What is Combat Related Special Compensation (CRSC)?
CRSC is a monthly entitlement that allows eligible military retirees to recover some or all of their retired pay that was offset by their Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) disability compensation. Eligible retirees must have a combat-related injury and may receive this entitlement in addition to any retired pay they receive from the Defense Finance and Accounting Service (DFAS).
How do I know if I am eligible for CRSC?
You may be eligible for CRSC if you currently receive military retired pay and meet one of the following criteria:
- You were awarded a Purple Heart with a combined disability rating for Purple Heart Disabilities that is at least 10 percent disabling from June 1, 2003 to present; or
- You have a combined disability rating for all combat-related disabilities that is at least 60 percent disabling from June 1, 2003 through December 31, 2003; or
- You have a combined disability rating for all combat-related disabilities that is at least 10 percent disabling from January 1, 2004 to present.
Your branch of service will determine whether or not your disability codes are combat related.
Do all retirees with a combat-related disability qualify for CRSC?
No. Section 641 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2008 specifically excluded uniformed services Reserve Component members who receive retired pay based on non-service connected disabilities. Also, retirees who combine their military and civil service retirements are not eligible for CRSC. These are the only two scenarios that make a member automatically ineligible to receive CRSC.
What changed CRSC eligilibity and when?
The National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2008, Section 641 expanded eligibility of the CRSC entitlement to those with less than 20 years of service. Most members who are eligible as a result of NDAA expansion retired under a disability law and, therefore, incur an offset to their CRSC entitlement. DFAS is obligated to reduce the CRSC payment amount by the difference between the member's pay computed for disability and the pay he or she would have received for years of service.
I have a disability retirement from my military service, but I have not applied for a VA disability rating. Would I qualify for CRSC?
You may be eligible for CRSC with a combat-related disability, but in order to be paid compensation, you must have an offset to your retired pay for VA disability compensation. Therefore, you must obtain a VA rating and be receiving disability compensation in order to qualify.
I have a Purple Heart for a combat wound but have a VA disability that is not combat-related. Do I qualify for CRSC?
No. In order to qualify for CRSC, you must have a VA-rated disability of at least 10 percent directly related to a combat/operations-related disability as approved by your branch of service.
I am a "gray area" reservist; am I eligible to receive CRSC?
A reserve or guard retiree must be 60 years old and in receipt of retired pay in order to be eligible to receive CRSC.
How do I apply for CRSC?
See the Apply for CRSC page for more information on recommended documentation and the application process.
How will I be notified of the decision on my CRSC application?
Once your branch of service processes your claim, they will notify you in writing of approval or denial of your application. If approved, a copy of your approval letter will be forwarded to DFAS. Once DFAS receives the approved award letter, payment will be initiated within approximately 60 days.
Are CRSC payments taxable?
No. CRSC is a non-taxable entitlement; therefore, DFAS will not withhold taxes on CRSC payments. Normally, any monies paid by the VA are non-taxable. If you have any other questions regarding the taxability of VA payments, please call the VA at 800-827-1000.
Are CRSC payments subject to a court-ordered division of pay that is payable to a former spouse?
CRSC is considered special compensation and therefore not subject to the rules and regulations governing military retired pay, including court-ordered division of pay. However, if the former spouse returns to court and obtains a new order, the CRSC may be divided.
Are CRSC payments subject to garnishment?
Yes, CRSC entitlements are subject to garnishment action for alimony and child support.
How are CRSC payments distributed upon a retiree's death?
Deceased retirees may not receive CRSC after the last day of the month prior to their death. However, the deceased retiree's designated beneficiary is entitled to any unpaid CRSC due at the time of death. Retroactive increases to CRSC that was paid during the retiree's life also will be issued to the beneficiary.
What if the VA owes me money?
You will receive a letter from DFAS that will advise you that additional compensation may be due from the VA. It may take up to 30 business days for the VA to make this determination and issue a payment. If you have any questions regarding monies due from the VA, please call the VA at 800-827-1000.
I received more than one payment. Is this correct?
You may receive more than one payment if you receive a new rating from the VA allowing for a retroactive increase or if you apply for reconsideration with your branch of service. You also may receive multiple payments if you are due monies from both DFAS and the VA. Each agency is responsible for issuing payment of their portion of the entitlement.
Who should I contact with questions about CRSC?
Submit your question to AskDFAS. Or, if you are due money from DFAS only, call 800-321-1080. If you are due money from DFAS and the VA, call toll free at 877-327-4457. Questions concerning disability ratings or payments due from the VA should be directed to the VA at 800-827-1000.
Who should I contact if I disagree with my disability rating?
Disability ratings and percentages are determined by the VA. Disagreements with your disability percentage or rating should be directed to the VA at 1-800-827-1000.
When do I start receiving payment?
Once DFAS receives a copy of your CRSC award letter from your branch of service, it should take about 30-60 days to receive your first payment.
Checks are issued on the first business day of the month. Pay will be direct deposited into the same account as your retired pay. If you are not receiving retired pay, it will be deposited into the same account as your VA pay. If you have your retired pay checks mailed, the payment will be sent to your mailing address that is on record at DFAS.
I received a letter from DFAS confirming entitlement but have not received a payment. Who should I contact to check its status?
If the payment will come from the VA, call 800-827-1000. If the payment will come from DFAS, call 877-327-4457 or 800-321-1080. Prior to calling, please confirm the payment has not yet been posted by your financial institution.
After speaking with a Customer Service Representative please allow 10 business days if you are expecting a physical check. If after 10 business days you have not received your check, please alert DFAS in writing. Include your name, Social Security Number, address, missing payment type, the expected amount, and date. You may fax the letter to 216-522-5898, or mail it to the following address:
DFAS Cleveland Attn: Non-Receipt Department P.O. Box 998005 Cleveland, OH 44199
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