Setting the Record Straight on CRSC and CRDP

Jan 14 2011

Published by at 1:47 pm under Military Benefits,VA Benefits

CRDP and CRSC are confusing programs. Our experience from talking regularly with uniformed members is that several misconceptions routinely pop up. We will address these common misconceptions.

But to start, a little history follows to help build a more complete understanding of the concurrent receipt programs. We take literary license with the legal references to provide a clearer illustration of how things work. This also puts the topics in the context of our discussions with service members.

Original ‘concurrent receipt’ law stipulated you cannot be paid twice for the same disability/service. This law still applies in some cases—more on this later. If you receive Service retired pay and VA comp, the VA comp is subtracted from your Service retired pay in the form of the ‘VA waiver.’ You ‘waive’ your Service retired pay to receive VA comp.

MOAA fought for legislation that would stop concurrent receipt laws from denying a Service member’s retired pay that was vested in their years of service. After all, you earned that pay through years service. VA comp should not be deducted from vested Service time since the VA pay is specifically designated as disability compensation. From this lobbying, new concurrent receipt legislation was passed and CRSC and CRDP were born. As the result, CRSC and CRDP restore the Service retired pay vested through years of service that VA comp denied you. This is a key point of concurrent receipt; concurrent receipt does not restore disability compensation from the Service. It restores longevity retired pay. Now we bust some misconceptions.

#1. There is a strong belief among people that CRSC is a new form of pay, a third paycheck if you will, above and beyond any Service retired pay and VA comp amounts. CRSC is a third form of pay but it is not an amount in addition to Service retired pay and VA disability compensation. While technically it comes to you as a third pay check, it is pay that restores your Service retired pay for all or part of the VA Waiver amount being deducted from Service pay. CRDP on the other hand is not a third form of pay. CRDP is the return of Service retired pay by decreasing the VA Waiver amount in your Service retired pay.

#2. CRSC is a “restoration” of Service retired pay. To “restore” Service retired pay implies two things. First, you were denied Service retired pay (through a VA Waiver) so it has to be “restored.” Second, the amount being restored can’t be greater than the original amount of Service retired pay denied. You can’t “restore” what was never denied in the first place. You can’t receive CRDP/CRSC retroactive pay unless you were denied Service retired pay in the past. This usually comes up as an issue when someone has been receiving CRDP for a time and later is awarded CRSC. If you were receiving CRDP, your retired pay was already being restored. The subsequent award of CRSC won’t get you back pay unless your CRSC amount restores more than you were already having restored in the past.

#3. Concurrent receipt restores Service retired pay so let’s carefully consider the phrase “Service retired pay” as it pertains to CRSC/CRDP. “Service retired pay” is pay that you earned through longevity; your time served. This is a big issue for members who were medically retired because you may have a Service retired pay amount that is more than the amount you earned based on your longevity.

Example: a person with a longevity retirement earns retired pay at:

  • Years served X 2.5% X your base pay at retirement or high-3.

However, you medically retired folks may have a Service disability rating (not your VA rating) that makes your retired pay at retirement greater than the amount of pay based on the longevity formula just explained. With 20 years of service, your longevity retired pay is 50% of base pay. But a medical retirement with a Service disability rating of 60% gets a 60% pay out for retirement even if the service time is 20 years. Everything above 50% is considered a form of disability pay.

So CRSC/CRDP restores ‘Service retired pay’ which is only the retired pay that’s based on longevity. All the Service retired pay you receive above the amount due to time served is considered disability pay, not ‘Service retired pay’ and Service disability pay is not restored by any form of concurrent receipt.

In other words, the original concurrent receipt laws that state you can’t be paid twice still apply when it comes to disability pays. If the VA pays you for your disabilities, you can’t receive Service disability pay at the same time.

#4. The CRSC Glitch. (UPDATE: THE GLITCH IS FIXED. THIS NO LONGER APPLIES) For you members medically retired with less than 20 years service, you have a different issue to contend with. First, your CRSC amount is limited to your longevity portion of your retired pay. For many of you, this longevity portion is a small amount when compared to your total Service check. Next, you are limited in the amount of CRSC pay you receive to the amount of CRSC pay that is above the amount you receive for the Service disability portion of your Service retried pay. Here’s an example:

  • Total Service retired pay (disability and longevity pay) $2000
  • Service portion based on longevity $500
  • Service portion based on disability $1500
  • CRSC pay you are entitled to $800
  • Actual CRSC pay (Entitled CRSC – Service disability) $0

This effect is known as the CRSC glitch. It’s a problem in how the CRSC law explains the pay formula, as shown above. Technically, everyone should get either all their entitled CRSC pay or CRSC up to the amount of Service retired pay based on their longevity. This is a problem MOAA is fighting to fix.

#5. Your CRSC check will equal your VA comp amount. Not necessarily so. VA comp is based on your total disabilities regardless of whether the disabilities were the result of combat. CRSC pays only the portion of your total disabilities that were directly related to combat. It is not unusual for a CRSC rating and the resulting payment to be smaller than the VA comp amount. This means you will continue to have a VA waiver amount in your Service retired pay.

#6. CRSC is always a better payment than CRDP. Not so. As stated in #5, CRSC is limited to combat injuries and as such that can be a significant limiting factor on the amount paid. CRDP is not limited to combat related disabilities so the amount is based on your total VA comp (plus the issue raised in #3). The combat related nature of CRSC is a basis behind its tax-free status while CRDP is taxable. Your CRDP amount may be larger to the point that even though it’s taxable, it still leaves more money in your pocket.

There may be times the amount of pay under CRDP is large enough that even after taxes it could be greater than a limited CRSC tax-free check. This is why your pay agency allows you a chance to select which version of pay you want during the ‘open season’ each December. As CRDP continues to phase-in over the years (until 2014), one year your CRDP amount may provide you the greatest take-home pay.

#7. “I get CRSC but a VA waiver is still deducted from my Service retired pay. Where is my concurrent receipt?” This misunderstanding is partially based in #1. Some folks think CRSC is a payment above and beyond all other pays. CRSC and CRDP are both forms of ‘concurrent receipt’ (used in the context of the phone calls). As such, a member can only receive one form of concurrent receipt or the other but not both simultaneously. The confusion seems to also originate in the manner in which the CRDP or CRSC is paid.

CRDP is paid by being reinserted back into your Service retired pay. You’ll note this in your Retiree Account Statement (pay stub) from your pay agency. With CRDP, your VA waiver disappears or gets smaller as CRDP is phased-in. Eventually, most of you will receive full Service retired pay and full VA comp (medically retired over 20 years of service may not see full Service retired pay). You won’t actually see a CRDP payment because the fact that you’ll receive full Service retired pay IS CRDP at work.

You CRSC folks receive a separate payment outside your Service retired pay and VA comp. CRSC is your form of concurrent receipt. Your Service retired pay stub will continue to indicate a full VA waiver amount as long as you receive CRSC.

I hope these explanations help clear the air on the major myths behind CRDP and CRSC. As other myths pop-up in future discussions, I’ll add to this post. Thank all of you for your service and sacrifices.

280 responses so far

280 Responses to “Setting the Record Straight on CRSC and CRDP”

  1. Daveon 26 Jan 2016 at 12:21 am

    I’m very confused w/ CRDP. I’m retired E8 w 24yrs of service and just received notice from VA of 100% disability rating. The VA payment form states I should receive $3198 per month, my dfas pay stub states that my Crdp amount is $2815 which is the exact amount of my retirement pay? I received back pay of $383 which is exact difference between $3198-$2815. I thought that I would receive 2 payments one from VA and one from DFAS both at full rate. Am I mis interpreting something?

  2. Shane Ostrom, CFP®on 26 Jan 2016 at 11:09 am

    Dave, CRDP ensures you get the retired you earned with your years of service. From this point forward, you will get all the VA compensation for a 100% rating plus you will get all your retired pay for your 24 years of service. In the ‘old days’ before CRDP, you have only received the VA comp and no retired pay. Without CRDP, the VA comp would wipe out your retired pay because the ‘VA Waiver’ (you waive your retired pay to receive VA comp) would have been applied to your retired pay. The VA Waiver normally equals your VA comp amount. Shane

  3. kevinon 29 Jan 2016 at 6:37 pm

    Hi Shane,
    I am a retired Marine (E-7) with 20 years of service who served in Iraq and Afghanistan. Today I received my VA Disability rating with an overall combined rating of 90% and I don’t know what to do next concerning the Combat Related Special Compensation (CRSC) and/or Concurrent Retired and Disability Pay (CRDP) programs. The VA just wrote “You may be eligible for full or partial concurrent receipt of VA compensation and military retirement pay under the CRSC and/or CRDP programs. Your retired pay center (RPC) has been notified of this award of VA compensation. If your RPC determines the withholdings from your VA compensation should be retroactively adjusted due to CRSC/CRDP eligibility; VA will modify and will adjust your VA compensation accordingly”.
    Now… Here are my questions:
    -Who is my retired pay center (RPC)? and
    -How will they know if my disability rating is based mostly due to combat related injuries?
    Any assistance or guidance with these matters are greatly appreciated.

  4. Shane Ostrom, CFP®on 01 Feb 2016 at 3:02 pm

    Kevin, if you are an active duty retiree with 20year of service or more, you will automatically receive CRDP. Your pay center is DFAS (www.dfas.mil). All this means is that you will not have your retired pay docked due to you accepting VA comp for a disability. If you didn’t get CRDP, your retired pay would be docked dollar for dollar by the amount of your VA comp.

    If you wish, you can apply for CRSC to your Service. Google CRSC and your Service. Web site has all the info and forms to apply to your Service. What CRSC means is that instead of CRDP above, you will have your retired pay docked dollar for dollar for the amount of your VA comp, and in return you will be reimbursed for the amount docked from your retired pay with a separte tax-free CRSC check.

    CRSC tax free. CRDP restored taxable retired pay. Both restore your retired pay that would normally be docked by the VA Waiver (the amount of your VA comp). Your Service determines your combat related status under CRSC. That’s why you apply. Shane

  5. Zacon 04 Feb 2016 at 3:49 pm

    I am a veteran of only seven years. On that seventh year, I was medically retired due to permanent combat related injuries. I did not want to retire. But, before I even departed from the hospital, my retirement paperwork was finalized. My VA rating is 100%. I receive a very very small amount of CRSC. Am I not entitled to any CRDP because I didn’t (couldn’t) do 20+ years? ….for the record; I am EXTREMELY grateful for what I get. Just curious if I’m missing something that I should know about. Thanks.

  6. Shane Ostrom, CFP®on 05 Feb 2016 at 12:44 pm

    Zac, if you are getting CRSC, that’s all there is pay-wise from the DOD given your years of service. Thank you for your service to our country…Shane

  7. Thomas Bowleson 29 Feb 2016 at 12:42 am

    I was in the army 1967-1969 and was combat wounded, retired from DOD on a early retirement in 1994. I received a 40 per cent rating from the Veterans Administration after leaving the USARMY, but due to other issues related to my service I am now rated at 100 percent. Do I qualify for CRSC or CRDP?
    Thanks.

  8. Shane Ostrom, CFP®on 29 Feb 2016 at 7:26 am

    Bowles, if you receive Service retired pay and VA compensation for a disability and your injuries are combat-related, you could qualify for a little CRSC. I say a little because CRSC (and CRDP) restores Service retired due to use Service time. In your case, only 2 years Service. It is still worth the application to see what you get. Search for Army CRSC on the web and find the Army CRSC site with forms and instructions. Shane

  9. Randall VanScoykon 09 Mar 2016 at 12:57 pm

    I was medically retired from the Marine Corps at E-6 after 10.5 yrs in June 2015. I received 70% DOD and 90% VA rating. I applied for CRSC and received at letter saying I was approved 80% CRSC from the date of my retirement in 2015. My question is what does the 80% CRSC rating mean? I am also getting conflicting answers as to how long you receive CRSC. Is there any calculators out there where would see what my pay I would receive? Any help would be appreciated. Semper Fi!

  10. Shane Ostrom, CFP®on 10 Mar 2016 at 9:56 am

    VanScoyk, the 80% CRSC means your Service considers your combat-related injuries/disabilities to be 80% of your total VA disabilities. The CRSC payment amount is equivalent to the VA compensation amounts for VA ratings. See here: http://www.benefits.va.gov/COMPENSATION/resources_comp01.asp. The CRSC rating and amount are life long but they can change if you have a VA rating change. Changes can occur if your condition gets worse or better. Shane

  11. Anthonyon 11 Mar 2016 at 4:59 am

    Hello,

    I am a medically retired SSG in the ARMY, I did 10 years and 2 tours in iraq, I am at 90% IU from the VA and I have been diagnosed with 50% PTSD combat related….when I got out the ARMY in 2011 I was denied CRSC but when I filed for an INCREASE through the VA my status changed to COMBAT RELATED on the PTSD… I recently turned in my CRSC packet … Should expect some good news?

  12. Shane Ostrom, CFP®on 11 Mar 2016 at 8:03 am

    Anthony, I hope so but we have no insights into how the Services determine the combat-related status of individuals. Shane

  13. Victoron 14 Mar 2016 at 9:26 pm

    I was just received my approved CRSC on Feb 1st 2016. I have a VA rating of 100%. My RAS states gross pay. $1914, VA waiver, #1914 and SBP cost 124.85. It states my retired pay has been waived because my VA award of $3,637.67 is more than my retired pay.

    CRSC letter states 80% Jun 2010 – Jan 2012, 100% Feb 2012-Present
    What can I expect for CRSC payment and will I get back pay?

  14. Chrison 16 Mar 2016 at 9:52 am

    hello,

    just got off the phone with DFAS..they said my CRSC payment was going to be $28 a month.

    now, I was in the Army from 2006-2013…and i was medically retired at 70% Army and 70% VA.

    I have read online where people say the CRSC payment is a minimum $133 up to $3,200 and then I hear where some people say it “matches” your VA pay…which, in my case is $1,530.

    Obviously, $28 is not $133 or $1,530.

    why am I only receiving $28?

    Thanks a lot, sir.

  15. Shane Ostrom, CFP®on 19 Mar 2016 at 10:08 am

    Chris, there is no “minimum” CRSC amount. CRSC is what the formula says it is for each individual. I can only assume in your case, your service from 2006-2013 wasn’t all active duty time. Read my previous responses for more detail but your CRSC is based only on active duty time. A medical retirement is an “active duty retirement” and only active duty counts in CRSC calculation and therefore small amounts of AD time reduce the CRSC amount. Shane

  16. Shane Ostrom, CFP®on 19 Mar 2016 at 10:18 am

    Victor, read my previous answers to others about how CRSC restores retired pay based on your active duty time only. If you are an active duty retiree, not medically retired, you should get back $1914 in CRSC. If you were medically retired, you will get CRSC for your amount of active duty service: (2.5% X years of Active Duty service) X high-3 base pay at retirement. Shane

  17. Pamela Huffon 24 Mar 2016 at 5:30 pm

    I am receiving Va disability at 100% due to combat injuries. I was forced to take retirement after 17 1/2 years. I received a 70% disability from the Army. I originally was Army Reserve, but served 5 years active duty. How would my CRSC work? I am so confused.

  18. Roberton 24 Mar 2016 at 6:56 pm

    Good afternoon,

    Medically retired CW2 here, 8 years active duty. I was just curious if there were any circumstances where dfas would actually reduce your pay upon filing a CRSC application? You seem to understand the ins and outs and how to compute the formula, someone I’ve been searching for, for a while. My disability is combat related, so I should qualify for CRSC from what I’ve read, I just don’t know how much and if it’s worth filing the paper work and if you’d be able to answer that question for me? My VA rating is 90%, my DOD rating was 70% I believe. My Gross retirement pay is $2,800 and my VA waiver is $1,700, so basically I receive 1700 from the VA and 1100 from DFAS each month. Based on that information would you be able to tell me how much, if any of CRSC I would qualify for?

    Thank you for your time sir.

  19. Jimon 25 Mar 2016 at 8:37 am

    I am retired army for 20 years and has a service connected disability of 100%. My question is that my daughter is about to go to college but when I check the qualification, it states that you must be totally and permanent disable to qualify. Second is about the state benefits stating that you must be 90% service connected that is combat related. Please correct me if I’m wrong. Thanks.

  20. Shane Ostrom, CFP®on 28 Mar 2016 at 1:36 pm

    Jim, I don’t know which program you are talking about. You commented under the CRDP/CRSC article and what you ask about has nothing to do with CRDP/CRSC. If you are talking about a state program, MOAA is not involved with state programs. You’ll have to ask a representative from your state. Sorry…Shane

  21. Shane Ostrom, CFP®on 28 Mar 2016 at 1:45 pm

    Robert, I doubt you would get any additional money from CRSC if you applied. That said, I would apply anyway because you have nothing to lose by applying other than a little time and effort. The reason I don’t think CRSC would provide you extra money is because CRSC pays you for your 8 years of service–IF you are not already receiving pay for your 8 years of service. In your case, you are receiving $1100 from DFAS already and I estimate that is more than your 8 years of service earned you. So there is nothing more to provide. Shane

  22. Shane Ostrom, CFP®on 28 Mar 2016 at 1:54 pm

    Pam Huff, first realize that a portion of your Service retired pay is what you earned due to your 5 years of active duty service. The rest of your Service retired pay is due to your Service disability rating. CRSC ensures you get at least the amount of Service retired pay you earned due to your active duty service. 5 years of service is not much but if you are not receiving any retired pay now (because the VA Waiver wipes it out), CRSC could provide a little extra retired pay. On the other hand, if you already receive some Service retired pay because the VA Waiver doesn’t wipe it all out, you may get no additional CRSC money. Apply anyhow. You have nothing to lose by applying for CRSC…Shane

  23. Justin Watsonon 04 Apr 2016 at 11:01 am

    I have a question is CRSC only for people who retired? I got medically separated for combat related injuries after 8 1/2 years of service and I was a Staff Sergeant. I have tried to appeal this 4 times now with the BCNR for medical retirement, but they deny me every time. I was assigned a 10% rating from DoD and 100% from the VA. Obviously DoD made an error and did not take into account all of my injuries, but I can’t seem to get them to realize this, but that is another story. Is there a program for people who did not retire to receive additional income for combat related injuries?

  24. Shane Ostrom, CFP®on 04 Apr 2016 at 1:29 pm

    Justin, CRSC is a program to restore Service retired pay being denied to a retiree because they accept VA disability compensation. So you have to be receiving, or should be receiving retired pay, to be eligible for CRSC. There are no other pay programs besides Service retirement or VA compensation for disabilities from military/veteran sources. There is Social Security disability income if you qualify with the Social Security Administration. Shane

  25. Ronnie Jenningson 13 Apr 2016 at 5:58 am

    Iam a O-4 with 25years total, 8 years of active duty and medically retired. I qualified for CRSC for which I was 80%. I receive $25.00 dollars from CRSC . I think the math CRSC is using is flawed. Can you share some insight on this issue. Thank you

  26. Shane Ostrom, CFP®on 14 Apr 2016 at 7:58 am

    Ronnie Jennings, please note the comments and article where it mentions CRDP and CRSC only restore retired pay due to years of service. Also note comments about how a medical retirement is an “active duty” retirement which is why you get paid immediately at retirement and don’t have to wait until age 60 as a Guard/Reserve retirement requires. So your CRSC is based on 8 years of service. Most of your current total retired pay is based on a Service disability rating so the amount is much larger than if it were based on 8 years of service. Also when you turn age 60, that is when your 25 total years of service will kick in and at that time your concurrent receipt will be readjusted to consider all 25 years of service. I hope this helps. Additional explanation is in the previous comments. Thank you for your service…Shane

  27. Jimon 20 Apr 2016 at 6:32 pm

    I spent 15 years active duty in the Navy. I got medically discharged for service connected disabilities. Can I apply for CRSC OR CRDP. When I retired, I got a rating from the Navy at 30 percent, but the VA gave a rating of 40 percent. Over the years, my rating went from 30 to 100 percent. What should I do?

  28. Shane Ostrom, CFP®on 21 Apr 2016 at 10:20 am

    Please check previous posts for more details.

    CRDP is only for 20 year(+) retirees with 50% or greater VA ratings.

    CRSC is for any retiree with any VA rating as long as your illness or disabilities are combat-rated.

    Always apply for CRSC. Search ‘Navy CRSC’ on the web. All the Navy can do is say no. But if they say yes, you win. You got nothing to lose.

    Shane

  29. Norman Gosselin, Jr.on 30 Apr 2016 at 10:40 pm

    Hello. 27 years ago my husband was crushed by a 3-ton boom while on a Navy ship. He was hospitalized 6 months, undiagnosed severe PTSD/Depression (very bad) & let go by honorable discharge service connected disability – arthritis. Swept under the rug! Trust me! It came out & now, he is VA 100% unemployable (pending). I honor all combat and service people. Thank You so much! I am a Navy Brat. But, my husband tremendously dealt with PTSD demons his whole life and I didn’t even know & I have been married/together 15 years. Now that I know the whole story, I realize how both of our lives in the negative sense is a direct result from this crushing accident. I have tried so hard In-between numerous Doctor appointments & 100% eye-on him, that I keep getting no where to get his record changed to medically retired. My husband is wishing for this acknowledgment for what he had to deal with his whole life alone. He @ one point when he told someone how he was afraid to go back on the ship, they threatened dishonorable discharge. That’s why he felt he had to keep his death fears a secret. We need help! Please. If I call, will someone just PLEASE take this significant issue and do the right thing, for my Husband?? He always has felt tossed to the side & it is NOT right. I hope someone will reply. Thank You, Everyone & I truly wish Health & Happiness to EveryOne! Thank You! Laura

  30. Shane Ostrom, CFP®on 02 May 2016 at 6:53 am

    Laura, check with this organization: http://www.nvlsp.org/. They may be able to help.

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