“Can I receive CRSC and CRDP (Combat-Related Special Compensation and Concurrent Retirement Disability Pay) at the same time?” It is relatively simple to understand once you understand the difference between the two and what the requirements are to obtain this compensation.
In this blog, you will understand what Disability Retirement Pay is? How do I get Combat-Related Special Compensation? And how and when do I receive the concurrent compensation?
UNDERSTANDING MILITARY DISABILITY RETIREMENT
According to RC Retirement, there are some simple things to understand when going through this process. Active Duty service members can medically retire due to a disability and receive compensation for it.
When you are Active Duty and become unable to perform your duties due to a disability, you can apply to retire based upon the severity of these disabilities. Your Branch of Service can have your conditions evaluated by the Physical Evaluation Board to determine “how” disabled you are. This is similar to how the VA estimates a Veteran to grant Disability Compensation. However, the rating is given by the Branch of Service and NOT the Department of Veterans Affairs.
There are two (2) retirement disability statuses; Permanent and Temporary.
Your Branch of Service’s Physical Evaluation Board (PEB) will determine which one you qualify for and what your combined rating will be. 30% or higher will put you on the PDRL, 30% or lower will return you to active duty after 3 years.
To be put on the Permanent Disability Retirement List (PDRL), you must be considered “unrecoverable,” meaning you will not recover from your disability. Temporary Disability Retirement List (TDRL) is a temporary rating due to temporary conditions, they expect you will recover from the disability.
You will be re-evaluated every 18 months to check the status of your limitations and rate you accordingly for up to 3 years. After 3 years, if you have not recovered, you will be added to the PDRL and receive the compensation that comes with it. Permanent Disability Retirement will give you base pay. Base pay times your disability rating equals the amount paid. The benefits will start right away, and you do not need to reach the retirement age of 60 to begin receiving the monetary compensation. The big perk of both lists is that you are still Tricare eligible.
UNDERSTANDING COMBAT-RELATED SPECIAL COMPENSATION
CRSC is a special compensation service members can receive on top of their Military Retirement Pay and VA Disability Compensation. This helps with the offset until a Veteran reaches the age of 60 years old, and the Retirement Pay becomes concurrent. It is extra money/income you can receive now, but you must meet these four (4) requirements before you begin the application process. And yes, you must apply for this compensation through your Branch of Service.
- Eligible for or receiving retirement
- Must be receiving at least 10% VA Disability Compensation
- Have an offset
- File the application with your Branch of Service
So let’s look at the DFAS.mil definitions of “Combat-Related.” This link gives a very clear understanding of the information we are discussing here today. Here are the stipulations to be considered Combat-Related:
- Injuries incurred directly due to war.
- Armed Conflict: direct combat, I.E.D, firefight, environmental conditions, etc..
- Hazardous Duties: Paratrooper, Flight, Explosives, Detonator, etc..
- The instrumentality of War: vessels, vehicles, weapons, any instrument used for military services.
- Simulated War: war games, training, preparing for combat.
One thing we must remember here is this compensation requires you to prove the incident or injury. When I say “prove” it does not mean having a “buddy say it happened.” It must be documented in your service records and/or a news article etc. Buddy Letters can substantiate the proof. However, it cannot be proof. Also, they are relatively strict with the injury itself; stubbing your toe on the tailgate of a hum-vee during the 1st week of basic is not going to get you a rating. It has to have been documented and meet strict requirements to be approved.
UNDERSTANDING CONCURRENT RETIREMENT DISABILITY COMPENSATION (CRDC)
This is a special compensation that you must qualify for and your Retirement Service Officer must put in for you. This applies to Active Duty and Reservists, but you must meet these requirements to qualify:
- Have at least 20 years of qualifying service
- Must be 60 years or older
- Have at least a 50% VA Disability Rating
You cannot receive this if you have not reached the 60 yrs of age qualification; you cannot medically retire before the age of 60 and expect to get concurrent benefits from the VA and your retirement stipend. This will not kick in until the age of 60! They have put the Combat-Related Special Compensation in place to help compensate your income until the offset that you will receive at 60 yrs old.
With all of this new information, it may take you a few times of reading this to let it sink in. To conclude, you can medically retire at any age from the military, you have to wait until 60 to get concurrent VA/Retirement pay. You can apply for Combat-Related Special Monthly Compensation to help compensate your income until the offset is lifted at 60 years of age.
VA Claims Insider can assist with getting a Veteran to the 50% threshold to qualify at 60 yrs old for this concurrent pay. For more information about our program and the VA Claims Process, check out our YouTube Channel and the Brian Reese Facebook Page.
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About VA Claims Insider
VA Claims insider is an education-based coaching/consulting company. We’re here for disabled veterans exploring eligibility for increased VA disability benefits and who wish to learn more about that process. We also connect veterans with independent medical professionals in our referral network for medical examinations, disability evaluations, and credible Independent Medical Opinions & Nexus Statements (Medical Nexus Letters) for a wide range of disability conditions.