Concurrent Retirement and Disability Pay (CRDP) and Combat-Related Special Compensation (CRSC) allow retired servicemembers to receive both their retirement pay and their VA disability pay. Prior to 2003, the government considered it double-dipping to receive both these earned benefits. The solution was to implement a VA waiver, where an individual’s service-related retired pay was offset by an amount equal to their VA disability pay.
CRDP and CRSC, implemented in the FY 2004 and FY 2003 National Defense Authorization Acts, respectively, are the two resolutions that make up for the VA waiver. The differences between the two are illustrated in the chart below:
|Applying||Automatic||Apply through branch of service|
|Chapter 61 Eligible?||
With CRSC, you must have a combat-related disability. When you apply though your branch of service, they will give you a combat disability rating (separate from your VA disability rating), which determines how much money is in that third payment you receive. This means that in some instances, CRSC might not make up for the full VA waiver (e.g., if your combat disability rating is less than your VA disability rating). The CRSC payment also is not to exceed the amount of money taken out by the VA waiver.
If you are eligible for CRDP, you will not see a third payment. CRDP’s effect is seen in receiving your full service-related retired pay, absent any offset, and your VA disability pay. If you believe you are eligible for both CRSC and CRDP and apply for both, the Defense Finance and Accounting Services (DFAS) automatically will apply whichever one is more beneficial.
In most circumstances, CRDP would be more beneficial, as it always gets rid of the entire VA waiver. However, if your combat disability is rated high enough by your branch of service, you potentially could receive a third, tax-free check that is equal to the VA waiver. In this instance, DFAS would apply CRSC, as it is more beneficial to you.
Chapter 61 medical retirees also are not eligible for CRDP. If you do not have a combat-related injury and are forced to retire prior to hitting the 20-year mark of the service, your service-related retired pay is open to the full VA waiver.
The Chapter 61 issue is one MOAA has been fighting hard to resolve. On April 18, MOAA “stormed the Hill” to advocate for Chapter 61 retirees affected by the VA waiver. Currently, two active bills, H.R. 333 and S. 66, would correct the waiver. If you are interested in helping to end this unfair policy toward medical retirees, send a MOAA-suggested letter to your congressional representatives.
Find more details in MOAA’s publication Your Guide to CRDP and CRSC.