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Disability Benefits and Compensation

Disability Benefits and Compensation

The Afghanistan and Iraq wars have placed greater emphasis on medication for our respected military officials, who have paid dearly for their dedicated and sacrificial services.

Long before the media focused their attention on the treatments offered to our incapacitated veterans, the VA had come about implementing several unique programs to compensate those injured in the line of duty protecting a nation.

Chapter 2 deliberates the procedure in defining incapacity and the methods adopted in computing an incapacity percentage. The chapter provides more concrete information on how one can piggyback on his rankings to enjoy greater rewards and privileges that are an entitlement on your exceptional record.

Dissimilarities of Military Incapacity Ratings and VA Incapacity

Even though both VA and the Defense Department apply ratings on inabilities based on the VA Rating Schedule, not all standard policy stipends included in the VA Schedule relates to the military. Accordingly incapacity ratings could differ from one to another. Military ratings are made on the physical condition of an individual concluding him to be found unfit and relieved of military duty thereby entitling him for compensation. On the other hand, VA’s ratings would be based on service related disabilities and reward for the loss of military service. Another disparity between the two ratings is the term. While the military ratings are conclusive and treated as final VA’s rating would change over time. This is determined on the improvement of the impairment. Furthermore the military determines the tenure of service and basic remuneration when making compensation for incapacity. However, makes a ‘once and for all’ payment arrived at calculating the percentage of rating obtained.

An In-Depth of the Concurrent Retirement and Disability Payments (CRDP)

The retired pay for retirees with 50%-90% VA-rated disability is restored by the Concurrent Retirement and Disability Payments on a graduated schedule for ten-year. The concurrent retirement payments usually increase by ten percent annually through 2013. Veterans with a 100% disabled rating by VA can claim full CRDP without necessarily having to be phased in.

The following criteria must be met by a veteran in order to qualify:

  • The veteran must be retired
  • The veteran must have received the retired pay (offset by VA benefits)
  • The veteran must have 20 creditable years or more, reservist age 60, or 20 years of active duty.

The military retirees are allowed by the Concurrent Retirement and Disability Pay to receive both Veterans Affairs compensation and military retired pay. The retiree’s offset for VA benefits is gradually restored by CRDP since it is a benefits “phase in”. Therefore, this implies that the retired pay of an eligible retiree will gradually increase per annum until the completion of the phase in 2014.

CRDP does not have to be necessarily applied for since the qualified retirees are enrolled automatically. However, in order to qualify for CRDP, a retiree must have the eligibility for retired pay. The veterans that could be eligible for the pay for military retired even without the disability but have been placed on retirement for disabilities may still be entitled to receive CRDP.

The entitlement CRDP may be awarded under these rules:

  • You are a veteran(s) who has a 50 percent VA disability rating or greater and are a regular/usual retiree
  • You are a veteran(s) who has attained the retirement age, a 50 percent VA disability rating or greater and are reserved retirees having served for 20 qualifying years. (In some cases, reserved retirees are eligible even before turning 60, which is the age of retirement for reservists. The Ready Reserve member may have a reduction in their retirement age by 3 months for every 90 days of the veteran’s active service in a fiscal year.)
  • You are a veteran(s) who has a 50 percent VA disability rating or greater and have retired under the act for temporary early retirement (TERA).
  • You have earned a retired pay entitlement under a provision of law as opposed to solely by disability and you’re a disability retiree with a 50 percent VA disability or greater. At the time you gain the retired pay eligibility you also attain the CRDP eligibility.

You may be retroactive payment eligible, which is an addition to your monthly CRDP payments. The retroactive payment date can date back to January 1, 2004, but might be limited depending on:

  • The retirement date
  • The first time you move to a disability rating of at least 50%
  • Before January 2004, CRDP is not payable

If a military retiree meets all the aforementioned eligibility requirements as well as the ones mentioned below, then he or she is qualified for retired pay and VA disability compensation full concurrent receipt:

  • If rated as unemployable by the VA
  • If Individual Unemployability causes you to receive VA disability compensation
  • By January 1, 2005 you were retroactive

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