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At Woods and Woods, the Veterans Firm, weve helped thousands of veterans with their VA disability applications and appeals. Weve been adding staff and lawyers during the Covid pandemic to better serve disabled veterans in difficult times.
Call us today to discuss your VA disability appeal or your first application. The call is free and we wont charge you a single fee until we win your case. We even pay for the postage for all of the documentation you send to our office. You can look for a VA disability attorney near you or call us and join the thousands of veterans living off of VA disability thanks to Woods and Woods.
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Getting It All: Crsc Military Retirement And Va Disability
Before CRSC, veterans would have to waive their military retirement to receive VA disability payments.
CRSC is an entitlement program that gives veterans access to their retirement income without having to offset their VA disability pay. In the past, military retirees used to forego an equal amount of retirement pay usually awarded by the Department of Defense to get VA disability compensation. This was a wise choice at the time because VA benefits are not taxed and retirement benefits are.
But after years of harsh criticism and intense lobbying, Congress changed the law in 2004 to allow eligible retired veterans to receive both retirement and disability payments at the same time. At first, only veterans with disability ratings of 50 percent or more qualified. Currently, Section 1413a, Title 10 of the United States Code grants the same benefits to veterans with disability ratings of 10 to 30 percent.
Does Ptsd Qualify For Crsc
It can, yes. Any VA disability for which you are rated at 10% or over will serve as one qualification for CRSC.
The other primary eligibility requirements for Combat-Related Special Compensation are that your condition occurred in combat or combat-related activities, and that you are officially retired from the military.
PTSD, major depressive disorder, and secondary service-connected disabilities are all among the disabilities for which you may receive a VA rating and therefore VA disability compensationwhich makes you a candidate for CRSC if youre also receiving military retirement pay.
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Can I Ask My Uniformed Service To Reconsider My Request For Crsc
Yes. You can ask for a reconsideration of the decision from your uniformed service if:
- Your CRSC application gets denied, or
- You receive a new disability rating for a condition or injury thats combat-related, or
- Your disability rating thats connected to your existing CRSC changes
How to request a reconsideration
If your CRSC application gets denied, youll receive a Reconsideration Request Form in the mail when you get your decision letter. Use this form or simply send a letter, along with any new evidence, to the Air Force asking them to reopen your claim. Be sure to sign your letter. If you need help, you can call .
Note: If theres been a change to your disability rating, please also include your most recent decision notice.
Send your completed form or a letter, along with any new evidence, to this address:
Combat Related Special Compensation And Ptsd
tugbird said:Hello all, it has been quite some time since using this forum prior to my medical retirement in 2008. I am trying to find some more info on my current quest. I was diagnosed with PTSD by the VA from the date of my retirement. A few years after the dust settled I wanted to apply for CRSC for my PTSD I suffer from. Please note, I don’t have a purple heart or combat action ribbon. My question to you all is after being denied by the USMC twice and now the BCNR twice, what am I missing? Am I spinning my wheels or is it just that cut and dry, have a purple heart or combat action ribbon, you can claim CRSC…Thank you in advance…
Hey SD, what does Block 10 of your 199 say?
tugbird said:Bravehart, not sure what form 199 is. I looked at my PEB findings and block ten is my combined rating.Justice, I was doing FARPs. Forward arming refueling points. I have over two years of behavioral health with the VA. No accidents or prison…
OK…………ON MY DA 199 BLOCK 9.Is My Combined Rating Listed As 90% TDRLON MY DA 199 BLOCK 10. If retired because of disabilty, the board recommended finding that:A.The soldiers retirement is based on a disability from injury or diseasereceived in the line of duty as a direct result of armed conflict or caused by an instrumentality of war and incurred in the line of duty during a period of war as defined by law.B. Evidence of record reflects the soldier was a menber and obligated as a member of an Armed 10216
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Can I Get Back Payments For Crsc
If you were eligible for CRSC payments in the past, you may be able to get back payments. If you get a new CRSC award letter or theres a change to your VA disability compensation award, the Defense Finance and Accounting Service or other payment office for your uniformed servicewill audit your account and determine if you should get back payments. If youre due back payments, youll receive them from either DFAS or VA.
Understanding The Va Offset
To understand combat-related special compensation , it is important to understand what happens when a veteran is receiving service retired pay and VA disability compensation at the same time. Veterans who receive retired pay and VA disability compensation at the same time are typically subject to the governments double-dipping laws. To comply with this law, veterans who receive both service retired pay and VA disability compensation simultaneously are required to waive part of their service retired pay. The amount the veteran receives in VA compensation is subtracted from the amount they receive in retired pay to avoid double dipping.
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How To File A Va Claim For Combat Ptsd
To file a VA claim for combat PTSD, youll be required to prove these three elements:
Keep in mind that to be diagnosed with PTSD, your symptoms must last at least one month.
There are two forms youre required to submit with your combat PTSD claim. The first form is filled out by you, and the second form is completed by a medical examiner.
Form 1: VA Form 21-0781
To file a claim for combat PTSD, you must use VA Form 21-0781: Statement In Support of Claim for Service Connection for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder . This form is for first-time filers of PTSD.
To complete this form, youll need to gather details about the specific combat event or events causing your PTSD:
- The date of the event
- The location of the event
- The unit you were assigned to at the time of the event
- Dates you were assigned to the unit
- A description of what happened
- Any medals or citations you received as a result of the event
- Information about any service members who were killed or injured
- Your remarks
You can attach additional pages and include more information if you run out of space.
Form 2: PTSD Disability Benefits Questionnaire
DBQs are forms completed by your doctor. They provide medical evidence to the VA regarding your condition to help the VA make a disability compensation decision.
How Crsc Is Calculated
Combat-Related Special Compensation is awarded based on each veterans specific circumstances, and is based on several factors:
- Evaluation of all combat-related disabilities affecting the veteran.
- The amount of VA disability compensation granted based on that evaluation.
- Retirement pay based on length of service in the military.
CRSC is paid separately from retirement pay and cannot be received at the same time as Concurrent Retirement and Disability Pay . CRDP replaces all or some of the retired pay a veteran waived to receive VA disability compensation, allowing a veteran to receive full retirement and VA disability pay. CRDP covers all disabilities related to any military service while CRSC covers disabilities specifically related to combat.
The Defense Finance and Accounting Service determines if a veteran will receive CRSC or CRDP. DFAS calculates and compares the two benefits and pays the greater amount to the veteran. A veteran can opt to receive the lower amount if he or she chooses for tax or other purposes.
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Are Reservists And National Guard Eligible
Yes, all Reserve or National Guard are eligible if you have 20 years of creditable service OR you are a permanent medical retiree OR you are a TERA retiree who is:
- receiving military retired pay, and
- who has a 10% or greater VA rated injury and
- whose military retired pay is reduced by VA disability payments
The previous CRSC requirement to have at least 7200 retirement points no longer applies as of January 1, 2004. Grey area retirees become eligible for CRSC at age sixty when they begin to receive retired pay.
Combat Related Special Compensation
Id like to be clear on this. Can a military retiree get three checks?
Yes, you could get three checks:
CRSC reimbursement pay from the branch of service .
Retirement pay less the CRSC amount
The issue is you cannot get the same dollar from both Concurrent pay and from combat related pay.
So, take a 20 year retiree with presumptive sinusitis at 50%.
She gets $2,500 from DoD retirement.
She gets $958.44 for the 50% from her branch of service based on the 50% VA at that level.
She gets an overall 90% from the VA. $1,998.52
The calculations are thus :
Army pays $958.44
DFAS pay = $1541.56
So, she gets three checks. One from the VA, one from the Army and one from DFAS.
Overall, the retirement pay adds up to the same amount just from different sources.
NOTE: If your VA Rating for the condition you are receiving CRSC for increases, re-file with your branch of service and include the new VA rating decision.
WHAT DO I DO IF I DISAGREE WITH MY RATING?
Speak to your VSO first. They will have the most information to determine if a rating may be incorrect. You have a limited amount of time to appeal your decision and preserve the effective date of your claim.
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What Qualifies Me For Crsc
Current requirements to qualify for CRSC are:
- You must be officially retired from the military. This can be represented by a 20-year retirement , a medical retirement , retirements based on the Temporary Early Retirement Act , and Temporary Disabled Retirement List retirees.
- You must a VA disability rating of 10%
- You must have your DoD retired pay reduced by the amount of your VA disability pay.
- You must submit an application using DD form 2860 through your branch of service.
- be either 60 years old or retired under the Temporary Early Retirement Authority, if youre a reservist.
- Provide documentary evidence that your injury was incurred in combat or combat-related activities , or caused by an instrumentality of war .
Va Disability Compensation For Ptsd
Posttraumatic stress can happen after someone goes through a traumatic event such as combat, an assault, or a disaster. Most people have some stress reactions following trauma. But if the reactions dont go away over time or they disrupt your life, you may have posttraumatic stress disorder . Find out if you can get disability compensation or benefits if you have symptoms of PTSD.
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A Purple Heart Disability
Purple Heart Disability, for example, is one with an assigned VASRD code and attributable to injuries for which the veteran was awarded the Purple Heart. The nexus between the disability and awarded injury is proved through documentary evidence submitted with the CRSC application.
Which Nexus Doctor will Write Your Nexus Letter for VA Disability?
How Will I Receive Crsc Pay
Its important to note that CRSC does not eliminate the VA offset. Instead, the amount equal to your total VA compensation continues to be deducted from your military retirement pay. Separately, CRSC reimburses all or some of your VA waiver in a separate check from your branch of service.
Thats why veterans receiving CRSC actually get three separate checks each month:
You may only get two checks each monththis would occur if your VA compensation amount is greater than your total retired pay. In that case, you get one for your VA disability compensation and one for your CRSC payment. You would not receive any retirement in this scenario because the VA offset, which is subtracted from the retirement pay, completely eliminates the retired pay.
Remember that the CRSC payment is tax-freea big advantage over CRDP.
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How Does The Va Rate Ptsd
The VA uses the 38 CFR PTSD rating scale to rate PTSD. The VA rates veterans with service-connected Combat PTSD at 0 percent, 10 percent, 30 percent, 50 percent, 70 percent, and 100 percent, depending on severity and symptoms. The average VA disability rating for PTSD is 70 percent.
To learn more, read our article on how the VA rates PTSD.
Switching To Crsc From Crdp
If youre eligible for both CRDP and CRSC, youll receive a letter from DFAS during Open Season, which lasts from January 1-31 every year. The projected amount for both entitlements will be provided to you, along with the opportunity to switch, since youre only allowed to receive one. The Open Season letter will help you make an informed decision by providing the projected amounts for your monthly entitlements under both programs.
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Am I Eligible For Combat
CRSC is a program that provides compensation for eligible retired veterans with combat-related injuries. The injuries must warrant between a 10% and 100% disability rating. It is intended to help mitigate the loss of income resulting from a veterans inability to receive disability compensation from both the DOD and the VA.
Unlike Concurrent Retirement an Disability Pay , CRSC is available to both service members who retire with 20 or more years of creditable service and those who have less than 20 years.
CRSC helps retired veterans by replacing the VA disability compensation that is subtracted from retired pay. It also restores military retired pay with tax-free monthly payments and is paid retroactively.
To be eligible a veteran must:
And must have at least ONE of the following combat-related VA disabilities:
Applying For Combat Related Special Compensation
If you believe you are eligible for CRSC, you must apply for it with the branch of service you served in and retired from. You should apply for CRSC if:
- You think you are eligible and have never applied
- You have been approved for CRSC, but you have more disabilities that you think might qualify
- The VA has recently added more disability to your rating that you think might qualify
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Evidence And Other Documents Youll Need To Provide
Evidence that proves your disability or injuries are the result of a combat-related event, like:
- Service medical records. These must be from when your injury happened. They must show the severity of your medical condition and that it’s combat-related.Note: Provide only relevant medical records. Please dont send us all your medical records.
- Official service records. These include After Action Reports, Investigative Reports, personnel action requests , and performance evaluations .
- These include Purple Heart citations, Combat Action Badges, medals, and decorations for valor.
- Retirement records. These include retirement orders and the Armed Forces of the United States Report of Transfer.
- Your VA decision notice
Should You Include A Buddy Letter In Your Combat Ptsd Claim
Generally, the VAs evidence requirements to prove service connection for combat stressors are not extremely stringent. However, if your combat engagement is not shown in your military records, an option to give the VA more proof of your combat stressor is to include a buddy letter with your claim. Someone in your unit who can corroborate your personal statement could give the VA additional evidence.
Its important to note that VA Claims Insider used to frequently recommend buddy letters from first-hand witnesses for these and other claims. However, over time weve come to discourage buddy letters in many cases, having seen buddy letters muddy the waters and hurt more than help a claim. The problem is that conflicting information from lay witnesses can actually slow down your claim and even lead to denial.
Generally we now recommend that you skip the buddy letter, and stick to your own well-crafted personal statement. That way, you control the narrative, the wording and the details and can ensure consistency. You get to tell your story directly to the rater through a strong statement in support of claim.
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