Veterans Could Be Missing Out On Special Compensation
February 23, 2018
This article was submitted on behalf of the Air Force, Army, Navy, Marines, and Coast Guard by Rick Castro, Combat Related Special Compensation Program Manager, HQ Air Force Personnel Center. Please keep in mind that only those veterans who can answer ‘yes’ to all four of the questions in this article may qualify for this program.
Just because a veteran was not injured in combat does not mean he or she may not be entitled to receive Combat-Related Special Compensation (CRSC). Many veterans may be missing out on hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars every month because they have not applied for the special compensation. Don’t let the term combat throw you; there are many circumstances which are combat related that could justify approval of extra tax-free money for you.
CRSC is designed to restore military retirement pay that has been offset by Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) compensation when evidence exists to confirm the associated disabilities are combat related. For example, if a veteran is currently rated for disability of 10 percent with the VA, he or she receives a check from the VA for $115 each month, but his or her retired pay is reduced by the same amount. If the disability is found to be combat-related by the CRSC review board, he or she would continue to receive the monthly check from the VA for $115 along with the remainder of the retired pay, but begin to receive an additional monthly check from the CRSC for $115.
Many disabilities that resulted from conditions during peacetime may meet the criteria for CRSC. Some examples are an aircraft mechanic who works on the flight line and begins to lose his hearing while in-service; a personnel technician who dives for cover during a simulated air raid and injures her shoulder; and a special forces journeyman who makes a peacetime parachute jump and breaks his ankle upon landing.
If you’re not sure the circumstances surrounding your disability meet the combat-related criteria, it would be beneficial for you to apply for CRSC and let the board make a determination for you. There are a few prerequisites to consider before submitting a CRSC application. To meet the basic eligibility criteria to be considered for CRSC, veterans must:
Be retired with 20 (or more) years of active-duty military service, or retired at age 60 from the Guard or Reserve and
Be receiving military retired pay and
Have a compensable VA disability rating of 10 percent or higher and
Receive military retired pay that is reduced by VA disability payments.
NOTE: Veterans who waived military retirement pay for Civil Service credit are not eligible to apply for CRSC.
The application for Combat-Related Special Compensation can be obtained by clicking here.