Concurrent Receipt Rules – Concurrent Retirement Disability Pay (CRDP)

Concurrent Retirement and Disability Pay (CRDP), also known as Concurrent Receipt, allows military retirees to receive both a full military retirement pension and full VA Disability compensation benefits, provided they meet eligibility requirements (listed below).

concurrent receipt military retirement pay

Are you eligible for Concurrent Receipt?

The CRDP program, which began on January 1, 2004, replaces the VA disability offset, which was previously required by law (and still is for some retirees). There is a 10 year phase in period in which military retirement pay was increased 10% each year until the recipient began receiving full military retirement pay (there was no phase-in period for retirees with a VA disability rating of 100%). The phase-in period lasted until January 2014.

Concurrent Receipt Replaces the VA Disability Offset

The VA disability offset requires military members to waive part of their military retirement pay in order to receive VA disability compensation benefits. Retirees are required to waive retirement pay up to the amount of VA Disability compensation they received (for retirees who have a VA disability rating of 40% or lower). The exception is retirees who have a VA disability rating of 50% or higher, in which case they are eligible for Concurrent Receipt, in which they can receive full military retirement pay and full VA disability pay. Retirees can elect not to waive military retirement pay and forgo receiving VA disability pay. However, waiving military retirement pay makes sense because the VA disability benefit is a non-taxable benefit, and military pensions are taxable income. Receiving VA disability pay will help retirees receive a larger net income.

Concurrent Receipt Eligibility

Military retirees qualify for concurrent receipt under the following conditions:

  • You are a regular military retiree with a VA disability rating of 50 percent or greater.
  • You are a retiree of the Guard or Reserves with 20 or more Good Years, have a 50% VA disability rating, and have met retirement age (60 in most cases, but some Reservists are eligible for early retirement).
  • You are retired under Temporary Early Retirement Act (TERA) and have a VA disability rating of 50 percent or greater.
  • You are medically retired under Chapter 61 with 20 years or more and a 50% or greater VA disability rating.
  • You are a disability retiree who earned entitlement to retired pay under any provision of law other than solely by disability, and you have a VA disability rating of 50 percent or greater. You might become eligible for CRDP at the time you would have become eligible for retired pay.

The Disability rating of 50% or greater is the primary qualifier for retirees. If you have a disability rating that is lower than 50%, then you will not qualify for the Concurrent Receipt benefit. However, there are other programs which you may qualify for, including the Combat-Related Special Compensation (CRSC) program, which also replaces the VA disability offset program. The primary requirement for the CRSC program is having a 10% or higher combat related disability. Examples of qualifying disabilities for the CRSC program include training that simulates war, hazardous duty, armed conflict, and instrumentality of war (weapons, combat vehicles, Agent Orange, etc.).

Individual Unemployability & Concurrent Receipt

You are eligible for full concurrent receipt of both your VA disability compensation and your retired pay if you are a military retiree who meets all of the above eligibility requirements in addition to both of the following:

  •     You are rated by the VA as unemployable, generally referred to as Individual Unemployability (IU)
  •     You are in receipt of VA disability compensation as a result of IU

This is effective October 1, 2008 and is retroactive to January 1, 2005.

Applying for Concurrent Receipt

In most cases, you do not need to apply for Concurrent Receipt. It should be automatically applied to your paychecks. However, there may be times when your situation changes and the system doesn’t automatically take this into account. In most cases, you will be eligible for retroactive back pay. Determining back pay will require an audit from DFAS and the VA. DFAS states they will pay any retroactive benefits within 30-60 days of receipt of you’re your first CRDP monthly payment. If their audit determines you should be eligible for a retroactive payment for the VA then they will forward the results  of their audit to the VA, which is responsible for making the VA disability benefits payment.

Retroactive pay limitations: Your retroactive pay can only go back to January 1, 2004, which is the first day concurrent receipt was available. However, DFAS will only go back to the day you first received a 50% disability rating. If your 50% disability rating was made retroactive, then your eligibility will extend to that date, provided it isn’t before January 1, 2004.

Example: The VA has begun extensive reviews of disability benefits ratings for military personnel from the Vietnam Era. Many veterans have begun receiving retroactive disability benefits for Agent Orange exposure and related illnesses, and PTSD. If you are a military retiree who received retroactive disability compensation, then you may be eligible for retroactive back pay for the Concurrent Receipt program.

Other examples of retroactive pay would be someone who retired and began receiving VA disability compensation some months later, after their disability compensation package was approved. In many cases, this can take some months.

Value of Concurrent Receipt Pay

Under the VA disability offset program, you must waive a portion of your retirement pay if you wish to receive VA disability compensation. This is usually a smart move, because VA disability compensation is considered non-taxable income, whereas military retirement pay is taxable income. You are required to make this decision if you are a retiree with a VA disability compensation rating of 40% or less.

Those who qualify for concurrent receipt are eligible to receive both benefits in full. The value of this is enormous. You can use the Retired Disability Pay Estimator to get an accurate value of your retirement benefit, but we’ll also walk you through an example,

Simplified example: Let’s make a simple example of a retired  E-7 with 20 years service. The base pay for an E-7, according to the 2014 pay scale, would be $4,372. At 50%, the retirement pay would be $2,186. The following chart shows how valuable this benefit is (assuming the retiree elects to waive a portion of his or her retirement pay in order to receive the VA disability pay, which is tax exempt):

  • 0% disability: Base pay = $2,186
  • 10% Disability: $2,055 Base Pay, $131 VA Disability Pay; $2,186 Total
  • 20% Disability: $1,927 Base Pay, $259 VA Disability Pay; $2,186 Total
  • 30% Disability: $1,785 Base Pay, $401 VA Disability Pay; $2,186 Total
  • 40% Disability: $1,610 Base Pay, $576 VA Disability Pay; $2,186 Total
  • 50% Disability: $2,186 + $822 = $3,008
  • 60% Disability: $2,186 + $1,041 = $3,227
  • 70% Disability: $2,186 + $1,302 = $3,488
  • 80% Disability: $2,186 + $1,526 = $3,712
  • 90% Disability: $2,186 + $1,714 = $3,900
  • 100% Disability: $2,186 + $2,858 = $5,044

Notes about these assumptions:

  • All military retirement benefits are considered taxable income (some states may not tax retirement benefits or other income, but the federal government does).
  • All VA Disability Compensation Benefits are non-taxable income at all levels
  • The disability benefits are for a retiree with no dependents. The Concurrent Retirement and Disability Pay benefit is worth much more when the retiree has dependents.

Takeaway: having a VA disability rating is valuable for your retirement. A disability rating of 40% or less will off set taxable income with non-taxable income, which will result in a large tax savings. A VA disability rating of 50% or larger is worth considerably more over the long run. You can run a similar scenario with your own situation to get an idea of what concurrent receipt would be worth for your specific situation, based on your retirement pay, years of service, and VA disability rating.

The Future of Concurrent Retirement and Disability Pay

There has been talk of extending the Concurrent Retirement and Disability Pay benefit to all military retirees with a VA Disability compensation rating of 10% or higher. Unfortunately, the recent budget problems have shelved those talks, and it doesn’t look like that will happen any time soon. In fact, there has been discussion of doing away with the benefit.

As we have seen in recent months, military retirement pay and other military and veterans benefits are under fire. Congress even went so far as to reduce military retirement benefits for some retirees, then later backtrack and restore those same benefits. Concurrent Receipt has been targeted as an area for cutting fixed expenses for retirees. Concurrent Receipt is a relatively new law, having first been approved in mid-2003, and implemented beginning in January, 2004. It wouldn’t be a surprise to see this law come under more pressure in the near future. That said, Concurrent Receipt made it through the most recent round of benefits cuts. So let’s hope Congress leaves this benefit alone.

Where to go for additional information: If you have any questions regarding your CRDP payment from DFAS, call 800-321-1080. For questions concerning disability ratings or disability compensation, please contact the VA at 800-827-1000.

Photo credit: orangejack.

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Date published: March 4, 2014. Last updated: August 10, 2015.

Article by

Ryan Guina is the founder and editor of this site. He is a writer, small business owner, and entrepreneur. He served over 6 years on active duty in the USAF and is currently serving in the IL Air National Guard. He also writes about money management, small business, and career topics at Cash Money Life. You can also see his profile on Google.


  1. Debbie Starcher says

    Hi Ryan,
    My husband is 100% disabled retired Navy officer, an event that occurred only six weeks after his commissioning in 1991. He’s done a great job, but the stress of raising three boys while I worked and a natural disaster in our neighborhood, led to stronger medications with the many major break downs (that include psychotic driving for hundreds of miles in circles around AZ, and once into CA), and other medical problems. It became too much, and I had to leave my career and early retire last month to take care of the “fort” so to speak.
    Our boys are now teenagers, more expensive than ever, soon to be collage bound, and we’ve been reduced to my husbands VA disability and SS payments only. By telling you this I wanted to demonstrate the hardship that is placed on the 100% disabled, and their families, who did less than 20 years service, and therefore are excluded from Concurrent Receipt as my husband is.
    I think that so often the 100% disabled aren’t able to speak for themselves, maybe that’s why they’re left out of this. It’s always been easy to ignore those that don’t have a voice. However, my husband does have a voice, he’s articulate when he wants to be, intelligent, and is a U of A grad. with a BA in Aerospace Engineering, but I think there aren’t enough guys like him to make a resounding noise.
    Do you think there’s any hope he could receive the waived retirement pension from the DOD? If he hadn’t been injured he would have done over twenty years by now.

    • says

      Debbie, I’m sorry to hear about your husband’s disability and your current struggles. The best place to look for assistance with any claims or other possible benefits is through a Veteran’s Service Organization. They have trained personnel who can help you file claims, or at least know what is available to you. They also offer a sense of community and can put you in touch with others who understand your struggles. Here is a short list of some national VSOs, but keep in mind there are many more at the local, regional, and national level.

      Regarding having a pension waived – I am not aware of any laws that would allow that to happen. I don’t believe there is hope to receive a pension if he didn’t serve 20 years, or close to it. If you believe there may be additional benefits he may be entitled to, then I recommend visiting with a veterans benefits counselor. Best of luck!

    • Hakan says

      Hello Debbie, I realy feel your pain! I have do e 17 years of service have a wife and 7 kids, the day I was told that I have few days to out process with 100% from VA and 70% from the AF as TDRL, we took over 50% paycut! We lost everything by the time VA kicked in only to find out I last my AF retirement because I was let go “I was let go” Shor of 20 years. congrational law said wounded worries can get ss benefits within 30 days, 6 month later nothing, CRSC! Still working on it.? I am sorry to say there are lots of people ain’t doing their part at all.

  2. Allen Pilecki says

    I have to apply for my military reserve retirement from the navy next month, I am 30% VA connected from deployment back from the start of Iraqi Freedom war and other conflicts. When I send my paperwork in I was told to list my monthly disability pay, because this was service connected by the VA, do they deduct this from my pay or do I apply for CRDP OR CRSC ?

    • says

      Allen, My understanding is that CRDP is automatic. Just list your service-connected disability rating and the VA and DFAS will take care of everything. I am unsure if CRSC is automatic. However, DFAS states they do an audit to determine eligibility. You can find out more information here. You would only be eligible to receive CRDP if your VA rating is above 50%. You would be eligible to receive CRSC if you are eligible. I hope this helps and everything is running smoothly with your retirement pay. Thank you for you service!

  3. Captain Dan says


    Thanks for this extremely informing article.
    I’m writing because judges and attorneys can’t figure this out, since disability benefits are not taxed nor can they be considered for support purposed. It also affects taxes.

    I retired with injuries but not a medical retirement in 1995 with nearly 21 years of service O-3E (Mustang).

    I was only recently classified 100% disabled retroactively to 2005.
    As I read this I would get the full disability AND pension as of 2005, but not for 2004. Is that correct? I was classified 80% from 1995 – 2004, however, that may change as I have filed an appeal with the help of my wife for the ptsd retroactive to 1995.

    This is important as it affects my taxes as I’m applying for a significant refund for that.

    Would that also affect the distribution of 50% of my retirement to my ex-wife who divorced me as soon as I retired (DX for another service member)?

    Very Sincerely
    Captain Dan
    US Army

    • says

      Hello Captain Dan, Thank you for contacting me. Your situation is unique, and I’m sure there is more to it than I give advice for through the mail (such as previous divorce decree, judge orders, and other information). At the minimum, you need someone trained in veterans benefits claims. More than likely, however, you will need to consult with a lawyer who specializes in veterans benefits claims and military divorces.

      I recommend speaking with a Veterans Service Organization, such as the DAV, VFW, American Legion, etc. They have trained Veterans Service Officers who can assist you for free. They may also have recommendations for reputable lawyers. Here is a good place to start:
      Veterans Service Organizations – free VA Benefits Claims Help

      Best of luck, and thanks for your service!

  4. Col Joe says

    Hi Ryan, Great article and very informative. Your examples all assume that the individual is retiring and then receiving VA disability. If someone receives a disability rating above 50% PRIOR to retirement eligible age (58.5 for me), do they start receiving VA compensation immediately? I am currently 53 and waiting on receipt of my disability rating which I project to be about 75%. I have a wife and children (<18.) Thanks again for the informative article.

    • says

      Col Joe, Thanks for the kind words. Great question. Yes, I approached this from an active duty retirement, or at least from the perspective of someone who was already receiving retirement pay. Gray Area retirees of the Guard and Reserves should be eligible to begin receiving their VA disability compensation once it has been awarded to them. In your example, you would begin receiving disability compensation upon receiving your award letter from the VA (often there is back pay to the date you filed your claim).

      Then you would need to start looking at Concurrent Receipt laws once you begin receiving retirement pay. If your disability rating is 50% or greater, then you should receive your full VA disability compensation, along with your full retirement pay. It’s only when the disability rating is 40% or lower than you need to worry about not receiving full VA compensation and full retirement pay.

      Regarding your projected disability rating: The VA only awards in 10% increments, and “VA Math” can get a little fuzzy. I have an in-depth article and podcast which you may find useful. It explains how multiple VA disability ratings are calculated. I encourage you to listen to the podcast and read through the article. I’m sure you’ll learn a couple things about VA compensation.

  5. SFC T. says

    Hi Ryan– I appreciate this information. This and your other article outlining the differences between VA disability and DoD retirement provide the clearest explanation of anything I’ve read.

    I am embarking on a MEB in January. Likely, I will be medically retired at 10 years of active duty. The VA rates my disability at 60%, which puts me beyond the requisite 50% threshold to “double dip” into both VA disability and DoD retirement. But I am wondering if, because I will not have completed 2o years of active duty, I am actually *ineligible* to collect both types of compensation.

    Thus, is a medically-retired service member equivalent in status to a full 20-year retiree? If yes, it seems like I would collect both types of compensation. If no, I would not.

    Thanks. I look forward to your response.

  6. Joe Marasco says

    Ryan, I’m a 16 year veteran 100% total disability of the US Navy. The Navy retired me 1980 after I had a total laryengectomy. At that time I opted for a VA compensation which was also 100%.
    My question is am I eligible under the new law to receive both my military pension and VA compensation?

    • says

      Joe, Thank you for contacting me. To be honest, I’m not 100% certain here. If you have a medical retirement, then I don’t believe you are eligible to receive both forms of compensation. If you have a normal military retirement, then it may be possible. Review the eligibility requirements listed in the above article to see if you qualify for eligibility. You may also contact DFAS and inquire as to your retirement type and status for CRDP. I hope this helps. Best of luck, and thanks for your service!

  7. Anna Graves says

    Ryan, I am 23 year reservists who retired under chapter 61 in 2012. I was receiving both VA and Military Retirement with off-set from VA. Recently became 100% disability. I called DFAS and they explained that I will no longer be receiving my Military Retirement because the pay is the same as VA Disability pay and I am no longer eligible to receive both because I am now 100% disabled. So this means my 23 years service is now no longer recognized and I will never be paid for my years of service? So upset! Any information you have would be greatly appreciated. Thank you, Anna

    • says

      Anna, Disability retirement pay is a very complicated topic, and one I’m not an expert on. The military uses some very specific formulas based on your pay, years in service, disability rating, and other factors. Then they run it through a calculator to arrive at the specific number. I recommend contacting your closest military installation and setting up an appointment with them to go over your situation. Have them walk you through the process so you have a full understanding of how the calculation works, and which benefits you will be eligible to receive. Because each situation is unique, this is the best way to get the information you are looking for. Best of luck, and thanks for your service!

  8. Chief Dawn says

    Similar to Anna Graves question of 16 Jan, I was permanently disability retired from the USAFR under 10 U.S.C. 1201. Initially I was receiving a military retirement but after receiving my VA rating (I am now VA rated at 100% permanently and totally disabled) my retirement pay was stopped due to being ineligible for Concurrent Retired Disability Payments (CRDP). DFAS told me that retired Reservists aren’t eligible for CRDP until age 60 when their eligibility for retired pay begins.

    Prior to my military retirement I had begun buying back 17+ years towards my civil service retirement. I recently read that CRDP is not available to retirees who have combined their military time with their civil service time to qualify for a civil service retirement. Do you know if that means that I will not be eligible for CRDP if I continue with the buyback of my military time towards my civil service retirement? And if so, will that erase the entire CRDP amount, or just the amount of civil service retirement pay?

    Thanks so much for what you do, Chief

  9. Ricardo Rivera says

    I retired with 21 year active and got 90% rating from VA. I just wonder can you say CRDP will pay full VA and retirement, $447 is being deducted from my retirement every month and DFAS call it VA waiver plus all the other bull S%^& deductions they do, Im just left with $1200 and the 90%. After two car repossessions, a short sale, a bank loan default; still can barely survive. Its there a way DFAS would stop deducting the so called VA WAIVER?

  10. Dave says

    I recently received my rating which is 80%. When I applied for the disability benefit I chose block 17 on the VA Form 21-526EZ apparently stating that I do not want VA compensation in lieu of my retired pay. Hell I thought I was forfeiting my retired pay. What I didn’t know at the time is that VA compensation does not stop my retired pay. So my award letter says $0 paid. How do I get this fixed? Is it as easy as completing the VA form 21-651 Election of Compensation in Lieu of Retired Pay to Secure Compensation from the VA? Will that include back pay to my retirement date last year?


  11. AF Reservist says

    Hello Ryan,

    I am an Air Force Reserve Technician. I have been an Air Technician for 5 years, and in the military for 14 years. I have been rated at 60% by the VA; however, I should be getting the 100% in the next couple of months. I would like to see what options if any I would have for early retirement. Most likely I’ll get medically disqualified.
    I’ll appreciate your feedback.

    Very respectfully

  12. Steven C Stolle says

    I have 23 total service in the National Guard and also active duty. I retired in 04, and as of last year I received a disability rating of 50% I’m awaiting 5 more surgeries for damage to my knees, back and shoulders. I’ve been unable to continue working in the civilian sector. I’m financially strapped. I have been receiving my monthly disability pay but it’s not enough. How do I go about requesting or applying for my pension to start? Any information would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

    • says

      Steven, Thank you for contacting me. So far as I am aware, the only provision that allows Guard or Reserve members to retire early is tied to deployment dates after 2008. This wouldn’t apply to you, since you retired from the military in 2004. I am not aware of any other way to begin drawing retirement pay before age 60. You may consider looking into Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI). You might also consult with a Veterans Service Officer (VSO). They can help review your VA disability claim and assist you with filing for an increase of benefits if you believe it to be warranted, based on your health condition(s). The VSOs may also have other information regarding certain benefits you may be eligible to receive. They will be able to look at your entire case and give recommendations based on your specific situation. Best of luck, and thanks for your service!

  13. Nate says

    Hello Ryan,

    Here is weird story….. I had apprx. 10yrs in the military. 6 years big army at Bragg where I was injured during combat ops in OIF 05-07. After ETS in 2010 I put in a VA claim upon exiting active duty. I then automatically transferred into the reserves when then Army Guard when my VA rating came in at 100% P&T. The Guard did a Med board on me and retired me with 10 years in. Long story short, I was receiving VA pay prior to the MEB being completed. The MEB was final in DEC of 14 where i was also retired from the Guard at 100% (they used the rating from the VA). I have the Guard paper work saying i was transferred into the retired reserves. Just recently I received a another retirement letter from the “Big Army” saying noting about the retired reserve but that I was retired from the “Big Army”.

    Here it the kicker….. I only have a little over 10 years in and am receiving full VA pay and am also receiving retirement pay (untaxed since I am 100%) from the Army. I have called DFAS about 8 times letting them know I am being paid with less than 20 years, I called the VA about 5 times and sent them documentation showing I was retired from the Army (Chapter 61 @ 100% P&T). And I have also contacted Army HRC who just refereed me to DFAS….

    I know there has been a lot of changes lately regarding Title 10 Chapter 61 retirees. Do you think there is some special clause since I was injured in combat ops at the 100% level that I am a special case and that is why I am receiving both VA & Army retirement pay?

    I would appreciate any thought you may have. Thanks,


  14. Rick Parsons says

    Ryan thanks for all the great information you provide. I retired after 21 yrs of service in 1989 and received a 20% VA disability rating. 10% of my disability was for hypertension. I have been told I now have an enlarged heart due to the hypertension some 26 years after my initial disability rating. Can I appeal my disability rating due to the deteriorating condition of the initial claim?

    • says

      Rick, Yes, you can appeal the rating and request an increase. I have never personally gone through this process, but I know it will require a reevaluation of your condition and the VA will look at the doctor’s assessment and make a determination. You may wish to contact a Veterans Service Organization that can help you with your claim. There are many organizations such as the DAV, VFW, American Legion, and others that offer free benefits claims assistance. Best of luck, and thanks for your service!

  15. Kris says

    Ryan, great site. Good to see everyone is respectful here. I was wondering what your take is on what Mr. Nate said above. One of my soldiers has about 7 years in and was also injured but with shrapnel in Afghan. She is also 100% Permanent& Total too. She was told that she would also be able to collect both payments from DFAS & VA?

    Just a couple questions? What does 100% P&T mean and how could she be able to collect both? Thanks Ryan.

    Take care – kris sends

  16. Theresa Riley says

    Ryan, &


    I was retired was retired in myself as an E-7 with 13 years of service. I do collect both VA and AF retired pay. To my understanding I do believe you are able to collect it as well. My VSO said that there is a special clause that helps med retired vets out hurt during battle.

    Ryan, am I (we) not supposed to be receiving both?


    M.S. Theresa Riley

  17. Reba says

    Is this site still active?

    My husband falls into the chapter 61 category and was disabled at 100% from Vietnam. is he able to collect both?

  18. Brandy says


    Thank you for posting this article along with the examples and explanations. I hope you are still actively responding here. I am in dire need of advice/answers. My husband retired Oct.31, 2014 with 23 years of service as an E6. March 19, 2015 he was awarded a 100% disability rating with the VA (service connected) and an effective date of 11/01/15. They paid only retroactive pay from 12/01/14-2/28/15. Here’s where we are confused. They deducted his retirement pay from his VA disability! To explain this better, his award letter stated, “100% with a monthly compensation amount of $1083.13, this includes $103.23 SMC-K1 as well.” His retirement pay is exactly $2089 (redux) from DFAS. According to the VA compensation chart, 100% with a Spouse rate is $3068.90. We were told by the VSO that filed the claim that since my husband is over 20 years and most likely will be given 50% or higher that he would draw BOTH Retirement and VA Compensation. By my calculations that should have been $5157.90 +$103.23 SMC. Does that sound right? Me and my husband are desperately trying to make sense of this to understand why he’s only getting $1083.13 from the VA on a 100% rating. If you add both his VA check and his Retirement it equals exactly $3068.90 (+$103.23 SMC). It’s like the VA is taking all his retirement pay to make up the difference. That seems wrong to me. The VSO still says he should be getting both FULL amounts but doesn’t offer any help as to how to go about it getting it done. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

    Thank you,
    Brandy A.

  19. Yeoman says


    I retired as an E6 with 20 years in the Navy. I recently was awarded 90% disability, and I am eligible for CRDP. I received a deposit for back pay for 6 months in the amount of $1463. I called the VA the first time and they said its back pay and thats all they could tell me. I called the VA a second time and they said its a partial payment for a month. I got to work and thought about what she said. I called the VA a third time, and this wonderful rep took the time to review my file and she noticed that they were not giving me full pay, in fact they were reducing it by my retirement amount. In addition, they didn’t have my dependents on file. I added them through a benefit pilot program since my VSO failed to file the paperwork. All I can tell you is never give up. Sometimes it takes a few calls to get the ball rolling. I actually have a number to the Oakland office, and I called her 3x to check status. Also, use IRIS from the VA website, believe it or not, you will get a response. Sometimes its better to let their call goto voice mail because the VA claim office you filed with will leave a call back number.

  20. Al Costa says

    First of all thank you for all the useful information you put out to us, I can’t begin to tell you have helpful it has been for me. I wanted to know what you thought about my present situation. I served 6years, 8 months active duty, then joined the reserves and have been a drilling reservist for the past 8years, 7months. So that’s a total combined service of about 15.25years. I received a 80% disability rating from my time on active duty, and now I am being selected to go FTS (full time support). In the navy FTS is basically active duty but you only serve in capabilities where you support the reserve units; it used to be called TAR. What I’m confused about is that in the reserves I could be an E5 for up to 20 years, but on the active side, higher tenure is 14years for an E5. So how can I be placed in active duty as an E5 with over 15 years in? I asked the career counselor at my NOSC and she said that it’s fine, and that they wouldn’t have picked me up for FTS if I didn’t qualify all around. Im hoping that I pick up E6 on this upcoming advancement cycle and then this won’t be an issue, but what if I don’t? Also, with me doing active and reserve throughout my career, will I retire as active duty? or as a reservist? In other words will I collect my retirement pay at about 60years old, or right after retirement as an FTS. Im looking at retiring with 11.5 active years and 8.5 reserve. Thank you Ryan.

  21. says

    Thank you for all the useful information you give us. Its heartening to have some “explanation” of how the system works.
    I became eligible for my retired pay on 6 April 2015. I am also a 70%disabled vet which qualifies me for CRDP.
    However, the VA did not establish my CRDP date until May 1 2015 ? which which will then “waiver my first retirement check from 6-30April. (A good sum of money)
    Why was not my CRDP date awarded for April since I have been receiving VA benefits prior to that date?
    Confused. Thank you.

  22. Paul says

    Ryan, I’m over 50 with a 60% rating. If I’m eligible for concurrent VA compensation and pension payments does that usually happen automatically? I appear to be receiving both, but wanted to ensure that was correct. Thank you.

    • says

      Paul, DFAS and the VA should work together to make this automatic. If it appears as though you are receiving both, then you probably are. You can always call DFAS to verify.

  23. YNCM says

    Can a VET draw three at once. Example: Receive VA compensation 60% while in retired reserve grey area (yes) then draw military reserve retirement eligible at 58 (yes). Now the tricky part. The Vet while a reservist’s worked full time as a government civilian. Can the Vet draw 1. VA disability compensation 60%, 2. Navy reserve retirement when at eligible age, and 3. retirement pay from Air Force as a retired civilian (GS). Keep in mind as a AF civilian the Vet bought back AD military time 17.5 years (credit) to combine with his actual work years as a GS to better his civilian pension. I have learned I can draw 1 and 2 concurrently and don’t see or can’t find anything that says I can’t also draw the AF civil svc retirement as well.

  24. Tony says

    I am retired Military and just received 100% VA rating. Prior to this rating of 100%, I received 80% and received both full Military retirement and VA pay at 80% under CRDP. Since my rating change to 100%, would I still receive full Military retirement pay plus full VA pay at 100%?

  25. Heather Martin says


    My husband was temporary medically retired in February of 2007 and started getting retirement pay, during that time he was awarded 80% from the VA and was told that because his VA pay was higher he wouldn’t receive his retirement pay. After a year passed he was re-evaluated by the Army and permanently retired. It seems to me that his retirement pay should have been re-instated or at least CRDP? We’ve never checked on it before but it seems like he is being paid incorrectly? Any insight would be greatly appreciated.

    Thank You

    • says

      Heather, Thank you for contacting me. CRDP is only available when military members served 20 years of service, or retired under the Temporary Early Retirement Authority (TERA), which is available to some servicemembers with 15 years of service or more (this must be approved by the branch of the military at the time of retirement; it is not automatic). I would contact DFAS if you have further questions, because they will be able to look into his records and answer specific questions you might have.

  26. Diane P says

    I have a question. My VA Letter states 80% and $1942.71. My RAS says $1806 (which matches my retirement pay).

    Where is the other $136? Do I not get that?

    • says

      Hi Diane, It seems like you should be receiving Concurrent Receipt if you have an 80% service-connected disability rating. Are you receiving $1,942.71 from the VA, and $1,806 from the military? If not, then I would contact DFAS and ask them why your Retiree Account Statement and VA letter show different numbers and ask them to help you determine your total compensation level.

      • Diane P says

        Yes, called both. So I was confused that the Retiree Account Statement (RAS) would show my disability amount, I was wrong.

        Your VA payment isn’t listed on the RAS anywhere, the dollar amount in the comment near the bottom just list the amount of your retirement you are entitled to, my case the full amount.

        Here is the largest problem I have. Since retiring I waited until April for the first decision rated at 60%, I received $1275 on April 1st for March payment. Then 13 days later I was upped to 80% and got an amount for $787 the very next day (on the VA payment history it shows at retro…… nothing else about which month or anything). Then I applied for GI Bill, I have 100% to use. I get a letter stating approved and the dates I am starting (June) and that they sent me $750 towards books and fees. I got $187 deposited yesterday (VA payment history says GI Bill in explanation).

        All the letters I have received with $$$ amounts listed are so damn confusing, nothing listed on them totals or matches (no matter how you add or subtract) anything I have been given…….

        Why are these letters and statements 1. so vague and 2. so long and drawn out? Why can’t they just shorten and provide easier reasons???

  27. JOE says

    I am currently in the Air National Guard. I of course drill every month. I am 70% classified disabled by the VA due to my numerous tours in Iraq and injuries received there.

    I understand that when I retire I am able to collect both my full military and my VA compensation monthly.

    My question is, can I collect both my drill pay and my VA compensation while still in? I cant seem to find anything about this.

    thank you

    • says

      Joe, Thank you for contacting me. Yes, you can receive drill pay and VA disability compensation while you are still serving, however, you cannot technically receive both forms of payment a the same time.

      What that means in practical terms is that you will receive your monthly compensation payment each month, and you will receive your drill pay after each drill. At the end of the year, you will receive a form from the VA directing you to choose which pay to receive, and which to waive. If you waive your VA compensation, you would have to waive the compensation you received for the number of drills you received pay for the previous year. So if you were paid for 60 drills, then you would waive 60 days of VA pay, which would be roughly 2 months. The VA would then withhold 60 days worth of VA compensation from you after they process the form.

      If you choose to waive your military pay, you would be required to repay all pay and entitlements you received. In most cases, it makes more financial sense to waive the VA pay, but be sure to run the numbers for your situation, just to be sure. You can learn more in these articles about joining the Guard or Reserves with a disability, and instructions on waiving VA disability compensation.

  28. jesse balkcom says

    I use to have a 50% rating from VA they down graded me to 30%,they say I’m getting well, humm. I’m also a retired two time
    combat soldier,(Grenada West Indies and the Gulf War),I had problems with my right shoulder and my lower back before these
    events took place, so please help me to understand just how in the hell they can even fix their mouths to say that a 58 year old
    man,with problem of degenerative joint disease. My question is what happens to my military and VA pay if I went out early,
    under social security disability. Lost to many jobs because of my health problems, HELP!

  29. robert says

    I pulled 23 yrs military. I was just awarded 100 percent disability. Will I receive both retirement and disability checks?

  30. Laurel says

    So just to clarify… If I am medically retired at 16 years and receive over 50% VA disability I will receive concurrent checks?

    I seem to just get this confused and I am being told it is different when being medically retired.

    Thank you for your time and the article was amazing!

  31. Larry says

    I am a retired Marine with 20 years of active service, I am also rated at 50% disability. I am receiving my full retirement and VA divisibility do to CRDP. I know that my disability is not taxable, but if I remember correctly, they said in retirement seminar that 50% of my retirement was also tax free, even if I’m “double dipping” with CRDP, is this correct? If so how do I file my taxes? My W2 for my retirement pay will say the full amount is taxable income.
    Thanks for any help!

    • says

      Larry, Thank you for contacting me. The disability pay will always be tax free, but I’ve never heard of 50% of the retirement pay being tax free. I’ve never seen that written anywhere. I would try to contact DFAS to verify this before trying to claim it on your taxes. Unless you have something in writing, I would just go with your W2, since that is what the IRS uses. Best of luck, and thanks for your service!

  32. Steve says

    Mr. Ryan,

    Can you please help? I was active duty and took TERA at 17 years which was last year 2015. I was just now rated at 50% disability after 1 year of waiting. I called DFAS and they told me that I cannot get my CRDP until 2017 which is my 20 year point, that I would have been in the military. So, 3 years without the CRDP payment. Does this sound correct? I appreciate your help.

    Thank you,

  33. J.D says

    Hey Ryan,

    Great info on here. I have a question for you. I qualified for CRSC at 50% with 14 years in. Im trying to figure out what my monthly pay would be. Also Im wondering if I qualify for CRDP. I have 80% VA rating, 14-years of service, and Army Medically Retired me early. So wondering if you know where I can look up a CRSC pay chart, and if I do qualify for CRDP which one benefits me the most? Its been an up hill battle for me with the VA and The Army with all this. They always seem to want to walk me into the route that best suits them ( the cheaper route ). Please help me understand all this a little better Sir. Thank You

    • says

      J.D., Thank you for contacting me. I added a link to a Retired Disability Pay Estimator to this article. It should help you determine how much you should receive each month. To be eligible for CRDP you need to have retired with 20 years of service (unless you retired under the Temporary Early Retirement Authority, or TERA). I hope this helps.

  34. Terry Scott says

    I should receive 15 month of retro pay, my claim was closed on Aug 10, I see that the VA has put a partial payment in my checking how soon can I expect the rest

  35. James says

    Mr. Guina,

    I just retired with 21 years of service. I took the Redux. I was MEB and found unfit with a percentage of 75%from the Army and 100% from the VA. I was initially told that I would receive the 75% retirement from the Army. But retirement services just told me that I will only be getting 43.5% of my retirement. Which one is correct?


    • says

      James, Thank you for contacting me. Medical retirements can be tricky. If you have served more than 20 years, then you may be eligible for either the time in service retirement, or a medical retirement. DFAS will give you the retirement benefit that is worth more.

      In this case, it sounds like you received the REDUX retirement, which would be correct at 43.5% of your base pay. REDUX is 2.0% per year for the first 20 years, then an additional 3.5% per year above 20 years of service. 21 years would be 43.5%.

      You should also receive your full VA disability compensation payment along with your retirement check each month, because your rating is above the 50% requirement for Concurrent Receipt.

      If this is not the case, you should contact DFAS to inquire which retirement pay you are receiving, and if you are eligible to receive a different retirement pay, what that amount should be. Then request to receive whichever is higher.

      Here is a disability retirement pay calculator from DFAS that may give you insight to your situation (however, I do not see an option to choose REDUX, so you will need to consider that when you use the calculator). Best of luck, and thanks for your service!

  36. Dwayne says

    I am a AF retiree, I was diagnosed with severe sleep apnea before I retired and issued a CPAP. I moved overseas while on terminal leave and never filed for VA compensation. It has been 10 years now. If I file now and approved would I receive any back pay?


    • says

      Dwayne, Thank you for contacting me. Based on everything I have read, disability claims need to be filed within one year for you to be eligible to receive back pay. Otherwise you would only receive back pay to the date you file your claim. There can be exceptions to this, if there was an error on the part of the VA, or the VA missed some information in a claim. But these exceptions don’t usually allow for back pay due to failing to submit a claim. Your best option is to file your claim ASAP and see what happens. Best of luck with your claim, and thank you for your service!

  37. Matt M. says

    I have just reached the one year mark after retirement. I am TDRL and listed as 60% DOD and 100% VA for disability. I am not familiar with the VA waiver as it applies to retirement pay. I am CDRL and awaiting my dermination to permanent. My question is this, back in February of this year I recieved over $4k back pay. The letter stated that it was for back pay for the VA waiver, which is about $700 a month that I lose to the waiver. Now, they have back paid me which I must say seemed great. What is confusing is that they still take the waiver money. If they back paid me the VA waiver money that I have paid from the moment I retired, then why are they still taking it out? Really confused….. any light shed on this would be great. thanks. Matt

  38. Andrew M. says

    I was medically retired on TDRL in 2010 after just short of 10 years active service. I was rated at 50% by the Army for PTSD related to combat deployment and 70% by the VA for the PTSD and knee and shoulder issues. I was told at the time of my retirement that I would receive both my retirement pay and VA disability, which I did for about 18 months. Around the beginning of 2012, I stopped receiving retirement pay from the Army. When I called DFAS to enquire about it, they informed me that I could not receive my retirement pay because my VA pay was higher. When I mentioned that I had been told I was supposed to receive both and that I had been receiving both, the person I was speaking with at DFAS said that wasn’t how things were done and someone had just made a mistake. After reading your article here, I am thinking I was right and the DFAS person I spoke to was misinformed. I am pretty sure I am qualified to receive both payments, but I am not 100% sure and I am unsure if it’s CRDP or CRSC that I would qualify for. If I am correct that I do qualify for one of these, would they then have to back pay me all the way back to 2012?

    • says

      Andrew, Thank you for contacting me. DFAS and the VA with both typically award back pay if they made an error in how they process pay or claims. I don’t have enough experience to guide you with this, so I would contact a Veterans Service Organization such as the DAV, or another agency. These organizations have trained counselors who can assist you with your claim and help you better understand the specific details.

  39. Donna Hamilton says

    I am Legal Custodian for my older brother, who is 100% Military Connected Disabled. I was recently told by an VA employee that he is also eligible for Concurrent Receipt, but when I research it, it seems it is only for Military Retirees. How does that work?

  40. GUAM says

    Hafa Adai Ryan

    I was medically retired on TDRL in 2013 with 90% from the VA and the Army 40%. I did a total of 21 years combined with active army, army reserve, army guard, 6 yrs. active 15 good yrs. IDT at the age of 40. I came across this article on Service-Connected Disable Veterans on the veterans financial site.

    Concurrent Retirement and Disability Payments (CRDP) restores retired pay on a graduated 10-year schedule for retirees with a 50 to 90 percent VA-rated disability. Concurrent retirement payments increase 10 percent per year through 2013. Veterans rated 100 percent disabled by VA are entitled to full CRDP without being phased in. Veterans receiving benefits at the 100 percent rate due to individual unemployability are entitled to full CRDP effective Jan. 1, 2005.

    Eligibility: To qualify, Veterans must also meet all three of the following criteria:
    1.Have 20 or more years of active duty, or full-time National Guard duty, or satisfactory service as a reservist, or
    2.Be in a retired status
    3.Be receiving retired pay (must be offset by VA payments). Retirees do not need to apply for this benefit. Payment is coordinated between VA and the Department of Defense (DoD).
    Would I then qualify for (CRSC) and still be under 60.


  41. Harveywilliams says

    Hello I just went from TRDL to PRDL and I’m rated with the VA @ 80% and retired from the U.S ARMY with 40%. I’m also receiving CRSC as well. Do I still qualify for CRDP? All my disabilities are combat related and happen in theater. Although I didn’t do the full 20 years I’m still getting mix answers. Can you please give me some guidance?

    • says

      Harvey, Thank you for contacting me. Based on what I’ve read, I believe you need to have 20 years of service to be eligible for CRDP. The Chapter 61 retirement (medical retirement) is different from a regular retirement (20 plus years of qualifying service).

  42. John J. says

    Hi Ryan,
    I have been retired (TERA) since 1 Aug 2014 and was rated 40% as of Sept 2014. I have been getting only $586 as an offset with my retirement pay since Feb 2015. I was just awarded 70% and should be getting both C/P and retirement pay. Am I suppose to get retro pay for the remaining $820 a month that has been witheld since Feb 2015 for not being over 50%?


    • says

      John, Thank you for contacting me. The award letter you received should state the effective date. Typically the VA will award back pay to the effective date of the rating. They should also follow up with a separate letter informing you of any back pay and when you will receive it. I hope this helps.

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