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United States Government Life Insurance (USGLI)


The United States Government Life Insurance (USGLI) refers to a life insurance policy issued by the U.S. government for military service members. It was established during World War I to provide affordable life insurance benefits to veterans who might have been ineligible for private insurance due to the health issues incurred while in service. This program, though not currently open to new policies, still maintains existing ones.


The phonetic spelling of “United States Government Life Insurance (USGLI)” is as follows:United States – [yoo-nahyd steyts]Government – [guh-vuhrn-muhnt]Life Insurance – [lahyf in-shoo r-uhns]USGLI – [yoo es jee el ahy]

Key Takeaways

  1. United States Government Life Insurance (USGLI) is a life insurance program established by the federal government. It first began during World War I to provide life insurance coverage to military personnel who might not otherwise be eligible for private insurance due to increased risk.
  2. USGLI provides coverage to policyholders with guaranteed benefits. Unlike other insurance programs, rates for USGLI coverage do not increase as the policyholder ages. This allows for long-term, predictable coverage for those who served in the military.
  3. This type of insurance stopped issuing new policies after 1951. However, those who held policies at that time could keep them and continue paying premiums. Therefore, although no new policies are being issued, people may still hold and receive benefits from USGLI today.


United States Government Life Insurance (USGLI) is considered important particularly because it offers life insurance coverage for military personnel, benefitting those who have served the country in times of conflict. Initially established in 1919, after World War I, this program was created to provide a financial safety net for veterans and their families. By providing life insurance coverage to the military personnel who might be disqualified from private life insurance companies due to increased risk associated with their military duties, USGLI plays a significant role in ensuring the financial stability of veterans’ families should something happen to them. Therefore, its importance is underscored by its role in protecting the financial wellbeing of the individuals who have dedicated their lives to the service of the nation.


United States Government Life Insurance (USGLI) is a financial instrument that was essentially designed to provide life insurance coverage to U.S. military personnel, notably during the World War I and II eras. The primary purpose of USGLI was to provide financial security for the beneficiaries of military personnel who gave their lives in service of their country, because military service traditionally carries a risk that exceeds what most commercial life insurance carriers would be willing to insure against under standard policy terms.The deployment of USGLI enabled members of the military and their families to have a sense of financial security even amidst the most precarious of situations such as during wartime. Even though USGLI was later replaced with other types of veteran insurance programs, its purpose still resonates in those modern variations. Notably, it served not just as a testament to the nation’s dedication towards protecting the interest of servicemen but also emphasized on rewarding their sacrifices with substantial financial support for their loved ones in case of a tragic turn of events.


1. Veteran Benefits: A clear example of USGLI would be a World War II veteran who enlisted into the armed services during the period from 1917 to 1956. During that time, servicemen were automatically issued life insurance policies by the United States government. Following the end of their service, veterans have the opportunity to convert their USGLI policy into a permanent plan, ensuring financial security and benefits for their family in the event of their death.2. Disaster Compensation: Suppose a natural disaster like a hurricane or earthquake occurs, causing the unfortunate death of a USGLI policyholder who is a veteran. In this situation, the government will pay the life insurance coverage to the beneficiaries named in the deceased’s policy, ensuring they are financially assisted during this challenging time.3. Terminal Illness Benefit: A policyholder of USGLI diagnosed with a terminal illness can access their death benefits before they die, known as an “accelerated death benefit.” This can help to cover medical and end-of-life expenses, reducing the financial stress placed on the policyholder and his or her family.

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ)

What is United States Government Life Insurance (USGLI)?

USGLI is a life insurance program that was established by the U.S government. Initiated in 1919, it was to provide life insurance coverage for World War I servicemen. The soldiers could apply for this insurance up to a limit of $10,000.

Who was eligible for the USGLI?

USGLI was available to all members of the military service who served in World War I. The program has been closed for new issues since 1951.

Is USGLI still active?

The USGLI program has been closed for new issues since April 1951. However, the policies that were already issued are still active, provided the policyholder has kept them in force.

Can I apply for USGLI now?

No, new applications for USGLI are not being accepted since the program closed for new issues in April 1951.

How can a USGLI policyholder check their policy status?

All policy-related queries can be directed to the Department of Veterans Affairs, which is responsible for overseeing these policies.

What should a USGLI policyholder do if they have trouble paying their premiums?

If the person encounters such issues, they should contact the Department of Veterans Affairs for assistance. They can provide the requisite help and guidance regarding the premium payment concerns.

What happens to the USGLI policies if the policyholder passes away?

If the policyholder passes away, the death benefit will be paid to the beneficiary or beneficiaries that the policyholder designated.

Is there a cash value attached to USGLI policies?

Yes. Like most life insurance policies, USGLI policies do have a cash value which accumulates over time. The policyholder can borrow against this cash value if the policy permits.

Are the premiums for USGLI tax-deductible?

Generally, Veterans Administration benefits such as the USGLI are not taxed. However, it would be best to consult with a tax advisor for specific advice.

Can the beneficiaries of the USGLI policy be changed?

Yes, typically life insurance policies like the USGLI allow the policy owner to change beneficiaries. However, the policyholder should refer to their specific policy terms or contact the Department of Veterans Affairs for changes.

Related Finance Terms

  • Policyholder
  • Premiums
  • Benefits
  • Life Insurance Claims
  • Veteran Benefits

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