38 CFR 9.20 - Traumatic injury protection.

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§ 9.20 Traumatic injury protection.
(a) What is traumatic injury protection? Traumatic injury protection provides for the payment of a specified benefit amount to a member insured by Servicemembers' Group Life Insurance who sustains a traumatic injury directly resulting in a scheduled loss.
(b) What is a traumatic event?
(1) A traumatic event is the application of external force, violence, chemical, biological, or radiological weapons, or accidental ingestion of a contaminated substance causing damage to a living being occurring—
(i) On or after December 1, 2005, or
(ii) On or after October 7, 2001, and through and including November 30, 2005, if the scheduled loss is a direct result of a traumatic injury incurred in Operation Enduring Freedom or Operation Iraqi Freedom.
(2)
(i) The term incurred in Operation Enduring Freedom means a service member was deployed outside of the United States on orders in support of Operation Enduring Freedom or served in a geographic location that qualified the service member for the Combat Zone Tax Exclusion under 26 U.S.C. 211.
(ii) The term incurred in Operation Iraqi Freedom means a service member was deployed outside of the United States on orders in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom or served in a geographic location that qualified the service member for the Combat Zone Tax Exclusion under 26 U.S.C. 211.
(3) A traumatic event does not include a medical or surgical procedure in and of itself.
(c) What is a traumatic injury?
(1) A traumatic injury is physical damage to a living body that is caused by a traumatic event as defined in paragraph (b) of this section.
(2) For purposes of this section, the term “traumatic injury” does not include damage to a living body caused by—
(i) A mental disorder; or
(ii) A mental or physical illness or disease, except if the physical illness or disease is caused by a pyogenic infection, biological, chemical, or radiological weapons, or accidental ingestion of a contaminated substance.
(3) For purposes of this section, all traumatic injuries will be considered to have occurred at the same time as the traumatic event.
(d) What are the eligibility requirements for payment of traumatic injury protection benefits? You must meet all of the following requirements in order to be eligible for traumatic injury protection benefits.
(1) You must be a member of the uniformed services who is insured by Servicemembers' Group Life Insurance under section 1967(a)(1)(A)(i), (B) or (C)(i) of title 38, United States Code, on the date you sustained a traumatic injury, except if you are a member who experienced a traumatic injury on or after October 7, 2001, through and including December 1, 2005, and your scheduled loss was a direct result of injuries incurred in Operation Enduring Freedom or Operation Iraqi Freedom. (For this purpose, you will be considered a member of the uniformed services until midnight on the date of termination of your duty status in the uniformed services that established your eligibility for Servicemembers' Group Life Insurance, notwithstanding an extension of your Servicemembers' Group Life Insurance coverage under section 1968(a) of title 38, United States Code.)
(2) You must suffer a scheduled loss that is a direct result of a traumatic injury and no other cause.
(3) You must survive for a period not less than seven full days from the date of the traumatic injury. The seven day period begins on the date and Zulu (Greenwich Meridean) time of the traumatic injury and ends 168 full hours later.
(4) You must suffer a scheduled loss under paragraph (e)(7) of this section within two years of the traumatic injury.
(5) You must suffer a traumatic injury before midnight on the date of termination of your duty status in the uniformed services that established eligibility for Servicemembers' Group Life Insurance. For purposes of this section, the scheduled loss may occur after the date of termination of your duty status in the uniformed services that established eligibility for Servicemembers' Group Life Insurance.
(e) What is a scheduled loss and what amount will be paid because of that loss?
(1) The term “scheduled loss” means a condition listed in the schedule in paragraph (e)(7) of this section if directly caused by a traumatic injury. A scheduled loss is payable at the amount specified in the schedule.
(2) The maximum amount payable under the schedule for all losses resulting from traumatic events occurring within a seven-day period is $100,000. We will calculate the seven-day period beginning with the day on which the first traumatic event occurs.
(3) A benefit will not be paid if a scheduled loss is due to a traumatic injury—
(i) Caused by—
(A) The member's attempted suicide, while sane or insane;
(B) An intentionally self-inflicted injury or an attempt to inflict such injury;
(C) Diagnostic procedures, preventive medical procedures such as inoculations, medical or surgical treatment for an illness or disease, or any complications arising from such procedures or treatment;
(D) Willful use of an illegal substance or a controlled substance unless administered or consumed on the advice of a medical professional; or
(ii) Sustained while a member was committing or attempting to commit a felony.
(4) A benefit will not be paid for a scheduled loss resulting from—
(i) A physical or mental illness or disease, whether or not caused by a traumatic injury, other than a pyogenic infection or physical illness or disease caused by biological, chemical, or radiological weapons or accidental ingestion of a contaminated substance; or
(ii) A mental disorder whether or not caused by a traumatic injury.
(5) Amount Payable under the Schedule of Losses. (i) The maximum amount payable for all scheduled losses resulting from a single traumatic event is limited to $100,000. For example, if a traumatic event on April 1, 2006, results in the immediate total and permanent loss of sight in both eyes, and the loss of one foot on May 1, 2006, as a direct result of the same traumatic event, the member will be paid $100,000.
(ii) If a member suffers more than one scheduled loss from separate traumatic events occurring more than seven full days apart, the scheduled losses will be considered separately and a benefit will be paid for each loss up to the maximum amount according to the schedule. For example, if a member suffers the loss of one foot at or above the ankle on May 1, 2006, from one event, the member will be paid $50,000. If the same member suffers loss of sight in both eyes from an event that occurred on November 1, 2006, the member will be paid an additional $100,000.
(6) Definitions. For purposes of this paragraph (e)(6)—
(i) The term quadriplegia means the complete and irreversible paralysis of all four limbs.
(ii) The term paraplegia means the complete and irreversible paralysis of both lower limbs.
(iii) The term hemiplegia means the complete and irreversible paralysis of the upper and lower limbs on one side of the body.
(iv) The term uniplegia means the complete and irreversible paralysis of one limb of the body.
(v) The term complete and irreversible paralysis means total loss of voluntary movement resulting from damage to the spinal cord or associated nerves, or to the brain, that is deemed clinically stable and unlikely to improve.
(vi) The term inability to carry out activities of daily living means the inability to independently perform at least two of the six following functions:
(A) Bathing.
(B) Continence.
(C) Dressing.
(D) Eating.
(E) Toileting.
(F) Transferring in or out of a bed or chair with or without equipment.
(vii) The term pyogenic infection means a pus-producing infection.
(viii) The term contaminated substance means food or water made unfit for consumption by humans because of the presence of chemicals, radioactive elements, bacteria, or organisms.
(ix) The term chemical weapon means chemical substances intended to kill, seriously injure, or incapacitate humans through their physiological effects.
(x) The term biological weapon means biological agents or microorganisms intended to kill, seriously injure, or incapacitate humans through their physiological effects.
(xi) The term radiological weapon means radioactive materials or radiation-producing devices intended to kill, seriously injure, or incapacitate humans through their physiological effects.
(xii) The term medical professional means a licensed practitioner of the healing arts acting within the scope of his or her practice. Some examples include a licensed physician, optometrist, nurse practitioner, registered nurse, physician assistant, or audiologist.
(xiii) The term hospitalization means an inpatient stay in a facility that is:
(A) (1) Accredited by the Joint Commission or its predecessor, the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO), or accredited or approved by a program of the qualified governmental unit in which such institution is located if the Secretary of Health and Human Services has found that the accreditation or comparable approval standards of such qualified governmental unit are essentially equivalent to those of the Joint Commission or JCAHO;
(2) Used primarily to provide, by or under the supervision of physicians, to inpatients diagnostic services and therapeutic services for medical diagnosis, treatment, and care of injured, disabled, or sick persons;
(3) Requires every patient to be under the care and supervision of a physician; and
(4) Provides 24-hour nursing services rendered or supervised by a registered professional nurse and has a licensed practical nurse or registered nurse on duty at all times; or
(B) Any Armed Forces medical facility that is authorized to provide inpatient and/or ambulatory care to eligible service members.
(xiv) The term total and permanent loss of sight means:
(A) Visual acuity in the eye of 20/200 or less (worse) with corrective lenses lasting at least 120 days;
(B) Visual acuity in the eye of greater (better) than 20/200 with corrective lenses and a visual field of 20 degrees or less lasting at least 120 days; or
(C) Anatomical loss of the eye.
(xv) The term total and permanent loss of speech means organic loss of speech or the ability to express oneself, both by voice and whisper, through normal organs for speech, notwithstanding the use of an artificial appliance to simulate speech. Loss of speech must be clinically stable and unlikely to improve.
(xvi) The term total and permanent loss of hearing means average hearing threshold sensitivity for air conduction of at least 80 decibels, based on hearing acuity measured at 500, 1,000, and 2,000 Hertz, that is clinically stable and unlikely to improve.
(xvii) The term burns means 2nd degree (partial thickness) or worse burns covering at least 20 percent of the body, including the face and head, or 20 percent of the face alone. Percentage of the body burned may be measured using the Rule of Nines or any means generally accepted within the medical profession.
(xviii) The term coma means a state of profound unconsciousness that is measured at a Glasgow Coma Score of 8 or less.
(xix) The term limb salvage means a series of operations designed to save an arm or leg with all of its associated parts rather than amputate it. For purposes of this section, a surgeon must certify that the option of amputation of the limb(s) was a medically justified alternative to salvage, and the patient chose to pursue salvage.
(xx) The term amputation means the severance or removal of a limb or genital organ or part of a limb or genital organ resulting from trauma or surgery. With regard to limbs an amputation above a joint means a severance or removal that is closer to the body than the specified joint is.
(xxi) The term anatomical loss of the penis is defined as amputation of the glans penis or any portion of the shaft of the penis above the glans penis (i.e. closer to the body) or damage to the glans penis or shaft of the penis that requires reconstructive surgery.
(xxii) The term permanent loss of use of the penis is defined as damage to the glans penis or shaft of the penis that results in complete loss of the ability to perform sexual intercourse that is reasonably certain to continue throughout the lifetime of the member.
(xxiii) The term anatomical loss of the testicle(s) is defined as the amputation of, or damage to, one or both testicles that requires testicular salvage, reconstructive surgery, or both.
(xxiv) The term permanent loss of use of both testicles is defined as damage to both testicles resulting in the need for hormonal replacement therapy that is medically required and reasonably certain to continue throughout the lifetime of the member.
(xxv) The term anatomical loss of the vulva, uterus, or vaginal canal is defined as the complete or partial amputation of the vulva, uterus, or vaginal canal or damage to the vulva, uterus, or vaginal canal that requires reconstructive surgery.
(xxvi) The term permanent loss of use of the vulva or vaginal canal is defined as damage to the vulva or vaginal canal that results in complete loss of the ability to perform sexual intercourse that is reasonably certain to continue throughout the lifetime of the member.
(xxvii) The term anatomical loss of the ovary(ies) is defined as the amputation of one or both ovaries or damage to one or both ovaries that requires ovarian salvage, reconstructive surgery, or both.
(xxviii) The term permanent loss of use of both ovaries is defined as damage to both ovaries resulting in the need for hormonal replacement therapy that is medically required and reasonably certain to continue throughout the lifetime of the member.
(xxix) The term total and permanent loss of urinary system function is defined as damage to the urethra, ureter(s), both kidneys, bladder, or urethral sphincter muscle(s) that requires urinary diversion and/or hemodialysis, either of which is reasonably certain to continue throughout the lifetime of the member.
(f) Schedule of Losses.
For losses listed in paragraphs (f)(1) through (19) of this section, multiple losses resulting from a single traumatic event may be combined for purposes of a single payment (except where noted otherwise); however, the total payment amount may not exceed $100,000 for losses resulting from a single traumatic event.
Payments for losses listed in paragraphs (f)(20) through (21) of this section may not be made in addition to payments for losses under paragraphs (f)(1) through (19)—only the higher amount will be paid. The total payment amount may not exceed $100,000 for losses resulting from a single traumatic event.
If the loss is— Then the amountpayable for the loss is—
(1) Total and permanent loss of sight:
• For each eye $50,000
(2) Total and permanent loss of hearing:
• For one ear $25,000
• For both ears $100,000
(3) Total and permanent loss of speech $50,000
(4) Quadriplegia $100,000
(5) Hemiplegia $100,000
(6) Paraplegia $100,000
(7) Uniplegia:
• For each limb* $50,000
*Note: Payment for uniplegia of arm cannot be combined with loss 9, 10, or 14 for the same arm. Payment of uniplegia of leg cannot be combined with loss 11, 12, 13, or 15 for the same leg.
(8) Burns $100,000
(9) Amputation of a hand at or above the wrist:
• For each hand* $50,000
*Note: Payment for loss 9 cannot be made in additional to payment for loss 10 for the same hand.
(10) Amputation at or above the metacarpophalangeal joint(s) of either the thumb or the other 4 fingers on 1 hand:
• For each hand* $50,000
*Note: Payment for loss of the thumb cannot be made in addition to payment for loss of the other 4 fingers for the same hand.
(11) Amputation of a foot at or above the ankle:
• For each foot.* $50,000
*Note: Payment for loss 11 cannot be made in addition to payments for losses 12 or 13 for the same foot.
(12) Amputation at or above the metatarsophalangeal joints of all toes on 1 foot:
• For each foot* $50,000
*Note: Payment for loss 12 cannot be made in addition to payments for loss 13 for the same foot.
(13) Amputation at or above the metatarsophalangeal joint(s) of either the big toe, or the other 4 toes on 1 foot
• For each foot $25,000
(14) Limb salvage of arm:
• For each arm* $50,000
*Note: Payment for loss 14 cannot be made in addition to payments for losses 9 or 10 for the same arm.
(15) Limb salvage of leg:
• For each leg* $50,000
*Note: Payment for loss 15 cannot be made in addition to payments for losses 11, 12 or 13 for the same leg.
(16) Facial Reconstruction:
• Jaw—surgery to correct discontinuity loss of the upper or lower jaw $75,000
• Nose—surgery to correct discontinuity loss of 50% or more of the cartilaginous nose $50,000
• Lips—surgery to correct discontinuity loss of 50% or more of the upper or lower lip
—For one lip $50,000
—For both lips $75,000
• Eyes—surgery to correct discontinuity loss of 30% or more of the periorbita.
—For each eye $25,000
• Facial Tissue—surgery to correct discontinuity loss of the tissue in 50% or more of any of the following facial subunits: forehead, temple, zygomatic, mandibular, infraorbital or chin.
—For each facial subunit $25,000
Note 1: Losses due to facial reconstruction may be combined with each other, but the maximum benefit for facial reconstruction may not exceed $75,000.
Note 2: Any injury or combination of losses under facial reconstruction may also be combined with other losses in paragraphs 9.20(f)(1)-(18) and treated as one loss, provided that all losses are the result of a single traumatic event. However, the total payment amount may not exceed $100,000.
(17) Coma from traumatic injury AND/OR Traumatic Brain injury resulting in inability to perform at least 2 Activities of Daily Living (ADL):
• at 15th consecutive day of coma or ADL loss* $25,000
• at 30th consecutive day of coma or ADL loss* an additional $25,000
• at 60th consecutive day of coma or ADL loss* an additional $25,000
•; at 90th consecutive day of coma or ADL loss* an additional $25,000
Note 1: Duration of coma and inability to perform ADLs includes date of onset of coma or inability to perform ADLs and the first date on which member is no longer in a coma or is able to perform ADLs.
(18) Hospitalization due to traumatic brain injury:*
• at 15 consecutive day of hospitalization** $25,000
*Note: Payment for hospitalization replaces period in loss 17.
**Note: Duration of hospitalization includes dates on which member is transported from the injury site to a facility described in § 9.20(e)(6)(xiii), admitted to the facility, transferred between facilities, and discharged from the facility.
(19) Genitourinary Losses:
• Anatomical loss of the penis $50,000
• Permanent loss of use of the penis $50,000
• Anatomical loss of one testicle $25,000
Anatomical loss of both testicles $50,000
• Permanent loss of use of both testicles $50,000
• Anatomical loss of the vulva, uterus, or vaginal canal $50,000
• Permanent loss of use of the vulva or vaginal canal $50,000
• Anatomical loss of one ovary $25,000
• Anatomical loss of both ovaries $50,000
• Permanent loss of use of both ovaries $50,000
• Total and permanent loss of urinary system function $50,000
Note 1: Losses due to genitourinary injuries may be combined with each other, but the maximum benefit for genitourinary losses may not exceed $50,000.
Note 2: Any genitourinary loss may be combined with other injuries listed in § 9.20(f)(1) through (18) and treated as one loss, provided that all losses are the result of a single traumatic event. However, the total payment may not exceed $100,000.
(20) Traumatic injury, other than traumatic brain injury, resulting in inability to perform at least 2 Activities of Daily Living (ADL):
• at 30th consecutive day of ADL loss* $25,000
• at 60th consecutive day of ADL loss* an additional $25,000
• at 90th consecutive day of ADL loss* an additional $25,000
• at 120th consecutive day of ADL loss* an additional $25,000
*Note: Duration of inability to perform ADLs includes date of onset of inability to perform ADLs and the first date on which member is able to perform ADLs.
(21) Hospitalization due to traumatic injury other than traumatic brain injury:*
• at 15th consecutive day of hospitalization** $25,000
*Note: Payment for hospitalization replaces the first payment period in loss 19.
**Note: Duration of hospitalization includes dates on which member is transported from the injury site to a facility described in § 9.20(e)(6)(xiii), admitted to the facility, transferred between facilities, and discharged from the facility.
(g) Who will determine eligibility for traumatic injury protection benefits? Each uniformed service will certify its own members for traumatic injury protection benefits based upon section 1032 ofPublic Law 109-13, section 501 ofPublic Law 109-233, and this section. The uniformed service will certify whether you were at the time of the traumatic injury insured under Servicemembers' Group Life Insurance and whether you have sustained a qualifying loss.
(h) How does a member make a claim for traumatic injury protection benefits?
(1)
(i) A member who believes he or she qualifies for traumatic injury protection benefits must complete Part A of the Application for TSGLI Benefits Form and sign the form.
(ii) If a member is unable to sign the Application for TSGLI Benefits Form due to the member's physical or mental incapacity, the form must be signed by the member's guardian; if none, the member's agent or attorney acting under a valid Power of Attorney; if none, the member's military trustee.
(iii) If a member suffered a scheduled loss as a direct result of the traumatic injury, survived seven full days from the date of the traumatic event, and then died before the maximum benefit for which the service member qualifies is paid, the beneficiary or beneficiaries of the member's Servicemembers' Group Life Insurance policy should complete an Application for TSGLI Benefits Form.
(2) If a member seeks traumatic injury protection benefits for a scheduled loss occurring after submission of a completed Application for TSGLI Benefits Form for a different scheduled loss, the member must submit a completed Application for TSGLI Benefits Form for the new scheduled loss and for each scheduled loss that occurs thereafter and for each increment of a scheduled loss that occurs thereafter. For example, if a member seeks traumatic injury protection benefits for a scheduled loss due to coma from traumatic injury and/or the inability to carry out activities of daily living due to traumatic brain injury (§ 9.20(f)(17)), or the inability to carry out activities of daily living due to loss directly resulting from a traumatic injury other than an injury to the brain (§ 9.20(f)(19)), a completed Application for TSGLI Benefits Form must be submitted for each increment of time for which TSGLI is payable. Also, for example, if a service member suffers a scheduled loss due to a coma, a completed Application for TSGLI Benefits Form should be filed after the 15th consecutive day that the member is in the coma, for which $25,000 is payable. If the member remains in a coma for another 15 days, another completed Application for TSGLI Benefits Form should be submitted and another $25,000 will be paid.
(i) How does a member or beneficiary appeal an adverse eligibility determination?
(1) Notice of a decision regarding a member's eligibility for traumatic injury protection benefits will include an explanation of the procedure for obtaining review of the decision. An appeal of an eligibility determination, such as whether the loss occurred within 365 days of the traumatic injury, whether the injury was self-inflicted or whether a loss of hearing was total and permanent, must be in writing. An appeal must be submitted by a member or a member's legal representative or by the beneficiary or the beneficiary's legal representative, within one year of the date of a denial of eligibility, to the office of the uniformed service identified in the decision regarding the member's eligibility for the benefit.
(2) An appeal regarding whether a member was insured under Servicemembers' Group Life Insurance when the traumatic injury was sustained must be in writing. An appeal must be submitted by a member or a member's legal representative or by the beneficiary or the beneficiary's legal representative within one year of the date of a denial of eligibility to the Office of Servicemembers' Group Life Insurance.
(3) Nothing in this section precludes a member from pursuing legal remedies under 38 U.S.C. 1975 and 38 CFR 9.13.
(j) Who will be paid the traumatic injury protection benefit? The injured member who suffered a scheduled loss will be paid the traumatic injury protection benefit in accordance with title 38 U.S.C. 1980A except under the following circumstances:
(1) If a member is legally incapacitated, the member's guardian or agent or attorney acting under a valid Power of Attorney will be paid the benefit on behalf of the member.
(2) If no guardian, agent, or attorney is authorized to act as the member's legal representative, a military trustee who has been appointed under the authority of 37 U.S.C. 602 will be paid the benefit on behalf of the member. The military trustee will report the receipt of the traumatic injury benefit payment and any disbursements from that payment to the Department of Defense.
(3) If a member dies before payment is made, the beneficiary or beneficiaries who will be paid the benefit will be determined in accordance with 38 U.S.C. 1970(a).
(k) The Traumatic Servicemembers' Group Life Insurance program will be administered in accordance with this rule, except to the extent that any regulatory provision is inconsistent with subsequently enacted applicable law.
(The Office of Management and Budget has approved the information collection requirements in this section under control number 2900-0671)
[70 FR 75946, Dec. 22, 2005, as amended at 72 FR 10365, Mar. 8, 2007; 73 FR 71930, Nov. 26, 2008; 76 FR 75460, Dec. 2, 2011]

Title 38 published on 2013-07-01

no entries appear in the Federal Register after this date.

Title 38 published on 2013-07-01

The following are ALL rules, proposed rules, and notices (chronologically) published in the Federal Register relating to 38 CFR 9 after this date.

  • 2013-09-23; vol. 78 # 184 - Monday, September 23, 2013
    1. 78 FR 58264 - Servicemembers' Group Life Insurance and Veterans' Group Life Insurance Information Access
      GPO FDSys XML | Text
      DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS
      Proposed rule.
      Comments must be received by VA on or before November 22, 2013.
      38 CFR Part 9