For many veterans, navigating the seemingly endless red tape associated with collecting earned benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is simply too much. The process can be so overbearing, intimidating, and time consuming, many veterans are misinformed and simply miss out on benefits to which they are entitled.
Not surprisingly, many veterans are confused about drawing retirement pay from the military and disability compensation from the VA. The good news is veterans can draw both concurrently.
There has been a long-standing battle between Congress and veterans organizations over this issue. The law mandated an offset of $1 of military pay for every $1 collected of disability compensation from the VA. Veteran organizations insisted they were two totally different types of compensation
. One is for serving in the military for a career, and the other to compensate soldiers injured in the line of duty, and they should not cancel each other out but rather qualify for concurrent receipt
The rate of disability pay varies by veteran. Veterans given 100% disability ratings out of non-combat related injuries with 20 years of service as well as all retired veterans who are combat disabled, regardless of time in service or disability rating, are able to draw 100% of their disability pay.
The disability offset is being phased out over 10 years, and should end in 2014. This means any retired veteran rated at least 50% disabled due to non-combat related injuries and has a minimum of 20 years in service, as well as all veterans retired under the Temporary Early Retirement Authority of the 1990s will fall under the phase-out.Combat Related Special Compensation
(CRSC) is a related program under which specific retirees can draw both retirement pay and disability compensation. Under CRSC, retirement pay will no longer be reduced by disability compensation for retirees with at least 20 years of service and a "combat related" disability rating.Benefits and pay cannot, however, be drawn from both CRSC and concurrent receipt
. Although those veterans rated under 50% disabled cannot currently draw disability compensation and retirement pay at the same time, veterans groups are fighting to change that law as well.
If you are a disabled veteran who has been denied disability compensation or have not yet applied for benefits from the VA, a South Florida disability attorney from LaVan & Neidenberg is ready to help. To learn if you are entitled to certain programs and benefits contact our veterans disability rights firm
today - 1-888-234-5758.
Category: Veterans' Disability
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