Episode 003 – Testing a Digital Recorder and Plans for the Future

Earlier today I was testing a digital recorder while driving to a friend’s house. I started talking about the origins of my retirement education project and some of my plans for the future. I thought you would find it interesting. Enjoy.


The Physical Disability Board of Review

Welcome to the last article in my medical retirement series.  I will post additional information in the future, of course, but this is the end of the official series.  Congratulations on making it to this point.

 

Finally, you’re at the end of it all.  The medical board are over.  You have a rating…or you don’t.  Either way, you’ve been separated from service as a result of your disabilities.  There’s one problem, though.  You either did not have enough of a disability rating to be medically retired or you think your rating should have been higher.

 

What do you do?  Well, there is an option for you.  There is a group of people called the Physical Disability Board of Review whose sole purpose is to examine cases submitted by people in your situation.  This obviously is not something you should do simply for grievances sake, but only if you think there are legitimate reasons to appeal.

 

Who can apply for consideration by this board?

 

Each branch of service has their own version of this review board.  I have posted some information about the some of those versions in the references below.  This is by no means all of what you can find about these boards and how to use them.  I advise using what I have posted as a starting point and doing a little homework of your own.

 

In the Army, there are two such boards with separate missions.  The Army Physical Disability Review Board (APDR) examines the results of previous medical boards.  It is for people who were separated or retired without pay for disabilities within the last fifteen years.

 

The APDR does not require a request form (some of the other services want a DD Form 294) in order to start a review.  Whichever way you go to request a board, be sure to include your full name, SSN, contact information, and what you think the result of the previous board should have been.  Write a good story.  You’re trying to sell your point of view.  Don’t just say something like, “I got blowed up and it hurt.”

 

Side note:  Yes, I have actually seen board requests with narratives like what I wrote above.  Some are even worse, like simply listing “foot patrol” as the reason for all of their ailments.  If writing is not your particular strong point, I recommend recording yourself telling someone the story of how you were injured and then transcribing exactly what you said.  I have used this technique successfully with service members in the past.

 

Back to it.  Once you have written the letter (or filled out the form), you should also include any evidence you think the board needs to consider.  This will often be the same documents you provided for the previous medical board.

 

The other board the Army has is called the Army Disability Rating Review Board (ADRRB).  This board only reviews those cases which are seeking a higher rating for disability pay purposes (military, not VA).

 

Except for having modified the opening sentence to make it more understandable, here is a quote from the board’s website about who is eligible to apply.

 

If you have a disability retirement order and seek a higher disability percentage, you may apply if the reason is:

  • Your original retirement order was based on fraud or a mistake of law;
  • You were not granted a full and fair hearing when you made a timely demand for such a hearing; or
  • You have substantial new evidence which, by due diligence, could not have been presented before the retirement decision and which would have warranted a higher percentage of disability.

Source: http://arba.army.pentagon.mil/disability-appeals.html

 

In English, this means you have a good reason to believe you were not properly rated during the medical board or you have new information which was unavailable at the time of the board.  This is not the place to present new problems you may have.  You should only send documentation about the injuries you claimed during the board (unless there are disabilities you would have claimed at the time but you did not have records to support the claim).

 

Once you have completed requesting the review and assembling the packet to go with it, you should send the packet up for consideration.  Federal law has directed the Air Force to be the lead agency for all of these types of reviews so you should send your packet to the address below.

 

SAF/MRBR

Attn: PDBR Intake Unit

550 C Street West, Suite 41

Randolph AFB, TX 78150-4743

 

The actual medical evaluation of your case is a joint venture, not just the Air Force so don’t worry about an unfair review of your request.  The Air Force simply has overall responsibility for tracking and reporting disability review cases.

 

There is far too much detail to make a simple explanation of the procedures of these boards possible.  I’m only trying to make you aware of the options available to you.  I recommend talking to a retirement services officer or legal counsel for more information about the board itself and how to make it work for you.  Every branch of service has a specialized group of lawyers available for this purpose.

 

Has this article helped you better understand your rights and options regarding medical evaluations and retirements?  I certainly hope so.  If there are questions looming in your mind then please put them in the comments section below and I will find an answer for you.

 

Don’t forget to forward this article to others who may find this information beneficial.  Understanding your rights and benefits is the whole point of this site after all.  I am sure your buddies will appreciate your willingness to share with them.

 

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.

 

D.J.

 

 

References:
Physical Disability Board of Review (PDBR) (DODLive.mil)
Coast Guard Board for Correction of Military Records (BCMR)
Disability Appeals (Army)
Disability Review Board (Navy)
Physical Disability Board of Review FAQ (Health.mil)
Physical Disability Board of Review FAQ (afpc.af.mil)
DOD Instruction 6040.44 (dated 4 December 2017) – Physical Disability Board of Review (PDBR)
Physical Disability Board of Review Charter
DD Form 294 – Application for a Review by the Physical Disability Board of Review


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
Continuation on Active Duty and Continuation on Active Reserve


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
Continuation on Active Duty and Continuation on Active Reserve


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
Continuation on Active Duty and Continuation on Active Reserve


Podcast Episode 0046 – The Physical Disability Board of Review

 

So you have a problem with your disability rating? Here is how you might be able to fix it.

Send board request packets here:
SAF/MRBR
Attn: PDBR Intake Unit
550 C Street West, Suite 41
Randolph AFB, TX 78150-4743

References:
Physical Disability Board of Review (PDBR) (DODLive.mil)
Coast Guard Board for Correction of Military Records (BCMR)
Disability Appeals (Army)
Disability Review Board (Navy)
Physical Disability Board of Review FAQ (Health.mil)
Physical Disability Board of Review FAQ (afpc.af.mil)
DOD Instruction 6040.44 (dated 4 December 2017) – Physical Disability Board of Review (PDBR)
Physical Disability Board of Review Charter
DD Form 294 – Application for a Review by the Physical Disability Board of Review


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
Continuation on Active Duty and Continuation on Active Reserve


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
Continuation on Active Duty and Continuation on Active Reserve


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
Continuation on Active Duty and Continuation on Active Reserve


YouTube Episode 0048 – The Physical Disability Board of Review

 

So you have a problem with your disability rating? Here is how you might be able to fix it.

Send board request packets here:
SAF/MRBR
Attn: PDBR Intake Unit
550 C Street West, Suite 41
Randolph AFB, TX 78150-4743

References:
Physical Disability Board of Review (PDBR) (DODLive.mil)
Coast Guard Board for Correction of Military Records (BCMR)
Disability Appeals (Army)
Disability Review Board (Navy)
Physical Disability Board of Review FAQ (Health.mil)
Physical Disability Board of Review FAQ (afpc.af.mil)
DOD Instruction 6040.44 (dated 4 December 2017) – Physical Disability Board of Review (PDBR)
Physical Disability Board of Review Charter
DD Form 294 – Application for a Review by the Physical Disability Board of Review


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
Continuation on Active Duty and Continuation on Active Reserve


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
Continuation on Active Duty and Continuation on Active Reserve


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
Continuation on Active Duty and Continuation on Active Reserve


Continuation on Active Duty and Continuation on Active Reserve

We’re almost finished with the medical retirement series. Let’s continue with this question.

“D.J., I have been found medically unfit and I have ratings from the medical boards.  There’s just one thing, though. I don’t want to leave military service.”

 

Well, there is some good news for you.  Your career may not yet be over.  There are two programs which might…and I emphasize MIGHT…be available for you to use.  They, at least in the Army, are called Continuation on Active Duty (COAD) and Continuation on Active Reserve (COAR).

 

I would like to hear from those of you in the other branches about the different names for these programs as well as how they may differ from what I am going to describe today.  I will be talking from an Army perspective regarding this program.

 

If you saw my video / audio episode entitled “Interview With a PEBLO” then you have at least heard the terms COAD and COAR.  Now that I think of it, I really need to make a transcript of that interview and post it.  Anyway, we’re going to go much deeper into this topic of continuing service.  What exactly is the purpose of these programs, then?  Essentially, they are ways to reduce the military’s loss of manpower and critical skills as a result of medical disqualification.

 

This is not a program for everyone.  In fact, for many people going through medical boards, it might not even be the best idea to pursue continuation.  This seems to be a program for people with relatively low disabilities (though I could be wrong here) or those with critical skill types.  You will have to decide if this is right for you.  Remember that this is not an automatic program; you have to apply for it and be approved for continuation by your branch of service.

 

The most preferred subset of service members, though anyone can apply, are:

  • Served 15 to 20 years of active duty service for COAD or 15 to 20 qualifying years of service for non-regular retirement for COAR
  • Is qualified in a critical skill or shortage Military Occupational Specialty (MOS)
  • Has a disability as a result of combat or terrorism

Source: http://wct.army.mil/modules/soldier/s6-coadCOAR.html

 

In order to be considered for COAD or COAR, you must be able to work in a military environment without creating any sort of adverse effect on your current disabilities.  If you’re an enlisted service member, you will have to extend your contract if your agreed upon period of service goes beyond your current enlistment.  If your disability does increase during this period of service and reasonable accommodations still will not allow you to continue performing your duties, you are allowed to apply to be released from your COAD / COAR obligation.

 

When and How to Apply

The first thing that must happen is the IDES (or LDES) medical board (see my articles on those for an explanation of the acronyms) has to find you unfit for continued service and recommend separation or retirement.  Next, you must have at least fifteen but less than twenty years of qualifying service (for reservists) or at least fifteen but less than twenty active duty years (for AGRs and other active duty personnel).  Of course, the critical skill applies here.  Finally, you must complete the application packet (a checklist is in the References section) with the assistance of your PEBLO (don’t try to do it yourself).  This packet must be submitted within ten days of your Physical Evaluation Board (PEB) determination so don’t delay.

 

The packet is relatively simple and is composed primarily of documents produced during your IDES evaluation.  For the Army (it will be different for other branches, but similar), those documents are:

  • The COAD / COAR Checklist
  • DA Form 4187 (Personnel Action)
  • DA Form 7652 – PDES Commander’s Performance and Functional Statement
  • Physical Evaluation Board (PEB) Proceedings (DA Form 199, 199-1, 199-2)
  • Retirement Points Statement (for COAR only)
  • Memorandum from the treating physician outlining the member’s medical ability to continue to serve

 

In the Army, this packet is then sent to the Physical Disability Agency for consideration.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

For this section, I will copy from the Warrior Care and Transition website.  If you have questions which are not answered here, please contact me using the comments section or by email.

When does the COAD/COAR process begin?

A COAD/COAR request will go to the Physical Disability Agency (PDA) after the Soldier receives their unfit rating and indicates that they want to pursue COAD/COAR.

How long can I stay in COAD/COAR?

Once approved for COAD, Soldiers may remain on Active Duty (provided otherwise qualified) until their retention control point (RCP), mandatory removal or retirement date (MRD), or age 60 for Guard and Reserve, whichever comes first. Once approved for COAR, Soldiers may serve to their maximum years of service (MYOS), MRD, or age 60, whichever occurs first. They will be required to reenlist if the period for which their COAD or COAR was approved extends beyond their contractual enlistment.

Am I still competitive for promotion?

Yes, you are eligible for promotion and still competitive. AR 600-8-19 and Warrior Transition Unit (WTU) Consolidated Guidance govern promotion rules, policy, and procedure.

Who is the authority for disapproving COAD/COAR requests?

The U.S. Army Deputy Chief of Staff, G-1.

Will I remain in the same Military Occupational Specialty (MOS) while I am in COAD/COAR?

Most Soldiers remain in their current MOS and are assigned in accordance with their limitations.

Can I revoke/withdraw my COAD/COAR application?

Yes. A Soldier may request to revoke/withdraw their application through their local Physical Evaluation Board Liaison Officer (PEBLO).

Can I reenlist while in COAD/COAR?

Yes, you are allowed to reenlist. Soldiers are not required to meet medical standards for disabilities for which they were continued. However, they may be denied reenlistment if their disabilities have worsened or if they have new medical impairments which fall below the medical retention standards of AR 40-501, Chapter 3.

Source: http://wct.army.mil/modules/soldier/s6-coadCOAR.html

 

If you have any questions about what I have said today, please post them in the comments section or send me an email.  I will answer your question as soon as possible.

 

 

Thanks for joining me today and, of course, thank you for your service.

 

D.J.

References:
COAD / COAR Packet Checklist.pdf
COAR / COAR Brief – 9 April 2009.pdf
COAD / COAR Information Paper – 9 November 2008
DA 4187 (Personnel Action) – COAD Request
DA 4187 (Personnel Action) – COAR Request
http://wtc.armylive.dodlive.mil/2013/03/the-basics-of-coadcoar-an-interview-with-col-dickinson/
http://wct.army.mil/modules/soldier/s6-coadCOAR.html
Warrior Transition Unit (WTU) Consolidated Guidance

 

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

 

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


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


Podcast Episode 0045 – Continuation on Active Duty and Continuation on Active Reserve

Want to continue to serve after being found medically unfit? Here is a way you can do it.

References:
COAD / COAR Packet Checklist.pdf
COAR / COAR Brief – 9 April 2009.pdf
COAD / COAR Information Paper – 9 November 2008
DA 4187 (Personnel Action) – COAD Request
DA 4187 (Personnel Action) – COAR Request
http://wtc.armylive.dodlive.mil/2013/03/the-basics-of-coadcoar-an-interview-with-col-dickinson/
http://wct.army.mil/modules/soldier/s6-coadCOAR.html
Warrior Transition Unit (WTU) Consolidated Guidance

 

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

 

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


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

 


YouTube Episode 0047 – Continuation on Active Duty and Continuation on Active Reserve

Want to continue to serve after being found medically unfit? Here is a way you can do it.

https://youtu.be/N9iJK0yzIo0

References:
COAD / COAR Packet Checklist.pdf
COAR / COAR Brief – 9 April 2009.pdf
COAD / COAR Information Paper – 9 November 2008
DA 4187 (Personnel Action) – COAD Request
DA 4187 (Personnel Action) – COAR Request
http://wtc.armylive.dodlive.mil/2013/03/the-basics-of-coadcoar-an-interview-with-col-dickinson/
http://wct.army.mil/modules/soldier/s6-coadCOAR.html
Warrior Transition Unit (WTU) Consolidated Guidance

 

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

 

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


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


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.

 

Eligibility
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

Source: https://www.dfas.mil/retiredmilitary/disability/crsc.html

 

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

Source: https://www.dfas.mil/retiredmilitary/disability/crsc.html

 

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.

Source: https://www.hrc.army.mil/content/Apply%20for%20CRSC

 

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.

 

Army

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)

crsc.info@us.army.mil

www.hrc.army.mil/tagd/crsc

 

 

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)

CRSC@navy.mil

http://www.secnav.navy.mil/mra/CORB/Pages/CRSCB

 

 

Air Force

United States Air Force Personnel Center Disability Division (CRSC)

550 C Street West, Suite 6

Randolph AFB, TX 78150-4708

800-525-0102

AFPC.DPPDC.AFCRSC@us.af.mil

http://www.retirees.af.mil/

 

 

Coast Guard

Commander (adm-1-CRSC)

U.S. Coast Guard

Personnel Command

4200 Wilson Boulevard

Arlington, VA 22203-1804

1-800-772-8274

www.uscg.mil/hq/cgpc/adm/adm1.htm

 

 

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

 

Reconsiderations:

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 https://www.hrc.army.mil/site/crsc/reconsiderations.html

Navy/Marines: you can find a reconsideration application and instructions at http://www.secnav.navy.mil/mra/CORB/Pages/CRSCB

Air Force: Call 800-525-0102 concerning reconsideration

 

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

Source: https://www.dfas.mil/retiredmilitary/disability/applyforcrsc.html

 

 

 

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 https://www.hrcapps.army.mil/iws/.

 

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 dj@rcretirement.com.  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.

 

For those of you on YouTube, I ask that you subscribe and comment on the video about this topic (and the others, naturally).  The more the channel grows, the more I can do for currently serving and retired military members and their families.

 

If you’re listening to this in podcast form, I similarly ask that you subscribe to the podcast feed in iTunes.  Writing reviews about the podcast also helps spread the word about it and encourages to subscribe to it and benefit from the knowledge it can provide.

 

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.

 

D.J.

References:
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


Podcast Episode 0046 – Combat-Related Special Compensation (CRSC) Is NOT the Same As Concurrent Receipt

What is CRSC? It’s not the same as CRDP. It’s a horse of a different color.

 

 

 

References:
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


Podcast Episode 0044 – Combat-Related Special Compensation (CRSC) Is NOT the Same As Concurrent Receipt

What is CRSC? It’s not the same as CRDP. It’s a horse of a different color.

 

 

References:
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