Concurrent Pay_ Two programs - Regular Concurrent Receipt_ and

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					Concurrent Pay: Two programs - Regular Concurrent Receipt, and Combat Related Special Compensation. All of the recent activity on Chapter 61 and CRSC show how confusing benefits can be, especially when the VA and DoD intersect, and this is especially true with CRSC - Combat Related Special Compensation. So we have to take a step back 5 years, pre 2003. Up until 2003 the system was very simple. A military retiree retired and had a service connected disability - say 10%. The retiree (veteran) would file a claim for VA disability. Once VA granted a disability, the veteran got an award of about 90 dollars. That money would be waived from the retired pay from the military. The advantage was 90 dollars tax free from the VA. In addition to this the veteran had SC status with the VA. Beginning in 2003 was the first Concurrent Pay legislation. In 2004 matters were further confused in that the Concurrent pay world was split into two parts, regular Concurrent Pay - which was basically retirement pay, and CRSC which was retirement pay based on combat disabilities. Because it was a disability pay, it was considered tax free. Both of these were paid in addition to VA compensation. The rules evolved to the current stage. A veteran must be at least 50% SC to receive the regular Concurrent Pay. But, for CRSC the VA disability rating could be as little as 10% SC. Agent Orange exposure related disabilities was considered the be combat related. The confusion comes in when an individual is eligible for both benefits - but the CRSC does not equal 100%. One cannot draw regular Concurrent Pay and CRSC. Veterans are supposed to take whichever benefit pays the higher monthly rate. In the meantime, Concurrent pay for veterans rated less then 100% has been taking incremental steps towards completion in full monetary value. This will be completed in 2014. DFAS is supposed to assist veterans by assisting in the computation of the value of both so a veteran can make an educated choice. Steps of a case A veteran who served in Viet Nam files for prostate cancer claiming the cancer is secondary to Agent Orange exposure. The veteran is granted a 10% service connection. Normally, this would be waived from Military retired pay. The veteran was not eligible for Concurrent Pay (regular) because of being rated less then 50% SC. The veteran was basically instructed to waive 100+ dollars from DoD retirement and collect that tax free amount from the VA. The veteran then filed for CRSC based on exposure to Agent Orange exposure. This was granted. Now the veteran receives full DoD retirement pay but a portion is Tax free - the CRSC portion. In addition, the veteran receives 10% compensation from the VA. The veteran has to send a copy of the authorization to receive CRSC to the VA Regional Office. The VA is supposed to automatically update DoD when an existing condition is upgraded (or downgraded). The veteran would not have to reapply if the rating is increased say to 20% for prostate cancer. But, let's say he becomes a type 2 diabetic, and is granted after filing 20% for diabetes in addition to his existing 10%. Will CRSC pick this up automatically? No, new conditions must be applied for under CRSC.

But, let's change the scenario. He is granted 40% for diabetes plus his existing 10%. What happens? He would be picked up under regular Concurrent Reciept - the VA would notify DoD automatically. However, if he wanted CRSC he would have to apply. Now, most of you have not been to law school, but you would notice right away that he is already on CRSC - so how is this handled? He would be offered the choice of all his 50% on Regular Concurrent Reciept, or a continuation on CRSC at 10%. You might ask - why don't they just up his CRSC to 50% - this is not how the system works. CRSC is like a VA claim, you don't file, you don't get it... Open season for CRSC is when you recieve your award, and January of each year...