Can I receive my military retirement pay and VA disability compensation pay at the same time?
Yes, there are two programs which allow a Veteran to collect both military retirement pay and VA disability pay at the same time. The first program is called Combat-Related Special Compensation (CRSC). The second program is called Concurrent Retirement Disability Pay (CRDP).
Combat Related Special Compensation (CRSC)CRSC helps ease the loss of income that results from the prohibition against receiving disability compensation from both the Department of Defense and the VA. CRSC is an additional amount of money per month that the Veteran may receive from the military and the VA.
Who is Eligible for CRSC?To qualify for CRSC you must:
1. Have at least 20 years of service OR medically retired with less than 20 years of service.
2. Have "combat-related" disabilities service-connected by the VA with a disability rating of at least 10 percent.
What is considered "combat-related" for purposes of CRSC?There are 5 categories of disabilities and examples that qualify as "combat-related" for purposes of CRSC:
1. Disabilities Incurred as a Direct Result of Armed Conflict:
- Injuries sustained from an enemy's bullet
- Injuries sustained when a service member dove for cover from incoming rounds
- Posttraumatic Stress Disorder that is caused by a service member fearing death while engaging in a firefight with the enemy
2. Disabilities Incurred Through an Instrumentality of War:
- A head injury sustained when a service member falls from a tank due to an abrupt halt caused by the tank tracks unexpectedly locking in place
- PTSD caused by an incident in which a service member's main parachute failed to deploy, forcing him to rely on the reserve chute shortly before impact.
- A Traumatic Brain Injury from an Improvised Explosive Device
3. Disabilities Incurred During War Games:
- Disabilities that result from military combat training such as war games, practice alerts, tactical exercises, airborne operations, leadership reaction courses, grenade and live fire weapons practice, and obstacle courses.
4. Disabilities Incurred While Engaged in hazardous Service:
- Aerial flight, parachute duty, demolition duty, experimental stress duty, and diving duty.
5. Purple Heart Disabilities.
- The disability must be an injury for which the Veteran was awarded a Purple Heart.
The definition of "combat-related" is broad and is not limited to combat zones and includes the Continental United States. Contact an experienced VA disability attorney at www.vetlawoffice.com for more information
Concurrent Retirement and Disability Pay (CRDP):Veterans who qualify for CRDP are entitled to receive their entire VA disability compensation benefit, as well as their entire military retirement payment. CRDP only applies to Veterans who receive military retirement pay for 20 years or more of service. Retirees must have a VA service-connected disability rating over 50 percent to qualify. You do not need to apply for CRDP, the determination of CRDP amounts and start of CRDP payments are done automatically by the Department of Defense.