Some Veterans who are suffering from a service connected disability may think they have reached the maximum disability payment once they are given a 100% rating from the VA. However, most Veterans do not realize they may be eligible to receive additional compensation from the VA. Often, if you max out your rating at 100%, you receive the full compensation available. However, some Veterans are eligible for what is known as Combat-Related Special Compensation (CRSC). CRSC is special monetary compensation for retired Veterans with a verifiable combat-related disability that is given to Veterans in addition to monthly disability payments.
Combat-Related Special Monthly Compensation is a type of disability compensation that was created for military retirees with combat-related disabilities. CRSC is a tax free entitlement that Veterans can receive each month along with any retired pay the Veteran may already receives. However, to receive the compensation, a Veteran may be required to waive part of their service retired pay or their VA disability benefits as this is against the law. This is known as the VA waiver or VA offset.
Laws and regulations that apply to Veterans who are receiving both DoD retired pay and VA disability compensation are complex and confusing. We often hear from Veterans who are confused that their retirement pay was reduced when they became eligible for CRSC. This is called the VA offset. The VA offset requires military retirees to waive a portion of their gross DoD retired pay by the amount of their VA disability compensation pay–dollar for dollar. In cases where your VA disability payment offset is greater than you service retired pay, you will only receive checks for your disability benefits and CRSC. This happens because the VA offset is subtracted from your service retirement pay.
Basically, Veterans can receive compensation from the three departments listed below:
However, if a Veteran is receiving payments from each of the programs listed above, they may need to waive some of their compensation once they become eligible for CRDC.
If you believe you are eligible for CRSC, you must apply for it with the branch of service (Air Force, Marine Corps, Army, Navy, or Coast Guard) you served in and retired from. You should apply for CRSC if:
Veterans looking to receive CRSC for their combat-related disabilities must qualify by meeting the requirements listed below:
Some examples of disabilities that may be eligible for CRSC include injuries that arose because of:
If you are applying for CRSC the first time, DD Form 2860 must be completed and sent to your branch of service for approval. You should also include your DD214 retirement form, your retirement orders, Purple Heart award citations, documentation from your service and VA records that apply specifically to your combat-related disability, and your VA ratings. Retired reservists with 20 or more years of military service should also include a statement or letter of service.
If you are reapplying for new disabilities, request a reconsideration from your branch of service.
Both CRSC and Concurrent Retirement Disability Pay (CRDP) are congressional legislation that enables eligible retired veterans who suffered a combat-related disability to get monthly entitlements in addition to their military retirement pay.
CRSC is an additional, non-taxable compensation for combat-related disabilities that veterans must apply for through their branch of military service. CRDP, which is taxable and is automatically given to eligible retired veterans, makes up the difference in retirement pay that is lost because of a VA compensation offset.
Retired veterans cannot receive both benefits simultaneously but must choose each year which benefit they want if they are eligible for both.
The amount of time it takes to process a CRSC claim can vary, but once your branch of service receives your CRSC claim, it should take about 30 days to process it and receive a written decision about your claim.
To receive CRSC, you must be officially rated by the VA with combat-related disabilities of 10% or more. The VA must certify that your disabilities are directly related to your participation in combat actions.
Unfortunately, we are unable to assist with strictly CRSC claims. However, if you have been denied a VA disability claim, we may be able to help. Our team can appeal your VA rating decision and help fight for your CRSC benefits together.
Berry Law Firm is America’s Veterans law firm, and your fire support team to battle the VA. We are dedicated to serving all veterans throughout the United States and helping them get the military benefits and compensation they are entitled to. Find out more about how we can help you. Call us or contact us online today for a free consultation about your veteran’s compensation claim.
Our monthly newsletter features about important and up-to-date veterans' law news, keeping you informed about the changes that matter.