The Temporary and Permanent Disability Retirement Lists

You’ve finally made it through the maze of the medical board journey, your branch of service has given you a disability rating, and you are about to be medically retired.  What in the world does all of that mean?  Here is the skinny on the disability retirement lists.  This will be a long article so please read it carefully.

 

What are they?

These are essentially active duty retirements (even if you are a reservist) with benefits starting right away.  You do not have to wait until sixty like the usual reserve retirement.  The Temporary Disability Retired List (TDRL) and the Permanent Disability Retired List (PDRL) are statuses given to service members who have long-term medical disabilities and are no longer able to perform their military duties as a result.  These service members also have a combined disability rating (see my article on medical boards, “Beware the IDES of Medical Boards…?” for an explanation on how this works.  I’ll include a link in the notes below.

 

Eligibility

If your injuries are long-term and you have a disability rating from your branch of service of at least 30% then you can be placed on the permanent disability retired list (PDRL).  If you have a possibility of recovering from your injuries within a certain amount of time, usually three years or less, then you can be placed on the temporary disability retired list (TDRL).

 

Service members on the TDRL will be on the list for a maximum of three years and will have their conditions reevaluated at least every eighteen months.  If you have recovered sufficiently then you will be removed from the list and returned to service.  If you have not recovered (more likely) then you can either be offered a severance package or transferred to the PDRL.

 

Benefits

For members on the TDRL, the minimum amount of retired pay is fifty percent of active duty base pay (even if your branch of service’s disability rating is lower than that) up to a maximum of seventy-five percent (even if your branch of service’s disability rating is higher than that).  Keep in mind that your final rating from your branch of service (BOS) can go down when you are reevaluated.  This downgrade can result in severance if your rating goes below thirty percent.  If you are transferred to the PDRL then your rate of pay will be based on your final disability rating (determined upon reevaluation).

 

Members on the PDRL will receive retired pay based on their active duty base pay and their final disability rating.

 

A benefit often more valuable than the amount of retired pay is Tricare health care benefits.  Tricare is available not only for the service member but also his spouse and dependent children.  Make sure they are registered in the Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System (DEERS) – the same database used to determine which ID card you receive – since this is what is referenced by Tricare whenever you try to use your health benefits.  I usually tell people that Tricare is easily worth at least $1,000 per month in value.

Service members on either of these retirement lists are eligible for a blue (retired) ID card.  Their dependents are eligible for tan cards.  These cards allow you to use all of the on-post (and off-post) benefits received by any other military retiree (such as discounts at civilian businesses).  Be sure to take your disability order with you when you show up to get new cards for everyone.

 

You should get the cards around a week or so from your orders’ effective date.  You can do it within a week after this date, as well.  Don’t wait any longer than this, though, or you may have problems with DEERS.  Be sure the DEERS operator lists you as a retiree (not a reserve retiree) when he updates your record.

 

Applying for Pay

I recommend getting the help of a retirement services officer (RSO) for this part of things.  While the pay application can appear simple at first, there are many areas where mistakes can be made.  Errors on the application can delay the start of your benefits (until they are fixed).  An RSO will know how to do everything correctly.

 

Use DD Form 2656 to apply for retired pay.  Other than a few supporting documents, you will not need to complete any other forms (they just have the same information as the DD 2656 anyway).

 

The supporting documents for most people on the PDRL or TDRL are just the disability order (the one with your rating on it not your discharge from your branch of service) and your final retirement points statement. I’ll include an example from the Army in the notes below.  Expect about two months from the time the application is sent to the Defense Finance and Accounting Service (DFAS) for pay to begin.

 

If you have a twenty-year letter, it is a good idea to include that letter and your reserve component survivor benefit plan election, as well.  Don’t worry. You’ll get back pay from the effective date of your disability order to the present. You won’t lose any money.

 

How VA Compensation Affects Pay

Just like any other type of military pay, compensation from the Veterans Administration will offset – dollar for dollar – anything you get from the military.  There is a thing called Concurrent Retired and Disability Pay  (often simply called concurrent receipt) – or CRDP for short – which allows for this offset not to happen if you have at least a 50% rating from the VA, but this does not apply for medical retirements.  There is also a type of pay called combat-related special compensation which makes up for some or all of the VA offset.  You might be eligible for both of these but can only receive one or the other.

 

Concurrent Retired and Disability Pay (CRDP)

I just said you can’t get CRDP if you have a medical retirement, but you can choose to get this if you have twenty years of qualifying service and you have reached your retired pay eligibility date (RPED).  Your RPED is usually age sixty, but can be earlier if you have qualifying active duty service.  Talk to an RSO to see if this applies to you.  I will go deeper into the CRDP topic in next week’s article.

 

Combat-Related Special Compensation (CRSC)

CRSC sounds very similar to CRDP (probably because they both have CR in the acronym) and people very often get them confused.  Even retirement services officers and your physical evaluation board liaison officer (PEBLO) can get the facts jumbled in their minds.

 

CRSC is a type of pay for people with combat-related injuries which makes up for part (or all) of the offset between retired pay and VA compensation.  This pay does not happen automatically.  There is a separate application packet which needs to be sent to your branch of service in order to receive it.  First, though, you need to have retired pay which is being reduced by VA compensation (so be sure to apply for pay with an RSO’s assistance).  I will cover the specifics of CRSC in two weeks (after I have talked about concurrent receipt in more detail).

 

Hopefully, this was a useful article.  I don’t want to get too deep in the weeds or it might end up being more of a mind bender than it needs to be.  If I missed anything or you are confused about something, please drop a comment for me and I will answer any problems you might have.

 

Be sure to subscribe to my YouTube channel and podcast for updates on future posts.

 

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

 

D.J.

 

References:
TDRL Order Example

Related YouTube Episodes:
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


Related Podcast Episodes
:
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
Related Articles:
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.”


Podcast Episode 0042 – The Temporary and Permanent Disability Retirement Lists

 

References:
TDRL Order Example

Related YouTube Episodes:
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


Related Podcast Episodes
:
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
Related Articles:
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.”


YouTube Episode 0044 – The Temporary and Permanent Disability Retirement Lists


Officers Ask, “What Happens When I Hit My Mandatory Removal Date?”

This week I am going to cover a topic from one of the viewers.  This topic is the mandatory removal date (MRD) for officers.  This is not a topic with which I have had to deal on a regular basis.  I had to do a great deal of research for this topic as a result.  I believe I should be able to describe the basics of the MRD in an understandable manner, though.

 

There is a similar rule for enlisted members (in the Army, it is called the retention control point). I will cover that topic at a later date.

 

The MRD is set by federal law rather than by regulations within each branch of service.  For this reason and unlike the way it manages enlisted service, the branch of service is not able to determine the requirements for separation of its officers to a great degree.  This is one of the reasons the officer management branches of each service have more difficult rules they must follow as opposed to their enlisted management branches.

 

Each of the statements I am about to make for the limits of officer service are backed up by federal law.  Be careful, though, not to take anything I say as a hard rule. You will notice that I use the word “may” a lot in this description.  As a warrant officer once said to me, “There is a waiver for everything,” at least, up to a point.

 

Let’s take a look at each type of officer and discuss the specifics of each.  However, I will not be covering in this article the rules for officers who are passed over for promotion to the next grade.

 

Commissioned Officers

Commissioned officers are limited to a certain number of years of commissioned service before they must be separated.  Prior enlisted service is not a factor here.

 

For officers in the grades of O5 and below, they are allowed twenty-eight years of commissioned service.  Separation is required once the officer reaches this limit unless the officer is on a promotion list to the grade of O6. For O6s, the limit is thirty years of commissioned service.  With these limits in mind, it is understandable why career officers have such concern on being promotable to the next grade.

 

General (flag) officers have their own rules for limitations on commissioned service. O7s may have no more than thirty years of service. O8s may have no more than thirty-five years of commissioned service or five years time in grade, whichever is later. O9s may have thirty-eight years of service and O10s may have no more than forty years of commissioned service.

 

There are exceptions to these limits for officers in certain positions.  I will describe those in a moment.

 

Warrant Officers

As with many things, warrant officer rules are quite different from those of commissioned officers.  The years of service requirements are much simpler in their case.  Warrant officers may serve up to thirty years and, with the approval of their branch of service, up to age sixty-two.  The Navy has a special rule limited their senior warrants, specifically those in the grade of W5, to thirty-three years of service.

 

Exception for Adjutants General, O9s, O10s, Academy Professors, Professional Officers and Chaplains

The needs of the service allow for officers in positions which are harder to fill to serve for longer than those of other positions.  Officers in professions such as the medical field and chaplains are allowed to serve up to the age of sixty-eight if their branch of service concurs.  Officers serving in permanent professor positions as the service academies may serve until the age of sixty-four.  In the case of O9s and O10s, they may serve until age of sixty-six if authorized by the Secretary of Defense and up to the age of sixty-eight if authorized by the President.

 

There is a special exemption for officers serving as the adjutant general or assistant adjutant general of a state’s National Guard.  In this case, they are not subject to the rules for years of commissioned service.  Mandatory retirement in the case of age, however, is still a factor.  In this case, officers serving as the adjutant general of a state must retire at the end of the month in which they turn sixty-six years of age.

 

Question from the Viewers (LTC Adams)

A few weeks ago, one of the viewers on the YouTube channel posted a question in the comments about a case he is working.  This viewer is a new retirement service officer in the National Guard.  He is working with an Active Guard / Reserve (AGR) officer who has reached twenty-years of commissioned service.

 

This officer is an O5 and is not on the promotion list to O6.  I will use the officer’s actual last name and will post some documents about him in the references.  For the sake of privacy, these references will not display his full name, unit of assignment, and the state in which he serves, though.

 

Lieutenant Colonel (LTC) Adams has over sixteen years of active duty service.  He commissioned as a second lieutenant in August of 1989.  This means he will hit his mandatory removal date next month.  The question from the viewer was whether he will be able to retire as an active duty service member or as a reservist.

 

The answer to this question turns out to be quite simple.  Since LTC Adams does not have twenty years of active federal service (AFS), he will not be able to retire as an active duty member and receive an immediate pension.  He will retire as a reservist and should be transferred to the Retired Reserve until he reaches his Retired Pay Eligibility Date (RPED).

 

On a happier note, LTC Adams is eligible for reduced retirement age, though, so he will be able to receive a pension prior to age sixty.  I am posting his retirement points and an estimate of his retired pay and how much extra he will receive from that reduced retirement age.  You will also see a copy of his 1405 Worksheet which shows how his reserve service translates into equivalent active duty service.  As you will see, he had a considerable amount of service (read that as a lot of retirement points) and will have a reasonable amount of retired pay as a result.

 

What about Temporary Early Retirement Authority (TERA)?  Can that help this officer retire since he has more than fifteen years of active service?

 

The current rules for the Temporary Early Retirement Authority (an active duty only rule) only allow for this type of retirement when an active duty member is removed from active service by way of one of the many retention boards we have.  In cases such as these, members with at least fifteen but less than twenty active duty years may request retirement under TERA.  Since LTC Adams is not being removed from service by one of these boards, he will not be eligible to request retirement under TERA.  I am also going to post the current TERA rules in the references.

 

*****

 

Well, now that I have filled your heads with all this information – I hope it was understandable, by the way – I believe it is time to call it quits for the day.  If you have any questions or comments about what I have mentioned today, please post them in the comments section.  If you believe this information would be useful to someone you know, please share this article with them.  As always, I encourage to share my YouTube channel and website with other reservists and family members you may know.

 

By the way, just for fun I am also going to post a brochure I found which gives some highlights of reserve retirement from 1952.  Take a look at it and see how much things have changed over the years. Check the bottom of the references section for that link.

 

Please join me next week.  Thanks for joining me today and, of course, thank you for your service.

 

D.J.

References:
Army Human Resources Command MRD Brief (PowerPoint)
MRD Information Summary Sheet
Army National Guard Personnel Policy Operational Memorandum 13-018 – ARNG T10 AGR Mandatory Removal Date (MRD) Guide
Army Directive 2016-27 – Temporary Early Retirement Authority
Military Personnel Message 17-199 – Temporary Early Retirement Authority (TERA)
Retirement Points Statement and 1405 Worksheet for LTC Adams
Retired pay estimate for LTC Adams
Mandatory Removal Date Calculator (Army Human Resources Command)

10 U.S. Code § 1305
10 U.S. Code § 633
10 U.S. Code § 634
10 U.S. Code § 335
10 U.S. Code § 366
10 U.S. Code § 1251
10 U.S. Code § 1252
10 U.S. Code § 1253
10 U.S. Code § 3911, § 6323, § 8911
10 U.S. Code § 14508
10 U.S. Code § 14512
Retirement Policy for Guardsmen, circa 1952

Related YouTube Episodes:
The Basics of Reserve Retirement
So, What is This Reduced Retirement Age Thing Anyway?

Related Podcast Episodes:
So, What is This Reduced Retirement Age Thing Anyway?

Related Articles:
So, What is This Reduced Retirement Age Thing Anyway? – Part 1
So, What is This Reduced Retirement Age Thing Anyway? – Part 2