Retirement and Disability Compensation, How’s That Possible?

One of the first things I learned about Veterans Disability is that the VA likes acronyms. Everything is abbreviated, and I am told that this is done to save time. This is of course ironic because, Retirement and Disability Compensationas many Veterans can tell you, the VA is not the quickest department in the world. One of the more important acronyms is CRSC, or Combat-Related Special Compensation.

So, what is this abbreviation all about? It pertains to money, extra money to be exact, for Veterans who served in combat, and are receiving retirement pay from the military. Let’s learn more about this abbreviation in today’s blog.

If you served 20 years in the military, and are collecting retirement, you can’t receive both the retirement, and VA Disability Compensation. Actually you can, but they won’t pay you for both. What happens is they take away from one and pay you for the other. So if you were receiving retirement and were awarded a 20% rating on your back, you would receive $251 per month for your disability. That amount would be taken away from your retirement. So, you are receiving the same amount per month as before, but the $251 is tax free.

Of course, if you just approached your 20 years, or are getting close to it, there is a pretty good chance you served in a war, which means you were likely in combat, and that means the previously mentioned rule does not apply to you. This brings us to Combat-Related Special Compensation. According to the VA, CRSC provides a tax free monthly payment to eligible retired Veterans with combat-related injuries. Veterans can receive both their full military retirement pay and their VA Disability Compensation if the injury is combat-related.  Whether an injury is combat-related for this benefit is determined by your branch of service.

So, let’s say you served 20 years, retired in May of this year, and did three tours in Iraq. Let’s also say you were infantry and the VA granted you 30% for PTSD. That amounts to an extra $389 per month that is not only tax-free but paid on top of the amount you are receiving for retirement.

But wait, there’s more. If you did serve for 20 years, there is a pretty good chance you married the love of your life and had a child or two. If you are connected at 30% or more, you can claim them as dependents and receive even more per month. Even at 30%, that would put you well over $400 per month extra, and you can afford the payments on that sports car you want to deserve.

To qualify for CRSC you must:

•             be entitled to and/or receiving military retired pay

•             be rated at least 10 percent by the Department of Veteran’s Affairs (VA)

•             be a reservist that is at least 60 years old or retired under Temporary Early Retirement Authorization (TERA)

•             waive your VA pay from your retired pay

•             file a CRSC application with your Branch of Service

Disabilities that may be considered combat-related include injuries incurred as a direct result of:

•             Armed Conflict

•             Hazardous Duty

•             An Instrumentality of War

•             Simulated War

(Please Note: Non-Combat Vets can get both retirement and disability compensation if they are rated at 50% or higher. It is referred to as Concurrent Retirement and Disability Pay (CRDP). This program will be discussed in a later blog.)

As with anything with the VA, it’s not a quick or simple process. Give our office a call today to see how we can help you obtain CRSC. 1-877-526-3457 You can also request to have a representative contact you. Just fill out this form.

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