[Federal Register Volume 77, Number 106 (Friday, June 1, 2012)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 32397-32398]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2012-13298]


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DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS

38 CFR Part 9

RIN 2900-AO20


Servicemembers' Group Life Insurance Traumatic Injury Protection 
Program--Genitourinary Losses

AGENCY: Department of Veterans Affairs.

ACTION: Final rule.

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SUMMARY: The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is issuing this final 
rule that amends the regulations governing the Servicemembers' Group 
Life Insurance Traumatic Injury Protection (TSGLI) program by adding 
certain genitourinary (GU) system losses to the TSGLI Schedule of 
Losses and defining terms relevant to these new losses. This amendment 
is necessary to make qualifying GU losses a basis for paying TSGLI 
benefits to servicemembers with severe GU injuries. The intended effect 
is to expand the list of losses for which TSGLI payments can be made. 
This document adopts as a final rule, without change, the interim final 
rule published in the Federal Register on December 2, 2011.

DATES: Effective Date: This rule is effective June 1, 2012.
    Applicability Date: VA will apply this rule to injuries incurred on 
or after October 7, 2001.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Monica Keitt, Attorney/Advisor, 
Department of Veterans Affairs Regional Office and Insurance Center 
(310/290B), 5000 Wissahickon Avenue, P.O. Box 8079, Philadelphia, PA 
19101, (215) 842-2000, ext. 2905. (This is not a toll-free number.)

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: On December 2, 2011, VA published in the 
Federal Register (76 FR 75458) an interim final rule that expanded the 
Servicemembers' Group Life Insurance Traumatic Injury Protection 
(TSGLI) program to add certain genitourinary (GU) system losses to the 
TSGLI Schedule of Losses for which a TSGLI benefit is payable. The 
additional GU losses are being added to the TSGLI program in response 
to the increase in the number of GU injuries experienced by active duty 
servicemembers who are insured under TSGLI.
    We provided a 60-day comment period that ended on January 31, 2012. 
We received one comment. The commenter stated that the TSGLI program 
should be available to all servicemembers and veterans who suffer from 
GU injuries, not just servicemembers and veterans who have suffered GU 
injuries since October 7, 2001. We will not make any changes based on 
this comment. As noted in the interim final rule, Congress authorized 
TSGLI payments for losses resulting from traumatic injuries incurred on 
or after October 7, 2001. Expansion of coverage to include injuries 
sustained prior to that date would require legislative action.
    Based on the rationale set forth in the interim final rule, we 
adopt the interim final rule without change as a final rule.

[[Page 32398]]

Administrative Procedure Act

    This document affirms as final, without change, the interim final 
rule that is already in effect. In accordance with 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(3), 
the Secretary of Veterans Affairs has concluded that there is good 
cause to publish this rule with an immediate effective date.

Unfunded Mandates

    The Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 requires, at 2 U.S.C. 
1532, that agencies prepare an assessment of anticipated costs and 
benefits before issuing any rule that may result in an expenditure by 
State, local, and tribal governments, in the aggregate, or by the 
private sector of $100 million or more (adjusted annually for 
inflation) in any given year. This final rule will have no such effect 
on State, local, or tribal governments or on the private sector.

Paperwork Reduction Act

    This final rule contains no provisions constituting a collection of 
information under the Paperwork Reduction Act (44 U.S.C. 3501-3521).

Executive Orders 12866 and 13563

    Executive Orders 12866 and 13563 direct agencies to assess the 
costs and benefits of available regulatory alternatives and, when 
regulation is necessary, to select regulatory approaches that maximize 
net benefits (including potential economic, environmental, public 
health and safety effects, and other advantages; distributive impacts; 
and equity). Executive Order 13563 (Improving Regulation and Regulatory 
Review) emphasizes the importance of quantifying both costs and 
benefits, reducing costs, harmonizing rules, and promoting flexibility. 
Executive Order 12866 (Regulatory Planning and Review) defines a 
``significant regulatory action'' requiring review by the Office of 
Management and Budget (OMB) as ``any regulatory action that is likely 
to result in a rule that may: (1) Have an annual effect on the economy 
of $100 million or more or adversely affect in a material way the 
economy, a sector of the economy, productivity, competition, jobs, the 
environment, public health or safety, or State, local, or tribal 
governments or communities; (2) Create a serious inconsistency or 
otherwise interfere with an action taken or planned by another agency; 
(3) Materially alter the budgetary impact of entitlements, grants, user 
fees, or loan programs or the rights and obligations of recipients 
thereof; or (4) Raise novel legal or policy issues arising out of legal 
mandates, the President's priorities, or the principles set forth in 
this Executive Order.''
    VA has examined the economic, interagency, budgetary, legal, and 
policy implications of this regulatory action and has determined that 
it is not a significant regulatory action under Executive Order 12866.

Regulatory Flexibility Act

    The Secretary of Veterans Affairs hereby certifies that this final 
rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial 
number of small entities as they are defined in the Regulatory 
Flexibility Act, 5 U.S.C. 601 et seq. This final rule will directly 
affect only individuals and will not directly affect small entities. 
Therefore, pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 605(b), this rule is exempt from the 
initial and final regulatory flexibility analysis requirements of 
sections 603 and 604.

Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance Number and Title:

    The Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance Program number and title 
for this regulation is 64.103, Life Insurance for Veterans.

Signing Authority

    The Secretary of Veterans Affairs, or designee, approved this 
document and authorized the undersigned to sign and submit the document 
to the Office of the Federal Register for publication electronically as 
an official document of the Department of Veterans Affairs. John R. 
Gingrich, Chief of Staff, Department of Veterans Affairs, approved this 
document on May 24, 2012, for publication.

List of Subjects in 38 CFR Part 9

    Life insurance, Military personnel, Veterans.

    Dated: May 29, 2012.
Robert C. McFetridge,
Director of Regulation Policy and Management, Office of the General 
Counsel, Department of Veterans Affairs.

    Accordingly, the interim final rule amending 38 CFR part 9, which 
was published at 76 FR 75458 on December 2, 2011, is adopted as a final 
rule without change.

[FR Doc. 2012-13298 Filed 5-31-12; 8:45 am]
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