ChatGPT: 6 Ways To Use AI In Your Job Search

By Hannah Morgan | Career Sherpa - Reprinted with permission

Using ChatGPT to help with your job search isn't cheating. It allows you to focus your time on the things that really matter, like interviews and conversations. In this article, you'll see how to use ChatGPT to help you overcome some of the hurdles in your job search so you can focus on talking about your skills and successes. You shouldn't be wasting time endlessly crafting emails or cover letters. This is where ChatGPT comes in. It's a powerful research assistant that will generate results that you can then validate and personalize. Your strength and skills are in doing your job. Many of the things you need to do for your job search may not be in your wheelhouse. Get the support you need by using an artificial intelligence tool like ChatGPT.... Read more

In tax season, how can Veterans maximize their tax benefits?

By Aaron Kassraie | U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs © 2023, Reprinted with permission

As a Veteran, you may be eligible for certain tax benefits under the tax code. It's important to file your taxes before this year's April 18 deadline and be aware of the benefits that apply to you. Here's a summary of some of the key tax benefits for military Veterans provided by accountant and tax expert Lisa Greene-Lewis of TurboTax. And don't forget: Tax advice that applies to civilians can benefit you too. Federal Taxes. Military retirement pay is taxable as federal income tax and is not considered earned income for Social Security tax purposes. Premiums for the Survivor Benefit Plan are excluded from taxable income. Veterans education benefit payments received through VA for education and training are tax-free. Disability benefits received from VA, such as disability compensation, pension payments and grants for home modifications, are not taxable.... Read more

How To Introduce Yourself In An Email (Strong Examples)

By Hannah Morgan | Career Sherpa - Reprinted with permission

Learning how to introduce yourself in an email is a valuable skill that you can rely on in numerous situations. Being able to quickly connect with people and make a great impression will always come in handy! This guide will teach you how to write a self-introduction email that works. What is an Introduction Email? An introduction email is a short message you send to someone you've never met. The goal is to establish a connection and let the recipient know who you are. Think of the times you've met people in real life. First impressions count, and a short introduction is a great way to stand out from others that person might meet. An email can do the same thing, only through a more convenient mode of communication. Emails are one of the easiest... Read more

Q&A about VA's newest life insurance program

By news.VA.gov | U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs © 2022, Reprinted with permission

Veterans Affairs Life Insurance (VALife) is VA's newest whole life insurance program that offers cash value and very competitive premium rates. Enrollment opens on Jan. 1, 2023, for all service-connected Veterans age 80 and under. Learn more about the program and find answers to some common questions: Who is eligible for VALife? Veterans age 80 or under with any level of service-connected disability (0-100%) are eligible to apply at any time. Veterans age 81 or older may also apply for VALife within two years of receiving notification of a new service-connected disability if they: Applied for a new VA rated disability before age 81, and Received a new service-connected disability after turning 81. How do I apply for VALife? The VALife application goes live on Jan. 1, 2023... Read more

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June 20, 2024 - Online 11 AM - 2 PM EST

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ChatGPT: 6 Ways To Use AI In Your Job Search

By Hannah Morgan | Career Sherpa - Reprinted with permission

Using ChatGPT to help with your job search isn't cheating. It allows you to focus your time on the things that really matter, like interviews and conversations.

In this article, you'll see how to use ChatGPT to help you overcome some of the hurdles in your job search so you can focus on talking about your skills and successes.

You shouldn't be wasting time endlessly crafting emails or cover letters. This is where ChatGPT comes in. It's a powerful research assistant that will generate results that you can then validate and personalize.

Your strength and skills are in doing your job. Many of the things you need to do for your job search may not be in your wheelhouse. Get the support you need by using an artificial intelligence tool like ChatGPT.

Quick Overview of ChatGPT

OpenAI introduced its ChatGPT system. This is a machine learning system developed for natural language traffic. It can mimic human conversations and can carry on a conversation with people. ChatGPT can adapt to the conversation and learn to respond to certain messages. It pulls its answers from publicly available information. The vast majority of its data is from before September 2021.

To get started with ChatGPT, you need is to register for a free OpenAI account. There is the option to upgrade to a paid membership which allows you to get faster responses, and log in during peak usage times.

There are other AI tools. For example, Microsoft's Bing now has an AI chatbot. You can expect to see more of these moving forward.

Tips For Getting The Best Results

Before you use ChatGPT or any AI chat tool, it's important to know the secret to getting good results. The better your question (known as a prompt), the better your results will be. To help you create better prompts, keep these things in mind.

Treat Your Request As A Conversation

When writing your prompt, pose a question you want it to answer. As we often need to do when talking with a human, you may have to ask follow-up questions to get a more precise answer. Consider your prompt as the beginning of your conversation. (This is different logic than you use when searching Google.)

Use Descriptive and Specific Prompts

The more specific your prompt, the better the results. Remember the who, what, where, when, and why of writing. For example, if you using ChatGPT to help you write an email, specify the tone or "voice" you want it to use. This could be formal, friendly, or even use a character you want to emulate.

Specify How You Will Use The Information Provided

When you ask your question, explain how or where the information will be used. For example, tell ChatGPT you want it to create interview questions, a cover letter, or LinkedIn About section. Providing context helps ChatGPT provide the correct response.

Ask For More

If you aren't happy with the response from ChatGPT or want to see additional answers, ask it to show you more or tell you more. Or you could ask it to expand the answer.

Experiment With Varying Questions

Try asking your question a couple of different ways to see if the response is different or better. Remember, the more detail you add, the better the response.

How To Use ChatGPT For Job Search

Consider ChatGPT your research assistant. It will save you time scouring the internet for answers to your questions. It also is extremely helpful for creating first drafts or outlines for emails, cover letters, resume content, and interview answers.

Use AI To Get Unstuck Writing

Have you ever wanted a template to help you write an email? Or maybe you're not sure what you should include in your cover letter to show you are qualified for the job. ChatGPT is a helpful tool to get you started. Of course, you will need to edit your final work but it takes some of the angst out of getting started.

In this example, the query asked to write an email to Jim Smith a data analyst asking for an informational interview to learn more about the work he does at Microsoft.

Research Alternative Job Titles

In this example, the prompt was to help identify job titles similar to Fundraising.

There are a couple of reasons why job seekers might want to search for alternative or similar job titles. First, sometimes you can't find jobs because you aren't searching for the correct job title. Second, you may want to broaden your job search so you can apply for more jobs.

Uncover Similar Jobs In A New Industry

Let's say you want to switch industries. The obvious question is, what can I do there? In this prompt, the question was to identify job titles that are similar to product manager in the banking/finance industry.

If you no longer love your job, sometimes changing industries is a good way to pivot. You'll use a lot of the same skills but in a different environment. But you first have to know what job titles to target.

Create A List of Target Companies

In this example, I am looking for companies in clothing and retail that have roles in sourcing and product development management.

It can be challenging to find lists of companies within a certain industry. This is at least a starting place to help uncover some companies to be exploring.

This would also be a good time to use "more" or "expand" to show more answers. And of course, you will have to research these companies and review their careers page.

Craft Questions To Ask During An Informational Interview

In this example, I asked for questions to ask during an informational meeting to learn more about what an aerospace engineer does.

Predict Questions You'll Likely Be Asked During Job Interview

One of the best ways to prepare for a job interview is to practice answering questions… but what questions? Below you'll see how to ask ChatGPT what questions to expect.

I asked ChatGPT: What behavioral job interview questions can I expect for this job? [inserted job posting]

WARNING

ChatGPT is not an authoratative source. In fact, it doesn't reference the source of information at all. Therefore, you'll want to verify the accuracy of the information it provides.

Do not use the raw output as your final product. In other words, don't cut and paste ChatGPT answers as your own work. Always edit responses to make them sound more like your voice before using them.

There are tools that can identify content that is likely created by AI. They are called AI content detectors or ChatGPT detectors. If you don't edit the response from ChatGPT you should know that your work may be called out.

Wrapping It Up

You can spend more time having interviews and conversations rather than conducting research and drafting emails. Using AI as a research assistant allows you to focus on talking about what you enjoy doing and what you are good at!

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In tax season, how can Veterans maximize their tax benefits?

By Aaron Kassraie | U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs © 2023, Reprinted with permission

As a Veteran, you may be eligible for certain tax benefits under the tax code. It's important to file your taxes before this year's April 18 deadline and be aware of the benefits that apply to you.

Here's a summary of some of the key tax benefits for military Veterans provided by accountant and tax expert Lisa Greene-Lewis of TurboTax. And don't forget: Tax advice that applies to civilians can benefit you too.

Federal Taxes

  • Military retirement pay is taxable as federal income tax and is not considered earned income for Social Security tax purposes.
  • Premiums for the Survivor Benefit Plan are excluded from taxable income.
  • Veterans education benefit payments received through VA for education and training are tax-free.
  • Disability benefits received from VA, such as disability compensation, pension payments and grants for home modifications, are not taxable.

Money from VA that is not taxed

  • Interest from VA life insurance policies.
  • Benefits under a dependent-care assistance program.
  • Money paid to a survivor of a member of the armed forces who died after Sept. 10, 2001.
  • Payments made under the compensated work therapy program.

Note that if you had a recent increase in your disability rating or were granted combat-related special compensation, you may be eligible for a tax refund, but this can only be applied to the year VA reassessed your disability level.

State Taxes

  • States typically offer tax benefits only to Veterans who were honorably discharged or released from active duty under honorable circumstances.
  • State benefits usually include exemptions on property taxes, according to value.
  • Benefits are often transferred to a spouse or surviving spouse of honorably discharged Veterans.
  • Many states offer property tax exemptions and other benefits for disabled Veterans.
  • Military retirement pay may be taxed differently in different states.
  • Every state's revenue website outlines state benefits for Veterans and how to apply for them.

Disabled Veterans can qualify for property tax exemptions at the state level. These breaks, which are usually tied to a specific disability rating, can help a Veteran save thousands of dollars. You can view a list of all property tax exemptions by state and disability percentage here.

AARP Tax-Aide

  • AARP Foundation's Tax-Aide program offers free tax help to anyone, with a focus on taxpayers who are 50 and older and have low to moderate incomes.
  • Tax assistance is available through knowledgeable volunteers, either in-person or virtually, by appointment only.

To find out about more tax breaks for Veterans, read the full version of this article from AARP. It also includes state specific tax break for Veterans.

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How To Introduce Yourself In An Email (Strong Examples)

By Hannah Morgan | Career Sherpa - Reprinted with permission

Learning how to introduce yourself in an email is a valuable skill that you can rely on in numerous situations. Being able to quickly connect with people and make a great impression will always come in handy!

This guide will teach you how to write a self-introduction email that works.

What is an Introduction Email?

An introduction email is a short message you send to someone you've never met. The goal is to establish a connection and let the recipient know who you are.

Think of the times you've met people in real life. First impressions count, and a short introduction is a great way to stand out from others that person might meet. An email can do the same thing, only through a more convenient mode of communication.

Emails are one of the easiest ways to reach out to strangers or individuals you've been referred to. Typically, these emails will eventually lead to a request, so it's important to think about how you structure this message.

Why is It Important to Write a Good One?

You may wonder if a self-introduction email is even necessary.

If you have a request or plan to work with the recipient at any point in the future, these emails are paramount! They're a professional courtesy that starts the relationship on a good note. Imagine how off-putting it would be for a total stranger to reach out with a request. How would you react if you knew nothing about them?

Introducing yourself via email can break down any awkward barriers and set up a good rapport moving forward.

Furthermore, they give recipients a reason to open the email. Whether you're contacting a potential employer or a client you want to sell to, they likely receive hundreds of emails daily. You must compel people to want to communicate with you. Otherwise, future correspondence can end up in the spam folder.

A well-written introductory email is a perfect start to a working relationship. It sets the tone of your communication style and is a nice pleasantry that will leave the recipient with nothing but positive things to say about you.

How to Introduce Yourself in an Email

There aren't any defined rules to follow when writing an introductory email. But what you say and how you say it can make or break the impression you want to leave.

Here are a few tips and best practices for introducing yourself in an email.

Write an Effective Subject Line

The first thing to do is write an attention-grabbing subject line.

The subject line is what your recipient sees before opening and reading the body of your email. Most people scan subject lines as they view their inboxes. If they don't recognize the sender, this short blurb is usually the deciding factor on whether they want to read your message or not.

Having an impactful subject line makes all the difference!

You want it to be succinct and descriptive. Steer clear of "click bait" or vague sentences. Get to the point and give the reader a glimpse of your email's topic. The best course is to inform the recipient what you're messaging them about in the subject line.

For example, say that you want to learn about possible job openings for a marketing team. You could put "Marketing Associate Position Inquiry." Alternatively, an email requesting that the reader provide you with marketing data could have the subject of "Marketing Analytics Request."

Those subjects work because the reader knows precisely what they're getting when they read your email.

Address the Right Person

Our next tip is to provide a personal greeting and name the recipient directly.

Oftentimes, you see people use self-introduction email templates with generic descriptors. Avoid those in favor of something more personal.

Unpersonalized templates will look insincere and cold. Many readers will assume that the email is spam or basic marketing fluff. They may stop reading after your greeting!

Tailoring the greeting to the person transforms your email into warm correspondence. It looks more personal and adds a touch of professionalism.

Make sure to follow formalities for your industry. For example, you might want to use professional titles and last names only if you work in a more formal field. Alternatively, first names will work for more relaxed atmospheres.

Either way, researching the person before writing the email is always a good idea. This will help you understand what type of greeting is most appropriate.

Tell Them Why You're Emailing

When you're introducing yourself in an email, tell the reader why you're messaging them. Don't add a bunch of fluff. Let the recipient know and cut to the chase.

You want to keep it short and informative. Remember that people read emails quickly and often skim. Explaining why you're sending the message right off the bat is always a good choice.

If you have a mutual contact, you can mention them. Explain how you got their email address and why you're reaching out. Doing this helps build credibility and makes it easier for the reader to connect the dots.

Provide a Call to Action

The last section of your email should include a call to action. You likely have a request you'd like to make. That could be to respond to your email, have the recipient reach out via phone call, consider you for a job, etc.

Whatever the case, include a call to action statement to encourage them to fall through.

Don't be too pushy. Reread the statement a few times to ensure you don't appear too demanding or forward. It needs to be a polite request. Otherwise, the message comes off-putting.

Thank the Recipient for Their Time

End your self-introduction email on a positive and appreciative note.

Acknowledge that the recipient has a busy schedule and that you are thankful for them taking the time to read your email and fulfill your request. A sign of gratitude is a nice professional touch that will make your message memorable. It's a great way to establish a good rapport and increase the chances that the reader follows through with whatever request you have.

Remember to use a professional closing. For example, you can use a "Sincerely" tag or something similar. Provide your name and include a signature with links to your email and professional networking profiles. You can also include phone numbers and other relevant contact information.

Be Concise

Our last tip is to be concise.

We touched on this briefly, but it bears repeating.

The last thing you want to do when introducing yourself in an email is draft a lengthy email that takes several minutes to read. Most people skim anyways, so large blocks of text aren't ideal.

Keep it short and proofread it several times. Remove extraneous information and stick to your main introductory points.

Email Introduction Examples

Every introductory email you craft should be unique to you and the reader. However, we have a few examples you can use as a jumping-off point while you write.

Use them as inspiration!

Formal Introduction

When you need to reach out to someone in a formal industry, you must have a professional tone when introducing yourself in an email. Failing to maintain the formalities of the field can leave a bad impression. You must play conservatively and avoid words that are too casual or conversational.

Subject: Meeting request with [YOUR NAME] at [COMPANY]

Greetings Mr. Johnson,

My name is [NAME], and I'm a marketing representative for [COMPANY] in New York City. We're in the midst of planning a unique marketing campaign, and I wanted to take this opportunity to introduce myself and request a meeting about a potential collaboration with your firm. Your company comes highly recommended, and our team would be grateful to work with you.

Please contact me at your earliest convenience. I look forward to hearing back from you and exploring a partnership opportunity. Thank you for your time.

Best regards,

[YOUR NAME]
[YOUR EMAIL]
[CONTACT INFORMATION]

Casual Introduction

On the opposite side of the spectrum, we have a more casual sample introductory email. This style works great if you're in an industry that doesn't rely too much on formalities. It's a great way to break the ice and establish a comfortable rapport.

A conversational tone and friendliness are key to casual emails.

Subject: Meeting Request: Recommended by James Whiteside

Hello Jessica Shannon,

I hope that you're doing well and having a great day. I'm [YOUR NAME], a project manager at [COMPANY]. My team is currently working with James Whiteside, who has previously worked with your marketing team over at [COMPANY]. He recommended that I reach out to you.

We're preparing to launch a new product and are interested in working with your team on some of our advertising plans. We have many ideas, and we believe that your firm is the right one to help us bring them to life. If you have the time, I'd love to tell you about our new product and what we're thinking.

Let me know if you're interested. Please don't hesitate to send me an email or call my office at [PHONE NUMBER]. Thanks a bunch for your time, and I look forward to hearing from you!

All the best,

[YOUR NAME]
[YOUR EMAIL]
[CONTACT INFORMATION]

Job Application

Sometimes, companies don't provide application portals. Instead, they provide the email address of hiring decision-makers, leaving you to reach out. Here's how to do that and leave a good impression on a future potential employer.

Subject: Customer Support Agent Application

Dear Ms. Atreyo,

My name is [YOUR NAME]. I'm reaching out today because you're listed as the hiring manager for the customer support agent at [COMPANY]. I greatly respect [COMPANY] and the great customer service reputation you've helped create.

I'd love the opportunity to be a part of the team. I've attached my resume and cover letter, and I hope that you will take a look and consider me for the open customer service agent position.

Thank you for your time in reading my email, and I hope to hear back from you.

Sincerely,

[YOUR NAME]
[YOUR EMAIL]
[YOUR LINKEDIN URL]
[CONTACT INFORMATION]

Asking About an Open Job

Sending a self-introduction email about an open position can be daunting, but it's a great way to get ahead of the curve and learn about opportunities before they go public. Here's a great example of a powerful email that makes a great impression.

The sender provides quick information and leaves a positive first impression on a hiring manager with a potential open job.

Subject: Inquiry About Accounting Position

Dear Mr. Brooks,

My name is [YOUR NAME]. I recently read in the Tribune about how your leadership at [COMPANY] helped your organization experience substantial growth in the last year. I wanted to take this moment to congratulate you on your success and say that your story is inspiring.

I'm interested in the accounting positions and I've looked at those listed on your website.

Are there any positions still open? I also have a few questions about the software you use and what accounting work you're looking for candidates to achieve. Please respond to this email or give me a call if you have a few minutes to talk.

Thank you for your time.

Sincerely,

[YOUR NAME]
[YOUR EMAIL]
[YOUR LINKEDIN URL]
[CONTACT INFORMATION]

Requesting Information

Our next example is about a request for information. It's a good template to use if you want to have a conversation with the recipient or get access to information they have. For example, you can use this example if you're conducting a research paper or want to write a piece for a blog or newspaper.

Subject: Interview Request, [YOUR NAME]

Hello Samantha Mikulchuk,

My name is [YOUR NAME], and I'm a contributing writer for [COMPANY]. I cover financial news and recently saw your LinkedIn profile. I'm impressed with your accomplishments at XYZ Company.

I'm crafting a piece about early career XYZ Company success stories, and I believe you'd make for an interesting addition. I'm reaching out in hopes that we can schedule an interview for my project. I'm eager to learn more about your background and what led to your success.

I'm happy to meet at a time and place that works for you. If you're interested in being part of this project, please reach out.

Thanks so much for your time, and I hope you consider responding. I'd love to chat with you!

Best,

[YOUR NAME]
[YOUR EMAIL]
[CONTACT INFORMATION]

Reaching Out to a Referral

When you reach out to someone after being referred, you already have an easy in with the recipient. It's wise to bring up that mutual connection. You can talk about the individual who referred you and their experience with the email recipient.

Subject: Referred by Walter Black

Dear Mr. Leuschek,

My name is [YOUR NAME], and I work with Walter Black, whose website your firm recently helped revamp. Walter and I have collaborated on many projects throughout the years, and he suggested I reach out to you for something I'm currently working on.

I acquired a new company, and its e-commerce platform is in dire need of an overhaul. I've looked at your portfolio, and I believe that we can create something great together. If you're interested in discussing this with me further, please reach out at the email or phone number below.

Thanks for your time, and I appreciate your consideration.

Kind regards,

[YOUR NAME]
[YOUR EMAIL]
[CONTACT INFORMATION]

Introducing Yourself to a New Team

Introducing yourself to a brand-new team is always exciting. When you get hired at a new company, you'll jump into an already established environment. A self-introduction email is a great way to show enthusiasm and break the ice with the people you'll work with daily.

Subject: Your new sales lead, [YOUR NAME]

Hello [COMPANY] sales team!

My name is [YOUR NAME], and I recently joined [COMPANY] as the new sales lead.

I wanted to reach out and introduce myself. I'm excited to join this company and join you as we smash upcoming sales goals.

I hope to have some one-on-one time with everyone, so please schedule a meeting in my shared calendar below. I'm excited to meet you all. Thank you for your time, and I look forward to introducing myself to everyone in person.

Cheers,

[YOUR NAME]
[YOUR EMAIL]
[CONTACT INFORMATION]
[LINK TO CALENDAR]

Introducing Yourself to a Coworker

When a new employee enters the mix, introducing yourself in an email can help them feel at ease. It's your chance to start on the right foot and connect before they enter the fray.

Subject: Introduction: [YOUR NAME]

Dear Ms. Sinurat,

I hope you're doing well and finding the transition into [COMPANY] a smooth one. My name is [YOUR NAME], and I wanted to introduce myself to you. I'm a member of your marketing team at [COMPANY], so we'll be seeing a lot of each other when you get into the office.

I would love the opportunity to welcome you personally and discuss how we can work together and be successful. Please let me know if you have time to arrange a meeting. You can reach me at my email or phone number below.

Thanks so much, and welcome to the [COMPANY] family!

Sincerely,

[YOUR NAME]
[YOUR EMAIL]
[CONTACT INFORMATION]

Introducing Yourself to a Potential New Client or Business Partner

Finally, we have an example of how you can introduce yourself to a new client. In this case, these emails are crucial to the success of your professional relationship. An email introduction can help the client rest assured that they're in good hands.

Subject: Your contact at [COMPANY]: [YOUR NAME]

Hello Mr. Jones,

My name is [COMPANY], and I will be your account manager at [COMPANY]. I wanted to formally introduce myself and ensure you have all my contact information.

We're all very excited to work with you. As an account manager, I am your go-to person here at [COMPANY], and I'm always available to help with anything related to your service. I would welcome the opportunity to discuss your needs and our ongoing relationship.

Please get in touch and let me know when you're available to have a meeting. Thank you for your time. If you have any questions or needs, I'd be happy to help!

Kind regards,

[YOUR NAME]
[YOUR EMAIL]
[CONTACT INFORMATION]

Conclusion

Now that you know how to introduce yourself in an email, it's time to start drafting your own. If you need some help, refer to our tips and samples for inspiration.

Prepare, be confident, and hit the send button. You'll be happy with the response!

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Q&A about VA's newest life insurance program

By news.VA.gov | U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs © 2022, Reprinted with permission

Veterans Affairs Life Insurance (VALife) is VA's newest whole life insurance program that offers cash value and very competitive premium rates. Enrollment opens on Jan. 1, 2023, for all service-connected Veterans age 80 and under.

Learn more about the program and find answers to some common questions:

Who is eligible for VALife?

Veterans age 80 or under with any level of service-connected disability (0-100%) are eligible to apply at any time.

Veterans age 81 or older may also apply for VALife within two years of receiving notification of a new service-connected disability if they:

  • Applied for a new VA rated disability before age 81, and
  • Received a new service-connected disability after turning 81
How do I apply for VALife?

The VALife application goes live on Jan. 1, 2023, at benefits.va.gov/insurance/valife.asp. The application process is completely online, and Veterans will receive an automated instant decision about their eligibility for the program. If accepted into the program, Veterans can enroll and manage most aspects of their VALife policy online.

What coverage does VALife offer?

VALife offers up to $40,000 in coverage, available in $10,000 increments. There are no medical exams or health questions for enrollment. The policy has cash value that builds over time after the first two years of enrollment.

How much are VALife monthly premium rates?

A full breakdown of VALife monthly premium rates by age can be found here: benefits.va.gov/insurance/valife-rates.asp

VALife premium rates are competitive—or better than—similar programs offered by the private sector. Premiums are based on age upon enrollment and coverage amount selected. Current medical condition(s) or gender are not factored into premium rates. Once enrolled, premiums will never increase on the coverage selected. If coverage is increased in the future, rates will be based on age at that time.

Why is there a two-year waiting period for VALife coverage to take full effect?

The two-year waiting period eliminates the need for applicants to answer health questions or provide proof of good health to be eligible. This waiting period ensures access to guaranteed acceptance whole life insurance for more Veterans than ever before.

Do I have to pay monthly premium rates during the two-year waiting period for my VALife coverage to take effect?

Yes, Veterans must pay premiums during the two-year waiting period. If the Veteran dies during the two-year waiting period, all premiums paid plus interest will be paid to their designated beneficiary. The full face value of the policy will be paid to the beneficiary after the two-year period. Veterans who pay premiums directly, rather than by deduction from their compensation or military retirement or checking account, have the option to pay premiums annually.

How does VALife coverage compare to similar private sector programs?

VALife's maximum coverage of $40,000 is greater than what's offered by many similar guaranteed acceptance whole life insurance programs in the private sector. The cost per $1,000 is very competitive or less than similar products, providing savings to Veterans.

Can I switch from my current VA insurance program to VALife? Can I be enrolled in VALife and another program at the same time?

Veterans currently enrolled in Service-Disabled Veterans Life Insurance (S-DVI) may either keep that coverage or switch to VALife when the application goes live:

  • If you have S-DVI and submit your VALife application on or before Dec. 31, 2025, then by law, you may only keep your S-DVI coverage for two years. When the two-year period concludes, your S-DVI coverage ends, and the full VALife coverage amount takes effect. Any cash value from your S-DVI coverage will be paid to you or can be applied toward your VALife premiums.
  • If you have S-DVI and submit your VALife application on or after Jan. 1, 2026, then by law, your S-DVI coverage ends on the day you enroll in VALife. However, you will still need to wait two years before your full VALife coverage amount takes effect.

Eligible Veterans currently enrolled in Veterans' Group Life Insurance (VGLI) may have both VGLI and VALife coverage. Veterans can also be enrolled in Veterans' Mortgage Life Insurance (VMLI) or other VA insurance coverage and VALife at the same time. By law, only S-DVI and VALife is an either/or choice.

Does VALife also cover family members?

VALife does not cover spouses or dependents of eligible Veterans.

Is there a premium waiver option for VALife?

No, by law, there is no premium waiver option for VALife.

More information

To learn more about VALife, visit the program website here: benefits.va.gov/insurance/valife.asp.

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