Combat-Related Special Compensation (CRSC) Is NOT the Same As Concurrent Receipt



Warning!  This is a very long article.  I recommend taking it in pieces to avoid being overwhelmed by information overload.




You’re almost there.  You have been medically retired. You’re receiving VA compensation and you’re getting military retirement for your disability.  Lastly, your VA compensation is offsetting your military pay.  Now you can proceed to the final step in your path to complete medical retirement.


“What is this last step?” you may ask.


If any of your disabilities are the result of direct combat, hazardous duty, or preparing for combat (like training exercises), you may be eligible for Combat-Related Special Compensation (CRSC).


“CRSC? That sounds like CRDP (Concurrent Retirement and Disability Pay) which you discussed last week.  Aren’t they the same thing?”


To put it simply, no, they’re not the same, though they’re often confused for being such.  Don’t let the similar acronyms confuse you.  CRSC is designed to make up for some or all of the VA offset you are experiencing in your retired pay if you have combat-related disabilities. It’s quite different from CRDP.


For starters, the eligibility for CRSC is quite different from CRDP.  For example, you do not have to have reached your reserve retired pay eligibility date (RPED, usually age sixty) in order to receive CRSC.  Let’s look at a list of the eligibility requirements.


To qualify for CRSC you must:

  • be eligible for and/or receiving military retired pay
  • be rated at least 10 percent by the Department of Veteran’s Affairs (VA)
  • have a VA offset from your retired pay
  • file a CRSC application with your Branch of Service



Only four requirements, this looks simple, right?  Now let’s consider the types of disabilities that can be categorized as combat-related.



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



Now we’re getting into some terminology which may be confusing.  Let’s look at each one and define them a little better.


Armed Conflict: Direct combat, such as an injury from an improvised explosive device (IED) or a firefight, or the results of combat, such as lung damage from inhaling smoke from a vehicle burning during or after an engagement.  This can also be problems resulting from environmental issues from being in a combat theater.  However, an injury resulting while in theater, such as injuries sustained during physical training while overseas, is not enough on its own to qualify for CRSC.  There must be a document link between your injury and combat operations.


Hazardous Duty: Engaging in duties which are naturally considered highly dangerous, such as explosive ordinance disposal, flight, or paratrooper operations.


An Instrumentality of War: This is essentially military equipment such as a vehicle, vessel or other device designed primarily for military service.  The injury has to be caused by as a result of use of this equipment during training or combat and not be a result of negligence.  Simple accidents usually will not qualify.


Simulated War: This can be field training exercises and war games, anything in which simulated combat is taking place.  Again, there must be a documented link between the simulation of combat and your injury.


That should help a bit with understanding the conditions during which your sustained your disability.  It does sound a bit constraining sometimes but there is a lot of room to work here.  Remember that everything must be documented.  Your word that a disability is a result of any of these conditions won’t be enough.  I will post a list of the combat-related conditions in the references section below (look for Appendix A of DD Form 2860).


Applying for CRSC:

Now let’s talk about how to apply for CRSC.  Unlike CRDP, this does not happen automatically.  You do have to apply for it.  However, be sure you meet all of the requirements above first.  Your request will be denied if you do not have military retirement being offset by VA compensation. Also keep in mind that you apply for CRSC through your branch of service, not the Veterans Administration.


The first part of the application is DD Form 2860 (Claim for Combat-Related Special Compensation (CRSC)).  This is the easiest part of the whole shebang though it may not seem like it at the time.  I have spent over two hours with retirees on this.  It’s a lot easier if your records have been pre-sorted and the parts you need to reference are easily accessible.  Most of that time I mentioned has been spent going through hundreds of pages of documents trying to find the right things.  The last one of these I prepared for a retiree took seemingly no time at all because he had prepared his documents beforehand (a good tip).


Some other resources out there on the magical interwebs has already put together a good bit of information on what needs to accompany the DD 2860.  I will quote from these sources for a significant part of what follows (with occasional clarification by me in brackets).  These lists of documents are also good suggestions for how to prepare yourself for applying by sorting your records before meeting with a retirement services officer.


Documents to Support your CRSC Claim:

[Include] relevant supporting documentation with your CRSC claim [which] assists … in determining CRSC eligibility. Time and again, claims come in lacking supporting documentation linking the injury to a combat-related situation. Click for combat-related definitions.


When completing the DD Form 2860 (CRSC Claim Form), please include the following documents to verify your injuries as combat-related.


Essential Documents:

  1. All available DD 214s/ DD 215s. You may obtain copies online from the National Personnel Records Center (NPRC) [or your archived records section (if you are National Guard)]. Be sure to retain a copy for your records.
  2. All complete Department of Veteran’s Affairs (VA) Rating Decisions/ VA Physician Reports/ VA Medical Records (including the VA letter, the actual VA rating decisions and the VA code sheets)


Highly Recommended Documents:

  1. Medical Records
  2. Award Certificates and/or narratives (purple hearts)
  3. Military Medical Treatment Facility Records
  4. Military Orders


Suggested Documents:

  1. Military Quadrennial Physical Examinations
  2. Military Retirement Physicals
  3. Physical Evaluation Board Proceedings
  4. Clinical Records or Notes
  5. Sick Slips
  6. Western Union Casualty Notification Telegrams
  7. Officers Record Brief / Enlisted Records Brief


Note: DO NOT send original records, please send copies. If all you have is a copy, please be sure to retain a copy for your own records.



As you can see, this long list of documentation lends a lot of weight to the old credo about keeping everything the military gives you.  They come in handy when you are trying to acquire benefits like CRSC.


Once you have finished the application, make a copy of everything (and I mean everything).  I have included the addresses where you can send the packet below.  Sorry, there is no electronic way of submitting them.



Department of the Army

U.S. Army Human Resources Command

ATTN: CRSC Division

1600 Spearhead Division Avenue

Fort Knox, KY 40122

866-281-3254 (Toll Free)

502-613-9550 (efax)



Navy and Marine Corps

Department of Navy

Secretary of the Navy Council of Review Boards Combat Related Special Compensation

720 Kennon Street SE, Suite 309

Washington Navy Yard, DC 20374-5023

877-366-2772 (Toll Free)



Air Force

United States Air Force Personnel Center Disability Division (CRSC)

550 C Street West, Suite 6

Randolph AFB, TX 78150-4708




Coast Guard

Commander (adm-1-CRSC)

U.S. Coast Guard

Personnel Command

4200 Wilson Boulevard

Arlington, VA 22203-1804




NOAA Corps

Director, Commissioned Personnel Center

8403 Colesville Road, Suite 500

Silver Spring, MD 20910-6333



Public Health Service

United States Public Health Service

Compensation Branch

Program Support Center, ESS

5600 Fishers Lane, Room 4-50

Rockville, MD 20857-0001



Here is a quick note about reconsideration of claims which I borrowed from the Defense Finance and Accounting Service (DFAS).


If you are reapplying for new disabilities, request a reconsideration application from your service branch.


Army: you can find a reconsideration application and instructions at

Navy/Marines: you can find a reconsideration application and instructions at

Air Force: Call 800-525-0102 concerning reconsideration


Mail or fax your application to your branch of service. You can’t submit it electronically.





As with so many things in the retirement world, I do not recommend trying to do all of this yourself.  This is easily one of the most complicated things you can do. It’s not like taxes, but it can be a beast.  If you need assistance completing the application for CRSC, contact a retirement services officer or your branch of service.


CRSC is not fast.  I have seen it take a minimum of six months and sometimes more to get a decision from a branch of service.  At least on the Army side, your RSO should be able to track the status of your application using the Soldier Management System (SMS) website located at


Other considerations:

Information, planning, and timing are critical with CRSC.  I have seen three people bitten hard by lack of knowledge when it comes to medical retirements.  I know there are many more out there.  In fact, I would not be surprised if there is a class-action lawsuit in the future regarding the results of this lack of information.  Here is what I mean.


As a worst-case example, let me tell you about one individual who was medical retired from active duty.  In his situation, he was medically retired, was receiving VA compensation, and was receiving retired pay from the military.  The problem: there was no offset as a result of the VA payments.  For some reason, the VA and DFAS computes did not sync as they normally do and the offset did not begin for almost two years.


Can you see what was going to happen?  I bet you can.  He got a nasty-gram from DFAS saying he owed them over $70,000 in overpaid retirement as a result of the VA offset not occurring. He also had not applied for CRSC so there was no way to take care of this debt easily.


As you have learned from this poor fellow, it is imperative that you be aware of how military and VA pay are supposed to work.  If you don’t see an offset in your pay, contact someone immediately.  Also, if you think you are eligible, apply for CRSC right away.  Don’t wait.


Here is another thing to keep in mind.  It is possible to be eligible for both CRDP and CRSC.  You can only get one however. For reservists, this means you have reached your retired pay eligibility date and you have a VA rating of at least fifty percent.  DFAS will contact you in writing and ask you which of the two you would prefer to receive. You must choose which is best for you.  Since CRDP is taxable and CRSC is not, this is usually an easy decision.  Your situation may differ, though.


I said I would compare CRDP and CRSC.  This is already a long article, though.  You’re probably weary of reading and I am certainly getting tired of writing (with its current formatting in MS Word, including the references below, it’s eleven pages already and I’m not finished. Who knows how long it will be when I post it to the blog).  I am going to use one of those web resources I mentioned and post a comparison which has already been written in the references section.


I hope this has helped somewhat in understanding the basics of Combat-Related Special Compensation.  I am sure there is still a lot of confusion.  For this reason, I welcome all questions you may have.  Please post them in the comments section or email me directly at  I will answer them all for you.  Who knows?  Your question might spark another article.  Be sure to check all of the reference material below, as well.


If you believe this article would be useful to someone else, please share a link to it with those other people.  Also, be sure to spread the word about this site.  Don’t worry about the slow load times it currently has.  I am working on a site rebuild which should alleviate that problem.


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As always, thanks for joining me today and being part of this audience.  Lastly, but not the least, of course, thank you for your service.  Have a great day.



Combat Related Special Compensation (CRSC) (DFAS)
Applying for CRSC (DFAS)
Comparing CRSC and CRDP
DD 2860 – Claim for Combat-Related Special Compensation – Blank.pdf
Army CRSC Reference Guide
Combat-Related Special Compensation (CRSC) and Concurrent Retirement Disability Pay (CRDP)
Additional Monetary Benefits for Eligible Military Retirees
CRSC Eligibility
CRSC Guidance
Combat-Related Codes (Appendix A from DD Form 2860)

Related YouTube Episodes:
Help, I Need My Records. Where is My DD 214?
Should I Take Drill Pay or VA Compensation?
Change of Plans: New Series on Medical Retirement
I’m Medically Unfit for Retention. Now What?
Beware the IDES of Medical Boards…?
“Jackpot! I’ve Been Offered a HUGE Severance Payment.”  DJ says, “Don’t Take It.”
Interview With a PEBLO
“But My PEBLO said…”  The Truth About Concurrent Retired and Disability Pay

Related Podcast Episodes:
Help, I Need My Records. Where is My DD 214?
Should I Take Drill Pay or VA Compensation?
Change of Plans: New Series on Medical Retirement
I’m Medically Unfit for Retention. Now What?
Beware the IDES of Medical Boards…?
“Jackpot! I’ve Been Offered a HUGE Severance Payment.”  DJ says, “Don’t Take It.”
Interview With a PEBLO
“But My PEBLO said…”  The Truth About Concurrent Retired and Disability Pay

Related Articles:
Help, I Need My Records. Where is My DD 214?
Should I Take Drill Pay or VA Compensation?
I’m Medically Unfit for Retention. Now What?
Beware the IDES of Medical Boards…?
“Jackpot! I’ve Been Offered a HUGE Severance Payment.”  DJ says, “Don’t Take It.”
“But My PEBLO said…”  The Truth About Concurrent Retired and Disability Pay

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