers in San Antonio, a Distinguished rating from Martindale-Hubble, and an amazing rating from Avvo. [ Attorney Bio ]