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


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


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

https://youtu.be/8XmnlAgaTtk

 

 

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


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

https://youtu.be/8XmnlAgaTtk

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


“But My PEBLO said…” The Truth About Concurrent Retired and Disability Pay

We’ve all heard the confusing comments from barracks lawyers and frustrated people going through medical boards. No one statement seems to match with another and it just annoys us all the more.  What does it all mean?

 

In fact, what do I mean?  I’m talking specifically about those service members who have received a disability rating and are talking about how much money they are going to be paid each month.

 

“My VA rating is fifty percent.  My PEBLO (Physical Evaluation Board Liaison Officer) says this means I’m going to get my disability retirement and my VA compensation at the same time. Isn’t that great?”

 

Sound familiar?  We’ve heard this song before.  The service member is talking about Concurrent Retirement and Disability Pay in this situation. He believes he will get disability retired pay and VA compensation without an offset as a result of the VA payment.  Sadly, what he has been told usually isn’t correct.

 

“Why is that?” you may ask.

 

The answer is a bit convoluted because there are so many possible factors involved.  Here are a few of those possibilities.  Keep in mind that I am not trying to bash anyone when I say these things.  I’m just stating my observances based on prior experience.  Even though it is talking about drill pay, I recommend my article “Should I Take Drill Pay or VA Compensation?” for more information.  The same things I describe there as far as VA offset still apply to retired pay (although you don’t have to choose whether to receive one or the other like you do with drill pay).

 

Many PEBLOs and MSCs (Military Service Coordinators, the VA side of medical boards) are what I call “active duty-centric.”  This means they are looking at things from an active duty perspective and often do not understand how reserve retirement works (obviously, not all of them are this way).  This centrism creates a great deal of confusion and frustration for reservists.

 

Often, these PEBLOs and MSCs are new to their jobs or – just a bad – their cases loads are constantly being shuffled.  Many reservists going through medical boards have several different PEBLOs during their journey.  This lack of continuity again can lead to confusion when each of these PEBLOs tell a different story.

 

For those new PEBLOs out there, they are still learning their jobs and can give partial or conflicting information.  I wouldn’t blame them for intentionally misleading their clients; they’re just not yet sure of the facts.  I recommend checking with a retirement services officer to verify what you have been told (sometimes RSOs are new too so be forewarned).

 

Worst of all, it is very easy to confuse Concurrent Retirement and Disability Pay (CRDP) with another similar sounding type of pay called Combat-Related Special Compensation (CRSC).  These two programs sound identical when you first look at them.  You have to look carefully at the criteria in order to tell the two apart.  PEBLOs and MSCs can get baffled at the requirements of the two just like anyone else.

 

So, what is the truth about CRDP?  What is it?  How does it actually work?  Concurrent Retired and Disability Pay (often called Concurrent Receipt for short) allows for service members who are fully eligible to receive a length of service retirement (usually meaning you have at least twenty qualifying years) to also receive VA compensation without an offset if they also have a minimum VA disability rating of fifty percent (this is different from the disability rating from your branch of service).  That’s a long sentence.  Let’s make it easier.  If all of the following apply to you then you’re eligible for CRDP:

  • You have at least twenty qualifying years of service
  • You have a 50% or higher VA rating
  • You are old enough to receive your reserve retirement

 

Medical disability retirements are not considered length of service retirements and are not eligible for concurrent receipt.  This is not something written into military regulations as a way to disqualify some retirees.  This is part of federal law (sorry, Charlie).

 

To dig deeper into the specific requirements to receive CRDP, I will loosely quote from the Defense Finance and Accountings Service’s (DFAS) website and try to explain it for you.

 

*****

 

You may be eligible for CRDP if…

  • You are a regular (active duty) retiree with a VA disability rating of 50 percent or greater.
  • You are a reserve retiree with 20 qualifying years of service, who has a VA disability rating of 50 percent or greater and who has reached retirement age. (In most cases the retirement age for reservists is 60, but certain reserve retirees may be eligible before they turn 60. If you are a member of the Ready Reserve, your retirement age can be reduced below age 60 by three months for each 90 days of active service you have performed during a fiscal year.)
  • You are retired under Temporary Early Retirement Act (TERA) and have a VA disability rating of 50 percent or greater. This is another type of active duty retirement and does not apply to reservists (unless you’re AGR but this is still not applicable in the case of medical retirements).
  • You are a disability retiree who earned eligibility for retired pay under any provision of law other than solely by disability (emphasis mine), and you have a VA disability rating of 50 percent or greater. You might become eligible for CRDP at the time you would have become eligible for retired pay (reserve retirement at age sixty).

 

(Loosely quoted – with some additions and modifications –  from https://www.dfas.mil/retiredmilitary/disability/crdp.html. Page updated October 9, 2013)

 

*****

 

As you can see (hopefully), reservists who are not yet eligible for the retired pay they have already earned (meaning at age sixty) are also ineligible for CRDP.  VA compensation is still going to offset – dollar for dollar – anything you get from medical retirement pay.  This is an often heartbreaking and financially stressful fact for many reservists to learn.  It is better to know the facts though than to be hit with this revelation later when you are not prepared for it.

 

You don’t actually (or maybe I should say usually) apply for CRDP.  I have seen this happen both ways so I will describe both for you.

 

When I assist disability retirees with applying for pay (and this is specifically talking to you RSOs out there), I will check their records to see if they have at least twenty qualifying years for reserve retirement (meaning I look for a twenty-year letter).  If I see they’re have met that requirement, I include the twenty-year letter and final retirement points statement with the application for pay.  This lets DFAS know the retiree will be eligible for CRDP in the future.

 

Sometimes notifying DFAS of the retiree’s eligibility for CRDP hasn’t worked.  In this case, I have sent the usual retired pay documents (DD 2656, DD 108, twenty-year letter, retirement points, discharge order, and RCSBP election…don’t worry about all the acronyms for now) to the member’s branch of service and had them (the BOS) go through their usual machinations.  The branch of service produces a statement showing all of the details of the retiree’s eligibility (including CRDP eligibility) and sends it to DFAS.  At that point, DFAS updates the retiree’s pay profile and begins paying CRDP.  If any back pay of CRDP is owed, they will pay that usually within sixty days of the update.

 

Like I said a moment ago, I have see both of these work in the past.  Keep a close eye on your own status and seek the assistance of a retirement services officer if you need to change something.  As always, I do not recommend trying to do this yourself (increased irritation and delays normally result if you do).  The reason for this recommendation is this. Most retirees do not know what to do and make frantic phone calls to whomever they can reach.  This tends to cause further vexation.  RSOs are the key to success.  Use the key to unlock the door.

 

For some medically retired service members, there is a type of pay which makes up for this VA offset right now.  It is called Combat-Related Special Compensation (CRSC).  This is not an automatic payment and actually requires a special application.  I will describe CRSC and compare it to CRDP next week.

 

I hope this has helped you improve your understanding of Concurrent Retired and Disability Pay.  If not, drop a comment below or send your question to me via email at dj@rcretirement.com.  I will answer you hopefully clarify any problem you may have.

 

Don’t forget to subscribe to my YouTube channel and podcast.  They are also valuable tools in retirement education.  I encourage you to spread the word about this site, the channel, and the podcast. Be sure to hit that Like button for videos on my YouTube channel (www.youtube.com/rcretirement), as well.  I also ask that you review the podcast in iTunes.  This will help improve the likelihood of others finding it and gaining the knowledge they need to improve their own situations.

 

If you have any topics you would like for me to cover in the future, you can also leave those in the comments section or send your suggestions to me by email.  You can also find lots of useful information in the Resources section of my site.

 

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

 

D.J.

 

References:
Concurrent Retirement and Disability Pay (CRDP) (DFAS)
VA vs Drill Pay (PowerPoint Presentation)
VA Math Made Simple
10 USC 12731: Age and service requirements
10 USC 12731b: Special rule for members with physical disabilities not incurred in line of duty

Related YouTube Episodes:
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


Related Podcast Episodes
:
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

Related Articles:
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.”


Bonus Episode 0002 – Veterans Can Now Apply for VA Identification Cards

https://youtu.be/yWBzJds3b4k

Veterans can now apply for ID cards through the VA and will no longer need to carry around DD 214s or other documents to prove their service.

Log in to Vets.gov using either the ID.me verification system or a DS log-in to apply for a new veterans ID card.

http://www.military.com/daily-news/2017/11/29/veterans-can-now-apply-for-va-identification-cards.html