Combat Related Special Compensation
Congress established the Combat-Related Special Compensation (CRSC) program in 2003 to provide special compensation to military retirees with service-connected disabilities. The program is only for those who have retired from duty due to combat-related injuries or illnesses.
Combat Related Special Compensation (CRSC) is a form of “concurrent receipt.” This means the veteran is eligible to receive both CRSC and VA disability. As a result, this can be very valuable. However, the Department of Defense makes it difficult to receive concurrent pay. This blog post will examine how to receive concurrent pay.
Combat Related Special Compensation: Basic Eligibility
As a general rule, retirees need 20 years to receive both retirement pay and VA disability. A 20 year retiree would receive concurrent pay through “Concurrent Retirement Disability Pay.” The Department of Defense acknowledges that the retiree is eligible for both a full retirement and any applicable disability pay. However, Congress and the DoD realized that many retirees were being financially penalized because the military medically retired them before the 20 year mark.
As a result, Combat Related Special Compensationwas created by law. CRSC is allowed when the medical retirement is caused by one or more of the following:
- As a direct result of armed conflict;
- While engaged in hazardous service (e.g., flight, diving, parachute duty);
- In the performance of duty under conditions simulating war (exercises, field training);
- Through an instrumentality of war (combat vehicles, weapons, Agent Orange, etc.)
Notably, there is an opportunity for a retiree to receive CRSC when they have never deployed.
CRSC: Financial Impact
A retiree with less than 20 years typically receives two payments each month. They receive their retirement pay, and they receive their VA disability. However, the DoD reduces retirement pay by $1 for each $1 of VA disability.
However, Combat Related Special Compensation compensates for the reduction of the retirement pay. As a result, the retiree can receive their retirement pay, their VA disability pay, and a CRSC payment to compensate for most or all of the reduction. This change has a significant impact on the retiree’s overall income.
How Do I Apply For CRSC?
You can only receive Combat Related Special Compensation if you apply for it. If you believe you are eligible; apply immediately. In addition, you are also eligible to apply if the VA has recently awarded you a new service-connected disability rating.
Submitting the appropriate information is essential to ensure your application is approved. First you must submit your retirement orders, your DD-214, and a copy of all VA ratings. In addition, include all documents that prove your medical conditions qualify i.e. proof of a Purple Heart or deployment orders. However, reserve retirees must also include their 20-year letter or statement of service letter.
Finally, Combat Related Special Compensation is awarded through the Department of Defense, and requires that you submit DD Form 2860. The form will advise on the specifics of submitting your packet of paperwork. As always, only send copies. The DoD will not return your paperwork.
Is Combat Related Special CompensationWorth It?
Yes! Combat Related Special Compensation is a valuable portion of your overall military income. I understand that it is a pain to apply for, but it will create monthly income for the rest of your life. In addition, it is money that you earned. This is not a handout.
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