Insurance which matured before August 1, 1946
(a) Insurance which matured before August 1, 1946, is payable in the following manner:
If the beneficiary to whom payment is first made was under thirty years of age at the time of maturity, in two hundred and forty equal monthly installments.
If the beneficiary to whom payment is first made was thirty or more years of age at the time of maturity, in equal monthly installments for one hundred and twenty months certain, with such payments continuing during the remaining lifetime of such beneficiary.
If elected by the insured or a beneficiary entitled to make such an election under prior provisions of law, as a refund life income in monthly installments payable for such period certain as may be required in order that the sum of the installments certain, including a last installment of such reduced amount as may be necessary, shall equal the face value of the contract, less any indebtedness, with such payments continuing throughout the lifetime of the first beneficiary. A refund life income optional settlement is not available in any case in which such settlement would result in payments of installments over a shorter period than one hundred and twenty months. If the mode of payment is changed to a refund life income in accordance with prior provisions of law, after payment has commenced, payment of monthly installments will be adjusted as of the date of maturity of such policy with credit being allowed for payments previously made on the insurance.
(b) Such insurance shall be payable only to a widow, widower, child, parent, brother or sister of the insured. Any installments certain of such insurance remaining unpaid at the death of any beneficiary shall be paid in equal monthly installments in an amount equal to the monthly installments paid to the first beneficiary, to the person or persons then in being within the following classes, and in the order named, unless designated by the insured in a different order:
To the widow or widower of the insured, if living.
If no widow or widower, to the child or children of the insured, if living, in equal shares.
If no widow, widower, or child, to the parent or parents of the insured who last bore that relationship, if living, in equal shares.
If no widow, widower, child, or parent, to the brothers and sisters of the insured, if living, in equal shares.
The provisions of this section shall not be construed to enlarge the classes of beneficiaries heretofore authorized under section 602(d) of the National Service Life Insurance Act of 1940, for payment of gratuitous insurance.
If no beneficiary of insurance which matured before August 1, 1946, was designated by the insured or if the designated beneficiary did not survive the insured, the beneficiary shall be determined in accordance with the order specified in subsection (b) and the insurance shall be payable in equal monthly installments in accordance with subsection (a). The right of any beneficiary to payment of any installments of such insurance shall be conditioned upon his or her being alive to receive such payments. No person shall have a vested right to any installment or installments of any such insurance and any installments not paid to a beneficiary during such beneficiary’s lifetime shall be paid to the beneficiary or beneficiaries within the permitted class next entitled to priority, as provided in subsection (b).
No installments of insurance which matured before August 1, 1946, shall be paid to the heirs or legal representatives as such of the insured or of any beneficiary, and if no person within the permitted class survives to receive the insurance or any part thereof no payment of the unpaid installments shall be made, except that if the reserve of a contract of converted National Service Life Insurance, together with dividends accumulated thereon, less any indebtedness under such contract, exceeds the aggregate amount paid to beneficiaries, the excess shall be paid to the estate of the insured unless the estate of the insured would escheat under the laws of the insured’s place of residence, in which event no payment shall be made. When the amount of an individual monthly payment of such insurance is less than $5, such amount may, in the discretion of the Secretary, be allowed to accumulate without interest and be disbursed annually.
Any payments of insurance made to a person, represented by the insured to be within the permitted class of beneficiaries, shall be deemed to have been properly made and to satisfy fully the obligation of the United States under such insurance policy to the extent of such payments.
(Pub. L. 85–857
, Sept. 2, 1958
, 72 Stat. 1151
, § 716; Pub. L. 99–576, title VII
, § 701(27), Oct. 28, 1986
, 100 Stat. 3292
; renumbered § 1916 and amended Pub. L. 102–83
, §§ 4(b)(1), (2)(E), 5(a), Aug. 6, 1991
, 105 Stat. 404–406
; Pub. L. 102–86, title V
, § 506(a)(2), Aug. 14, 1991
, 105 Stat. 426