Can I Receive Payments From the DoD and the VA for the Same Disability?
In short, probably not. The two programs usually offset each other. Thus, you may generally only receive benefits from one program. However, for some veterans there are exceptions.
The DoD has two special programs designed to provide additional benefits to certain veterans who have lost their DoD Disability Compensation as a result of also receiving VA Disability Compensation: the Combat-Related Special Compensation (CRSC) program, and the Concurrent Retirement & Disability Pay (CRDP) program.
Combat-Related Special Compensation (CRSC)
Veterans who have a minimum of 20 years of time in service and have been rated by the VA at a minimum of 10 percent may qualify for CRSC. After determining that the veteran met the above criteria, the veteran’s branch of service will determine whether the injury occurred:
- in combat;
- during hazardous duty;
- during simulated combat conditions; or
- was sustained through a “instrumentality of war” (such as a weapon or military helicopter, etc.)
If the veteran is found to meet one of these conditions, the full amount that was offset by the VA Disability Compensation will usually be restored through the DoD Compensation Program. CRSC benefits are not taxable. However, it is important to note that only "qualifying injuries" are covered by the CRSC. Thus, the offset adjustment may be better under the CRDP for some veterans, particularly if their total VA Disability Rating is not based entirely on an injury that qualifies under CRSC.
Concurrent Retirement & Disability Pay (CRDP)
Veterans with at least 20 years of service and a disability rating of at least 50 percent are eligible. Rather than providing payments to those who qualify, the CRDP reduces the percentage of offset normally required from qualifying for VA Disability Compensation. This reduction takes place over a period of 10 years until the full DoD compensation pay is being given along with full VA compensation pay. CRDP payments ARE taxable.
Veteran’s who qualify for both programs can opt to change between the programs annually by filling out an Open Season Election Form that is mailed to all participants of the programs annually.
For more information on CRSC and CRDP visit Military.com’s website.