As a recipient of compensation for a service-connected disability, if you are retired—or are about to retire—from the military, you need to know that the VA requires you to waive a portion of your retirement pay to offset your disability compensation. This essentially means that your monthly retirement check will be reduced by the amount of your disability compensation check.
However, for some veterans, there is an exception.
The Concurrent Retirement and Disability Program (CRDP)
This VA program is able to restore a significant part of, if not all, of a qualifying veteran’s retirement pay. In order to qualify for CRDP, a veteran must have:
- Retired after 20 years or more of military service.
- Retired under Chapter 61, or retired for medical reasons related to disability.
- Retired under Temporary Early Retirement Authority (TERA), even without serving a full 20 years.
- Served in the National Guard and Reserve for at least 20 years.
Generally, it isn’t necessary to apply for CRDP because the Defense Finance and Accounting Service (DFAS) will enroll eligible veterans in the program automatically. If you aren’t receiving CRDP and believe that you should be, you can either contact DFAS, your branch of the military, or discuss the matter with a Dallas VA disability attorney.
Retroactive CRDP Benefits
Some veterans are eligible for a retroactive lump some of CRDP benefits in addition to the ongoing monthly payment. A few things to know about this option:
- Your retroactive payment date will be limited by the date of your retirement and when your disability rating became 50% or more.
- No retroactive date can be earlier than January 2004.
- The phase-in of the program took place over 10 years, with an annual rate increase that will be reflected in your retroactive pay.
- If DFAS discovers that you are due retroactive retirement compensation, it will automatically issue you a check for the full amount.
- If DFAS suspects that the VA owes you retroactive disability compensation, DFAS will notify VA so it can send you a check for the full amount.
Trying to obtain disability benefits from the VA? Working with a skilled Dallas VA disability attorney can help ensure you are receiving all the benefits to which you are entitled. If you’re ready to learn more, call Morgan & Weisbrod at 800-800-6353, or fill out our online contact form. Don’t wait!
by Paul B. Burkhalter Managing Partner of Morgan & Weisbrod, Board Certified in Social Security Disability Law.