Concurrent Retirement Disability Pay (CRDP)

The CRDP program allows eligible military retirees to earn the full amount of their military retirement and VA disability pay with no offset. Learn eligibility requirements, the difference between CRDP and CRSC, and how it works.
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The Concurrent Retirement and Disability Pay (CRDP) program allows eligible military retirees to receive a full military retirement pension and full VA disability compensation benefits at the same time.

Before CRDP and the Combat-Related Special Compensation (CRSC) programs were created, it was illegal for military retirees to claim both VA disability and military retirement pay. Now, if you are eligible for either program, you can claim the full amounts of both types of compensation. 

What is the difference between CRSC and CRDP? 

The core difference between CRDP and CRSC is how the veteran’s injury or injuries were sustained. 

CSRC is only available to military retirees who sustained an injury in combat and have received a VA disability rating of 10% or higher. It’s tax-free and requires an application from the servicemember that includes proof of injury. 

CRDP, on the other hand, is available to military retirees who have a service-connected injury and have a VA disability rating of 50% or higher. Your ratings may be based on a single injury or a combination of injuries.

Unlike CSRC, CRDP is applied automatically, does not require an application and is taxable. 

If your injury is combat-related and you have a VA disability rating of 50% or higher, you are eligible for CRDP and CRSC. However, this does not mean you can enroll in both programs. In a case of dual eligibility, the Defense Finance and Accounting Service (DFAS) will enroll you in the program that results in a higher gross pay. You can change the program they select during their annual enrollment period. 

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CRDP Eligibility 

CRDP is available for military retirees from all branches as long as they meet the eligibility requirements. 

If you have a VA disability rating of 50% or higher and you meet one or more of the following criteria, you are eligible to claim CRDP: 

  1. You are an active component military retiree.
  2. You are retired under the Temporary Early Retirement Act (TERA).
  3. You are a Guard or Reserve retiree with 20 or more Good Years and have met retirement age (60 in most cases, but some Reservists are eligible for early retirement).
  4. You are medically retired under Chapter 61 with 20 years or more.

Note: You may also be eligible for CRDP if you are a disability retiree who is entitled to retired pay under any provision of law other than solely entitled by disability. If you suspect you may be eligible under this provision, you can submit a written claim to DFAS. 

To qualify for CRDP, you must have a service-connected disability, individual or combined, of 50% or higher. However, if your injury is combat-related, you may qualify for CSRC with a lower disability rating. 

How much is CRDP pay? 

The CRDP program began in 2004 and was rolled out over ten years to prevent a sudden increase to the national budget. 

Most military members who retired between 2004 and 2014 had their military retirement pay increased by 10% each year until reaching full military retirement pay. The only exception was for retirees with a 100% disability rating. These retirees began receiving full military retirement pay immediately. 

Servicemembers who retire after 2014 should automatically be enrolled in CRDP upon receiving an eligible VA disability rating and should automatically begin receiving the full amount of their military pension along with their VA disability compensation. 

To calculate your CRDP, you simply add your awarded VA disability compensation to your monthly pension payment. 

Let’s work through an example: 

Let’s consider a retired E-7 with 20 years of service, a VA disability rating of 30%, and no dependents. 

Military retirement pay is calculated using the highest average of 36 months of base pay and then multiplied by a rate that changes depending on your retirement plan. 

We’ll assume that this veteran retired under the Blended Retirement System and use 2024 military pay and 2024 disability rates for our example. 

According to the 2024 pay rates table, an E-7 with 20 years of experience would receive $5,758 in monthly base pay. 

To find the estimated monthly retirement pay, we’ll take:

Base Pay × BRS Retirement Multiplier × Years of Service ($5,758 × 0.02 × 20) and get $2,303.20.

We can then find the pay for a veteran with a 30% disability rating and no dependents

Then, we’ll add the full VA disability compensation for our example veteran’s disability rating and get the total monthly income under CRDP: 

$2,303.20 (Military Retirement Pay) + $524.31 (VA Disability) = $2,827.51

Of course, taxes still need to be considered. Remember, military retirement pay is subject to federal income tax and is taxed by some states. However, VA disability is tax-free. 

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CRDP Back Pay

When you become eligible for CRDP, DFAS will run an automatic audit to determine if you are due back pay. CRDP back pay is payments made to military retirees to compensate for the gap between the date they became eligible for CRDP and the date they started receiving pay.

If DFAS finds that you are eligible for CRDP back pay (also called retroactive pay), they will forward your information to the VA, who is responsible for paying you. 

DFAS states that their first priority is to start sending monthly CRDP payments, and that they will calculate and send back pay after. DFAS states that processing and delivering back pay can take between 60 to 90 days and, in some cases, require additional research in the form of an audit. If an audit is conducted, receiving your back pay may take even longer. 

VA Audit for Back Pay

A VA Audit for Back Pay is when DFAS and the VA review your records to determine if the VA owes you money. 

A common scenario for a VA audit for back pay is when retirees’ disability ratings change, entitling them to more CRDP. Sometimes, the DFAS system will not automatically take these changes into account. You can contact DFAS customer service between Monday and Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., at 1(800) 321-1080 to check the status of your back pay or request an audit. 

VA Back Pay Limitations 

CRDP retroactive pay only backdates to January 1, 2004. However, DFAS will only go back to the day you first received a 50% disability rating. If your 50% disability rating was retroactive, your eligibility will extend to that date, provided it isn’t before January 1, 2004.

Recently, 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 PTSD. If you are a military retiree who received retroactive disability compensation, then you may be eligible for retroactive back pay through the CRDP as well.

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

Back pay awards may also be common for those whose disability claims were denied and later approved on appeal

What if you don’t qualify for CRDP? 

If you are a military retiree with a service-connected disability of 40% or lower, you don’t qualify for CRDP. In this case, your retirement pay is still subject to a disability offset or VA disability waiver. 

The VA disability offset requires military members to waive part of their military retirement pay in order to receive VA disability compensation benefits. 

This is usually a smart move because VA disability compensation is considered non-taxable income, whereas military retirement pay is taxable income. 

To see how the VA offset affects pay, let’s work through an example.

VA Disability Offset Example

Assume a retired servicemember receives a monthly military retirement pay of $2,000, has been given a 20% disability rating by the VA, and has no dependents. This servicemember would receive $338.49 per month in disability (based on 2024 rates). 


  • Original Military Retirement Pay: $2,000 (taxable income)
  • VA Disability Compensation: $338.49 (non-taxed income)
  • VA Disability subtracted from Retirement Pay: $2,000 – $338.49 = $1661.51 

In this example, the servicemember will receive $1,661.51 per month in retirement pay plus $338.49 per month as VA disability compensation. Their total monthly income from these sources remains $2,000, but now $338.49 of it is tax-free.

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.

The Value of CRDP

To understand the true value of CRDP, let’s use an example to show how much a retiree’s pay increases depending on their disability rating. 

Let’s use the same example from above to show how the servicemembers’ pay would grow upon an increased disability rating. 

Example 2024 CRDP Monthly Pay with Increased Disability Rating
Disability RatingRetirement Pay (taxable income)Disability Pay (non-taxable income)Total
50% $2,000$1,075.16$3,075.16

The takeaway is that a disability rating of 40% or less will offset taxable income with non-taxable income, resulting in large tax savings. However, a VA disability rating of 50% or higher is worth considerably more — in tax savings and overall compensation. 

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.

How to Submit a Claim for CRDP 

If you are not receiving CRDP but believe that you are entitled to it, you can submit a written claim to DFAS. 

To submit a claim, you must complete a DD Form 827, also known as an Application for Arrears in Pay. You can submit a signed form by mail, fax, or upload it through the askDFAS online tool

To mail the form, send it to:  

DFAS Retired and Annuitant Pay

8899 E 56th Street

Indianapolis, IN 46249-1300

You can also fax it to 1(800) 982-8459.

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  1. CAPT Jim Booth, USN (Ret.) says

    Hello Ryan,
    Great web site and explanations. Thanks.

    I have/had the same question as LTC Martin and have called DFAS without getting a solid answer. I think I understand your response to be that if a retiree was receiving compensation at 40% or less disability, SBP will be paid to a surviving spouse as though there was never an offset to retirement pay (i.e., 100% of previous retirement pay). To me, saying “55% of full military retirement pay” could mean 100% of retirement pay without disability compensation or 100% of what’s left after being paid disability compensation. Will you please clear this up?

    I’ve searched high and low for an understandable reference with no luck. Thanks again for a great site!

  2. Jonathan Hasara says

    In the first case
    Title 10, U. S. Code, Chapter 1223
    SUBJECT: Notification of Eligibility for Retired Pay at Age 60 (Twenty Year Letter)
    as stated in the letter
    Your eligibility for retired pay may not be denied or revoked on the basis
    of any error, miscalculation, misinformation, or administrative determination of years of
    creditable service performed unless it resulted directly from fraud or misrepresentation on your part

    I my case had already qualified for my 20-year letter and had Honorable discharge (DD214)

    In the second case
    Concurrent receipt refers to when a military retiree receives both retired pay and disability pay. Retired pay is for service and paid for by DoD, while disability pay compensates for injury and is paid by the VA. Current law requires a reduction, referred to as an offset, in retirement pay for every dollar of disability received

    Again I my case 4 years after my discharge Army Medical Board boarded me out at 40% and my status change to chapter 61 military retirees with inregular retirement.

    To summarize
    In the first case it says it can not be change but in the second case it was after the fact.

  3. Chris C Crews says

    I am a 2LT disabiliity RET ( with prior enlisted ranks E1 – E6 ) then went for and received a direct commission ) ( Active Army 1976 – 1979, Army Reserves 1979 – ( 1987 ( when I was disabled on Active Duty, disability deemed Service Connected ). I have a full disability retirement but waived it for VA Compensation. I am a 100% Permanent VA Rating ( Based soley on disability ). I also have a UI designation.

    Every so often I get my hopes risen and dashed about being qualified for CRDP. Will people like myself ever qualify for CRDP?

    • Ryan Guina says

      Hello Chris,

      Thank you for your comment. Unfortunately, I don’t have an answer for you. This has been proposed several times, but it has only resulted in a partial change to the law, which occurred in 2004. You can read more about it in this article that also covers how to be your own advocate for change.
      I don’t know if this topic is currently on the Congressional agenda.

      I wish you the best ad thank you for your service!

  4. William Starcher says

    Why does the retirement system have to be the way it is now. When a disabled veteran is 100 percent disabled, compensate them for the income of their profession. So an injured Aerospace Engineer would get the average pay the engineers make. This would get rid of all the problems with V.A. pay. The government disabled 1000’s to tens of 1000’s military personnel and does not have to pay equal pay for sacrifice of men and women of the armed services.

  5. Jeffrey Slike says

    I was medically retired one day shy of 20 years in the air force. If anyone has any information or advice, I would gladly accept. It’s sad to think that after 19 years, 11 months and 29 days I will be denied my retirement.

  6. Tony B says

    I retired from the military after 20 years. I applied and have been receiving a 40% disability offset from my military retirement since 2004. I was just approved for an increase to 70% with an effective date of 20 Feb 2019. VA said I will receive back pay for the difference. Will I receive a separate check from DFAS for retirement pay that was forfeited back to the effective date since I should have been authorized CRDP effective 20 Feb 2019? Thanks!

  7. thomas holley says

    My name is Tom. I received a 40% Disability Medical Retirement May 1968 due to wounds received in Vietnam. I waived my Army Retirement in favor of 80% VA Disability Rating which remained the same until recently, when it was increased to 90% then 100% TDIU. In 2008, I applied for CRSC and presently receive $44.00 a month based on my E4 rating at the time of Army Disability Medical Retirement. In 1968 at 87 Pounds, I began employment with the Federal Government and retired in 2011 after 45 years faithful government service. My question, I feel short changed in that everything a disabled veteran does has an offset. I was able to work after my federal retirement and reached the credit hours, however, because of that offset, I only receive $46 per month, and Chapter 61 veterans get the short end of the stick because of legislation requiring an offset to the CRSC entitlement. Something just doesn’t add up. Can you please explain for me and do you think this offset will ever be done away with.

    • Ryan Guina says

      Hello Tom,

      I wish I had an answer for you. Unfortunately, this is a complicated topic that I don’t fully understand. I believe it is this way because this is how the federal law is written. But I don’t have the background behind the decision, nor do I know if it will ever be done away with.

      I’m sorry I don’t have a better answer for you.

      Best wishes.

  8. Alan Schechter says

    Congress can tear down that border wall between the disabled retired military members, compensated by the VA for injuries in the line of duty. The great shame of a Congress who, for want of a percentage of disability, cause a travesty of fact. They force such military retirees to languish in the no-mans-land of compensation robbery. Fire up your fellow members of Congress members to do as you do; vote their honorable support of HR333/S208. POTUS won’t veto it, so move on out and, do it!

  9. Dwyne Brown says


    I am a Ret/E-7 (MSgt) from the Air Force. I was medically retired at 19 years of service. I accepted that retirement based on the personnel office telling me that I would receive all benefits I normally would if I retired at 20 years. At the time they also told me if I did not accept the retirement that I would be separated with a severance and no retirement. I was retired at 50 percent via Air Force and 70 percent disability (VA) rating. I currently cannot receive CRDP because I did not retire at 20 years. I am trying to correct those records now. Am I eligible for CRDP under this eligibility requirement: •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. Any information is helpful.

    • Ryan Guina says

      Hello Dwyne,

      Thank you for your questione. My general understanding is that if one retires under Chapter 61 (military medical retirement), they have the option to choose from the military retirement or the VA disability compensation, whichever is higher. But I think there may be some exceptions to this, depending on whether they have an injury that is combat-related.

      In other words, it’s complicated, and there can be variation.

      I admit I’m not an expert on Chapter 61 retirement. So I recommend speaking with the VA, DFAS, or a Veterans Benefits Counselor. You can find one at your county VA office, or a host of organizations such as the DAV, AMVETS, American Legion, etc. Most have trained benefits counselors that will help you free of charge. And they should be able to do a better job than I can.

      Sorry, I don’t have a better answer here.

    • Ryan Guina says

      Hello Shayne,

      You can receive your Navy Reserve retirement pay if you served the 20 years required and qualify for Reserve retirement. The only time this may come into play is if you received a medical retirement from the military. If that is the case, your situation may be different and you would need to refer to the documentation provided by your personnel center when you retired.

      If you are still serving and have a 100% disability rating (this is rare, but it can happen), then yes, you would be eligible to receive Navy Reserve retirement pay, provided you can serve the required 20 years.

  10. Doug R. says

    Hopefully people still check this page. I just had a total knee replacement (service connected) and temporarily bumped to 100%. Prior to this my VA rating was 30%. After the temporary 100% I will be rated at 60%. Will the temp 100% stop the current VA offset from my retirement check automatically or do I need to initiate something with DFAS?

    • Ryan Guina says

      Hello Doug, The VA system is supposed to interface with DFAS. However, I would go ahead and contact DFAS and ask if there is something you can do to ensure this is handled correctly from the start. I wish you the best, and thank you for your service.

  11. Terrance says

    Just throwing this out there to see what answers I will get. I just had my medical separation turned into a disability retirement. I have a combined VA rating of 60% and receiving disability compensation from the VA. Should I expect to also receive a retirement check even though I only served 6 years? When I was separated I was given 10% from the military and then it was overturned to 30%. So as it stands right now, I have 30% from the military and 60% from the VA. Any ideas on what I could possibly receive?

  12. Corey says

    I am a 42 year old M-Day Traditional Soldier (LTC with 22 years of service) who is dual hatted as a GS-12 federal technician.
    I am 90% overall disabled by the VA, 70% is PTSD service/Combat related.

    I am about to initiate my MEB, so my question is if I already have my Va documentation and final ratings.. am I still expected to participate in the C&P exams again? Will my process move faster?

    • Ryan Guina says

      Hello Corey, Thank you for reaching out. This is a great question. Is the C&P exam for the VA or for the military? The military uses the same rating criteria as the VA, however, I believe they need to process exams in the course of the MEB to be able to do their determinations. So the military may require the C&P exams for their MEB process.

      This would also be a good time to bring up anything that has changed (become better or worse) or to bring up any new medical conditions that may not yet have been factored into your ratings.

      The MEB is not something I have much experience with, so I hope this at least gives you some helpful questions to ask.

      I wish you the best of health, and best wishes with the MEB process.

  13. William Hankins says

    Hi Ryan. Looks like you offer a lot of great advice. I have a question that is a bit complicated. I’m a regular retiree with a 100% VA rating and a 100% combat related rating. Last May I retired from an airline and last month began a job with the FAA. In looking over the federal government retirement annuity benefit (FERS) I noticed that there was an exception to the requirement to waive a military retirement to take a military service credit and combine it with civilian service in FERS. The exception is when the vet is receiving military retirement pay for a service connected disability. I think this is generally interpreted as meaning the vet is a Chapter 61 retiree and I am not. I looked into the CRSC statue to see if it was considered military retirement pay and the statute specifically says CRSC is not considered retirement pay. Given the fact that CRDP restores the VA waiver, I thought it might be considered retirement pay for a SCD and could possibly allow the exemption for the military retirement to receive the service credit in FERS. Do you have any knowledge or information about this issue?

    • Ryan Guina says

      Hello William, This is outside my area of expertise. I have only a limited working knowledge of the FERS retirement system, and this question falls well outside that limit. I recommend contacting a FERS expert who can help guide you through this question.

      Perhaps try Eddie Wills at He has a strong working knowledge of the FERS system and may be able to assist you.

      I wish you the best, and thank you for your service!

  14. Andrew Adams says

    Hello, I am currently 10% but waiting on more claims I believe I will be over 50% I am a regular military retiree receiving a pension. If I go over 50% will I receive my full military pension plus a VA check for 50%? Thanks

    • Ryan Guina says

      Hello Andrew, Yes, it sounds like that will be the case. Military retirees are eligible for concurrent receipt once they reach a VA disability rating of 50% or higher. I wish you the best, and thank you for your service!

  15. hutch says


    I am grey retired national guard 7 years active 17 reserves 60% va at the time 2011. was being Med boarded when I retired. never got an answer from the meb board. about retiring crdp. I just found out my paperwork for the med board was never scanned in by my va rep. what should I do ???? help

    • Ryan Guina says

      Hello Hutch, The best thing to do is to contact a veterans benefits counselor at the VA or with a Veterans Service Organization. They have counselors who offer free, individualized claims assistance.

      I wish you the best, and thank you for your service!

  16. Juan Pablo Gil says

    Hi, I just need an easy answer to this question: can I receive both VA Disability pay as well as retirement pay if I’m 80 percent disabled with 5 years of service and no combat related disability? Thank you for your kind and sincere answer.

    • Ryan Guina says

      Hello Juan, I’m not an expert on medical retirement benefits – they can be complicated and there may not be an easy answer that applies to everyone.

      I recommend contacting DFAS – they can help you understand your retirement benefits. I wish you the best, and thank you for your service!

  17. Ronnie Jennings says

    Hi Ryan Iam a Major who served 25yrs and 100% I have a non-regular retirement which I don’t completely understand. I had too apply for a DD215 and was told until this happened I was not entitled to a retirement.
    Since I have been approved CRDP and I have a Medical Retirement. I retired Jan 2012 from Fort Bragg. Could you tell what amount of CRDP I would receive.

    • Ryan Guina says

      Hello Ronnie, Thank you for contacting me.

      I’m assuming the non-regular retirement may be a medical retirement. If so, these can be complicated to understand and should be reviewed on an individual basis by an expert.

      You will need to work with DFAS or the VA to determine what your benefits should be. This isn’t something that I, or likely anyone else, can handle via email. They will almost certainly need access to your personnel records to review your situation and give you a personalized response.

      I hope this points you in the right direction. I wish you the best, and thank you for your service!

    • Joel says


      Thanks for taking your time to help military members!

      I have also done countless web searches and phone calls and even contacting Tier 2 reps to get some kind of response/answer that is solid to my situation but no luck as of yet.

      I did 14 years 1 month in the AF which 4 years were active and rest as a weekend warrior for the Reserves.

      I deployed in Sept 2011-Feb 2012 to as an E-6
      Tech Sergeant to Afghanistan.

      In or around 2014 I received documentation stating I was being discharged for chronic adjustment disorder. I exhausted any means to stay in and ultimately received my official letter to be discharged in Feb 2016.

      I was forced out with an honorable discharge with medical characteristics because instead of telling my medical squadron about the end of 2012 or around the beginning 2013 during a medical evaluation that I suffered from PTSD (so I would not get kicked out), I told them I drank a lot because I was depressed and did not mention I was engaged in combat while in Afghanistan and during which my wife was cheating on me. We divorced in June 2012.

      Now, I did mention to the doctors my divorce and not being with my now ex wife and two daughters was very depressing.

      In 2016 after about 2 years of fighting the VA was finally awarded an additional 50% for PTSD on top of the 10% I began receiving in 2008 for a combined 60% VA rating.

      In Jan 2017 I and my lawyers started gathering information against the the AF for not going through proper procedures (even though before my confession of alchohol abuse, other medical evals stated I suffered from PTSD) to diagnose my PTSD and not put me in for a LOD.

      In May 2019 my lawsuit to the US Federal Claims Court was filed and I received a docket # and now waiting even more so for an outcome…

      My compensation (if I win) will be my current
      discharge status changed to a medical disability retirement at 50% or > due to combat related or in line of duty reasons plus any other awards such as retroactive pay and any other compensation that was neglected to me.

      Here is the million dollar question/s:

      What will be my monthly disability retirement pay benefit?

      Will I get both full VA and medical retirement disability benefit because my rating is >50% and the fact my disability occurred during combat?

      Will my retiremnt pay be calculated as reservist pay base or as an active duty member’s pay base?

      How far back will my retroactive pay go?

      What other compensations will I receive?

      It is very frustrating and VERY time consuming and a lot of waiting and being patient. I am sure thousands of vets and military members would agree.

      I understand you may not have the answers because as you stated everyone’s case is different and DFAS or which ever branch of service can better explain but I went through all of them and I have came to the decision the people I speak to can care less and answer the phones and emails for a pay check of their own and have no clue.

      For the ALL veterans, especially combat wounded or served in combat, should not have to jump through years of hoops, dead end answers and years to receive what we earned.

      After 14 years, 3 deployments to the middle east, 18 ribbons and medals and losing my family because I wasnt there to whisper sweet nothings to my wife because I was mobilized and across the other side of the world, ultimate reward is a polished boot in the *** and out the door so to speak. Pardon my rant but what I went through any many more before and soon to come is disgusting and disgraceful.

      It’s pathetic.

      • Ryan Guina says

        Hello Joel,

        Thank you for contacting me and for sharing your situation. This is a very complex situation, and you’re correct, this is one that I cannot answer. There are many variables, and the answer will depend on the final decision from the courts, your military disability rating, medical retirement (if granted), etc.

        Until you have that information, the best you could do would be to run scenarios for each of these situations.

        Right now, I would focus on your court case and getting everything squared away. Once that has been accomplished and you have your recommendation from the MEB, then you should have a written record of your status (military disability rating, MEB retirement recommendation, VA disability rating, etc.).

        At that point, DFAS or the VA should be able to assist you. You may also be able to go into the nearest base finance or personnel office if you become medically retired.

        Sorry I can’t offer more assistance, but medical retirements are handled on a case by case basis and I have no insight into the process.

        I wish you the best, and thank you for your service!

  18. John Ramsey says

    I have over 26 years of active service (or 65% retirement)and in IDES program now.
    I received initial DoD (30%) and VA (100%) and will be medically retired once I sign my Form 199.
    If my DoD rating was increased to max allowable (75%),can I get paid that from DoD as well as the
    100% VA or am i entitled only up to my years of service percentage plus 100% VA? Thank you

    • Jeff Meade says


      I retire this month March 31st, 2019. With a little under 22 years. I am 80% disability since 2012. So it appears I am eligible for the concurrent receipt. But after the first block of criteria, there is another block that states this which is confusing me do I have to meet this too?

      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

  19. Jamichael Webb says

    is there a difference if I get retired medically at 16yrs of service at 100% disability? And If I get 100% from the VA do you know the amount I could receive from both or would I receive both? Thank you!

    • Ryan Guina says

      Hello Jamichael, Thank you for your comment. From what I understand, medically retired veterans have to choose between their military retirement pay and VA disability compensation benefits. I do not know if it is possible to receive both in this situation. You can see the current VA disability rates here.

      I hope this is helpful. I wish you the best, and thank you for your service!

  20. ROGER says


    I just recently retired 32 years in service and I went thru PEBLO process for medical retirement and according to my PEBLO, I am receiving both VA Compensation and Military retirement pay, instead DFAS is deducting my VA compensation pay. I am receiving 90% VA and 40% DoD. according to the writen from CRDP is,
    (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), please give me advise what to do. Thank you

  21. Raymond says

    I am getting ready to retire afger 20 years of active service with a 100% disability rating. Is it possible to elect only one organization to pay out my retirement. IE, can I transfer all my retirement payment to the VA for them to pay out. At this point, it is an assest protection question. Where VA disability is not divisible in court. I have heard this from numerous service members.

  22. Stephen says

    I am a reserve retiree with over 20 qualifying years of service. I have a VA disability rating of 80 percent and am currently receiving my retired reserve pay and VA disability compensation. If I buyback and combine my military active duty time with my Federal civilian FERS retirement, will that affect in any way the amounts I receive from DFAS/the Marine Corps or the VA? I have 10 years of federal civilian service and approx 14 years of active duty. So is it worth the military deposit or will my military pay or VA comp or FERS retirement be reduced if I make a military deposit to increase my FERS retirement?
    Thank you

    • Ryan Guina says

      Hello Stephen, Thank you for contacting me. Here is our article about Military Service Credit deposits (buying back military service).

      I don’t believe this would impact your Reserve retirement or your disability compensation. The only time you have to choose one or the other is when you have an active duty retirement, which is not your case.

      I would speak with DFAS or your civil service HR department to verify you understand everything before proceeding.

      I wish you the best, and thank you for your service!

  23. Earl says

    Mr Guina I am 100% disabled from being blown up in Iraq in 2007 and I’m 100% service connected as well. I was forced Medically Retired Honorably and when I first went to the VA I was told 1 or the other but they arent always truthful. I served 5 1/2 years with E-5 Rank and I read this and I was wondering if I’m am entitled too both. I already get 100% service connected from the VA and 100% SSD and I read this and from what I read I should be able to get my pension as well correct? Or did I miss something or not understand something? If I am entitled would I get back pay back too 2008 when they made me 100% service connected Total and Permanent? Also how would I put this type of claim in saying it’s not a normal claim. Is there someone to call or how can I do that? People say you get this and this to me and I tell them I’m in pain everyday and if I could switch bodies and not be in pain and full of shrapnel severe nerve damage and tons of problems that can only get worse and I cant work because of my injuries which I wish I could and the cost of living in my state which is NJ is insane so if its possible that I can get both please reply a number to call or something please. Thank you and hopefully I can get my Retirement Pension as well as the VA money even though the Retirement isn’t a extreme amount anything will help. k you and hope to hear from you.

  24. LTC Paul Martin, USA (Ret.) says

    Mr. Guina,

    Very informative article. I learned a lot. One question:

    Situation: For those military retired personnel who have a 40% or less VA disability rating I assume they still (2018) DO NOT get concurrent receipt. You mentioned one clear advantage of taking VA disability pay as opposed to your full military retirement pay is that your VA disability is tax free vs taxed military pay.

    Question: However, If that same person, upon retirement, signed up for full Survivor’s Benefit Plan (SBP) in which upon their death 55% of their military retirement goes to their spouse would their spouse get thousands less because her 55% is computed on “just” the remaining military retirement or would she get the full amount and the “cut out” of VA disability pay would not affect her 55%?

    Do you get that very long winded question? Thank you for your time and expertise. Then we can discuss DIC which is even more complicated!!!

    • Ryan Guina says

      LTC Martin, yes, I understand your question. The Survivor Benefit Plan payments are based on 55% of the retiree’s full military retirement pay. There is no reduction to this number if the retiree also had a VA disability rating.

  25. heri says

    I retired in 2011 PDR and receiving my pension.
    I was award 100% from DOD in 2011 and receiving disability PAY 70% from DOD DFAS.
    My Concern is Can I apply the 30% that I GOT left and qualify for CRDP

  26. R.O.B. says

    Hello Robert,

    Thank you for the informative article.

    Would Concurrent Receipt apply to a Public Health Service Officer (PHS) who is medically retired at 14 years and several months; with a PHS disability rating greater than 50% and a VA disability rating that is also greater than 50%.

    Thanks for your reply.

  27. Robert Gamble says

    I was a Navy Corpsman with Most of my service on the Green side with the USMC in 1996 I was medically discharged with M.S. and am a 100% SVC Vet. When I retired you got a Pension or VA pay I just found out we qualify for both.. the guys at the DAV were little to no help… Please how do I qualify for both and I hear it is retroactive, being 100% disabled I have to pay people to get almost anything done around the house, things I would have done myself had my body still been working.. I need the help, this is hard to say but please help me ~Robert

    • Ryan Guina says

      Hello Robert, Thank you for contacting me. I do not have direct experience with this type of claim, so I recommend contacting someone who can offer customized assistance based on your medical conditions and other factors. I recommend speaking with a veterans benefits counselor at the VA or with a Veterans Service Organization, such as the DAV, AMVETS, American Legion, VFW, etc. They have counselors who offer free claims assistance on a case by case basis. You also don’t have to use a local organization – many have national offices and help lines you can contact. This should make it easier to find someone who can assist you.

      I wish you the best of health, and thank you or your service.

    • Chuck says

      Most states have a state VA person that is qualified to help you with your case and to help do all your paperwork for you. I took my father who is a Vietnam vet and they were able to get him 90 %. I would find out where your state guy is and have him help you.

  28. Susie says

    I retired in 2014 with 20 years of Active military service. I received a 90% disability rating and get CRDP for my retirement, so I receive both VA compensation and my retirement pay. I was recently re-evaluated and the VA bumped me up to 100% which makes my VA compensation more than my military retirement pay. I was told by DFAS that my VA compensation can’t be more than my military retirement so I will probably lose my retirement pay. Is this correct? Based on what I have read, if I am 50% or greater disabled, I should receive both without being penalized. There is nothing I read that said there is a cap on the amount you can receive from compensation without affecting retirement. Can you please advise if this is correct, that I will be losing my retirement pay because my disabilities got worse?

    • Ryan Guina says

      Hello Susie, Thank you for contacting me. I have never heard of this before. I recommend speaking with someone at DFAS for more information about your specific situation. They should be able to look up your profile and give you an estimate of how much money you should be receiving from the military. You can contact the VA and repeat the process to find out how much you should be receiving from the VA. At 100% disability rating, I believe you should be receiving the full amount from each source. If not, ask the representative you speak with to provide you a reference of the reg.

  29. thanh stough says

    I retired in 2001, and receiving my pension.
    I was award 50% from VA in 10/2017 and receiving disability from VA.
    I received $1,370 CRDP credit payment from DFAS last month.
    Question: CRDP is a monthly payment and how do I calculate that?

    Thank you!

    • Ryan Guina says

      Hello Thanh, Thank you for contacting me. I recommend contacting DFAS, the organization that runs military pay. Provide them with a copy of the VA award letter and work with them on the pay issue. They should be able to answer any questions you may have. I wish you the best of health and thank you for your service!

    • Ryan Guina says

      Hello Timbo, Thank you for your question. Individual Unemployability is when the VA determines someone is not employable (not capable of working full-time), even though they may not have a 100% disability rating. These ratings are given on a case-by-case basis.

  30. Kerry Brown says

    I had 7 active and 8 1/2 years guard time when they did a MEB on me they only gave me 10% rating from the Air Force, I got a 90% from VA. I was looking though my paperwork and saw where they did a final medical check on me just before kicking me out and I saw the Air Force had up my rating to 20% neck and added my lower back pain in at 20% also. So I think I should have gotten a Military medical retirement of 40% instead of the retirement of 2 1/2 times my base pay x 7 years or around 700.00. 40% of 3800 would be $1520.00. What do I need to do to get my retirement changed to a Medical retirement.

  31. V Thomas says

    I retired after 26 years of active service, I received a 50% disability rating from the VA; I noticed on my pay slip that I am receiving CRDP and my retirement pay but on the deduction side my VA Disability is being deducted from my retirement pay and it is the same as the CRDP, so my question is should I be receiving all three and no deduction of VA Disability from my retirement pay?

  32. Kim says

    I am going through the PDRB process to see if my discharge can be changed to a medical retirement. I had only 4.5 years of active service when medically discharged. According to the regs it looks like I would qualify for the retirement.

    VA rated me at total of 50%. I’m not sure of the benefits of taking the retirement vs the VA disability. It appears I wouldn’t qualify for the CRDP so even the back pay wouldn’t benefit as I think my VA pay would be higher than any retirement.

    Would there be any benefit to accepting the retirement in this situation?

    • Ryan Guina says

      Hello Kim, Thank you for contacting me. Medical retirement can be complicated, and I don’t know all the details. I recommend speaking with a veterans benefits counselor for personalized assistance.

      That said, I believe you will receive the greater of the military retirement pay or the VA disability compensation, so you wouldn’t be out any money if you receive the military medical retirement. On top of that, you would have retirement benefits, such as medical care, base access, etc. Again, the best thing to do is get assistance with this process, since it can be complicated. Best wishes!

  33. Nathaniel Blacks says

    I was reading some of your information on your web page, I am a (25) years veteran (4) years active and (21) Reserve/ Desert Storm veteran. I was told by VA that my retirement pay will be waiver by 50% because I am getting a 50% rating disability, my question to you is: what happen to the 100,000 veterans who is getting cheating out of their retirement pay check if they are not receiving a 50% rating disability? It should be the other way around: Veterans who receiving 50% or more would not be able to draw their full retirement check. Is there going to be any changes to this law are will we Veterans have to get in touch with our congressman/ senators we should cut they salary and pension.

  34. Rodney Rollingston says


    I have 21 years Active Duty and was just told that I should consider an MEB due to my many limiting physical spine fracturing. My question is: Should I go through the process of MEB (medically retired) and claim VA disability as well? Or, should I submit a regular retirement and file for VA disability afterwards? I am unsure which would be best for my family and I in the future in regards to financial security.

    • Victor says


      Great question. As any retired Vet would say, ask for a regular retirement vice MEB. You can always submit for VA disability while still on active duty, called a BDD claim.

      Benefits Delivery at Discharge (BDD) BDD allows a Servicemember to submit a claim for disability compensation 60 to 180 days prior to separation, retirement, or release from active duty or demobilization. BDD can help you receive VA disability benefits sooner, with a goal of within 60 days after release or discharge.

      If you are awarded 50% or more in disability, you are entitled to Concurrent Receipt (CRDP) Pay Computation, which is your military retirement pay and VA disability pay.


  35. Jim says

    I retired with 15 active duty, chapter 61. I was rated 40 percent by the VA over the years it went 100 percent due to my disabilities. Can I file for CRDP for my service connected disabilities. On my VA paper work it says that my disabilities were cause by being in gulf war and it was aggravated?

  36. Ruben Hernandez says

    I have been receiving CRDP since June 2013. I was awarded 90% disability from VA then. This year, in September 2016, i got it increased to 100%. Do i have to file a 1040x for the retro pay? I know this is non-taxable pay. Will filing benefit or not make a difference?

    • Victor says

      Mr. Hernandez,

      In answer to your question to file 1040x for the VA disability, no. It’s non-taxable to therefore cannot be counted as accountable income.

      If you have been adding your VA disability to your taxes each year as accountable income, you may want to contact the IRS.


    • Ryan Guina says

      Hello Ruben, Thank you for contacting me. You do not need to declare your disability compensation on your taxes, nor will you need to file any tax amendments or updates if you receive retro pay.

  37. Ryan says

    I was just recently medically retired from the Army with 9 years 10 months in service. 6 of which were active with 1 combat tour. I was given 100% combined rating via the VA and 50% army retired pay HOWEVER just this year 2016 the PEBLO told me I had to elect one or the other. After reading a lot of this article(s) information I am understanding that I qualify to receive both CRDP and VA C&P. Am I wrong in this understanding or should I call my PEBLO asap to try and get this figured out. My chain of command and AGR services for my state has been giving me A LOT of WRONG information so I will never go to them again.

    Looking forward to your responses

  38. Bill says

    I recently retired from the National Guard with over 20 years. 16 years 6 months active and 4 years as a reservist. I was awarded 100% service connected from the VA and medically retired from the Army through the the MEB process. I was found unfit at 90% from the MEB and placed on the PDRL. I was told by DFAS that I had to wait until I reach retirement age of 60 before a determination can be made to see if I an entitled to CRDP. I just turned 45 so I have to wait 15 years to draw my retirement benefit. I feel I am being black balled out of my retirement because I didn’t give Uncle Sam 3 1/2 years on active duty! I applied for SSDI and was denied. Now I have to work to support my family with a broken back and other limitations that affect me on a daily bases! This law is broken and needs to be fixed! I am not asking for a hand out! I just want what I earned!

  39. Wayne says

    Hi, I was medically retired just under 20 years of service. I receive 90% disability from Va. Monthly, which will be going up to 100% soon. Do I even qualify to receive my retirement pay or at least some of it.

    • Ryan Guina says

      Hello Wayne, Thank you for contacting me. Medical retirements are different than a normal retirement. They are usually unique to the individual and may be complicated. As such, I cannot comment on your specific case. I recommend speaking with your local finance or personnel department to help you understand the terms of your retirement. They should be able to explain how your medical retirement works and how your retirement benefit is calculated.

      • Wayne says

        Thanks I will, but do you think I would qualify for that program you had discussed about. Financial institution, you mean call Dfas or a local Va office.

      • Ryan Guina says

        Hi Wayne, Medical retirements are unique so I can’t comment on your benefits or whether or not you would be eligible for different types of pay. The best thing you can do is schedule an appointment with your local base personnel or human resources office. They should be able to explain your retirement and how your retirement pay is calculated. They can also explain which benefits you are eligible to receive through the military. You will most likely need to set up a separate appointment with the VA to have a veterans benefits review done. The VA counselor will help you understand which VA benefits you are eligible to receive. DFAS may also be able to explain how your retirement is calculated.

    • Gary Connellis says

      Hello Sir. My name is Gary. I was in the Army from 2005-2008 before a couple LOD wounds med boarded me with a 20% medical and severance.
      I for the PDRB to review my case. Just recently I recieved a letter stating the Army is medically retiring me and placing me on the PDRL.
      I have been receiving 100% I/U VA compensation for over 7 years.
      Do I get to keep my VA compensation and Military medical retirement?
      Do I get retroactive retirement pay?
      I appreciate your opinions or facts.
      Thank you.???

  40. Kenneth Kilmer says

    I am divorced and paying my ex half of my retirement. I am also drawing two disabilities with a 70%. With another claim in progress, if awarded, given additional 30% for a total of 100% does give exemption to my military retirement pay regarding
    taxes taken out?

    • Ryan Guina says

      Hello Kenneth, Military retirees receive concurrent receipt if they have a VA service-connected disability rating of 50% or higher. This means they receive full military retirement pay and full VA disability compensation. Increasing the VA disability compensation above 50% shouldn’t change the military pay in any way. So I’m not sure if increasing your VA disability rating from 70% to 100% would change anything.

      This might be a different story if you are referring to a military medical retirement and the military disability rating. I’m not sure how that would affect your military retirement pay as each situation is unique.

      At this point, the best I recommend is to visit a veterans benefits counselor and see if they can help you determine what your military pay would be if/when your disability rating changes. Then you will need to read the divorce decree to determine how your retirement pay would be split based on any changes. I hope this is helpful, and I wish you the best.

  41. Karey says

    My estimate has Congress’ salary alone north of $91M per year. The individuals certainly don’t need that much money…being as they’re wealthy in their own right. Instead they choose to target $6B from those that have served and given up the potential of promising civilian careers. I believe we could save $6B easily by reducing Congressional salaries and benefits…but, those that make the rules don’t necessarily have to live by them.

  42. John Cassell says

    I am currently going through a Medical Evaluation Board (MEB). I will be over 20 years of Active duty by the time a decision is made and I already have an approved retirement date. I have the option as an enlisted guy to waive the MEB and retire as planned. My question is should I waive the MEB and retire as planned or go through the MEB and let them Medically Retire me. Again I will be over 20 years either way. Is there any benefit to being medically retired over 20 years vs normal retirement. I will also be getting VA disability over 50%.

    • Ryan Guina says

      Hello John, Thank you for contacting me. Medical Evaluation Boards and Medical Retirements can be very complicated and we don’t have enough information about your situation to advise you which course of action to take. I strongly recommend sitting down with someone who can review your entire case and help you run the numbers for each situation. There should be someone on base who can help you do this, or you may contact someone at a Veterans Service Organization such as the DAV, AMVETS, etc.

      Don’t skip this step – it may not be possible to change your mind once you make your decision. So run the numbers and choose the situation that gives you the best financial incentive. I wish you the best, and thank you for your service!

    • SCL says

      You need to regular retire and get your retirement check and benefits; then apply for that 50% disability through VA so you can receive both. If you medical retire, they are going to ask to waive one or the other. If you retired regularly you are still eligible for service connected disabilities with treatment and pay!

      • Eric Wittig says

        I choose to medically retire with a 20 year letter, 32 total years. I was found 100% connected from the Army and 100% from VA. but when I hit 60 I still don’t keep my army retirement, they deduct all of my VA comp. I’ve been talking back and forth to DFAS and they say I qualify for Concurrent pay.
        I did have a guy at Vet Service office tell my because I med retire that II can’t get it but he’s the only one to say that. I cant find that reg anywhere.

      • Ryan Guina says

        Hello Eric, Medical retirement benefits can differ from regular military retirement – medical retirees generally have to choose between their medical retirement pay amount and VA disability compensation. That said, if you already qualified for military retirement with 20+ years, you should have been eligible to receive a normal retirement and be eligible for both military retirement pay and VA disability compensation.

        This requires one on one assistance, and unfortunately, this is not something I have the ability to do. I recommend working with a Veterans Service Organization such as your county VA office, the DAV, AMVETS, etc. They have trained benefits counselors who can assist you with understanding your situation and to see if there is anything that can be done.

        I wish you the best, and thank you for your service.

      • Chuck says

        If you can medically retire with 20 or more years i say take it. I was medically retired with 21 years of service in 2015. I was given 100% by the VA and 80% by the Army and when my retirement went into affect I received both checks. The only thing was that because I was getting 100 from the VA my Army retirement was dropped back to the 21 year pay level. Both of my checks are tax free.

    • Sky says

      As someone that just went through the MEB process and was medically retired at 100% Military Disabikity and VA rated at 100%. I should have taken my regular retirement. I have been told multiple times by DFAS I can’t concurrent draw 2 disabilities. I basically gave up almost $2000 of retired pay. MILITARY DISABILITY IS ONLY GOOD IN TWO SCENARIOS. 1. You have less than 20 years of service time or 2. You were injured in the combat zone.

  43. JACK LYONS says

    I was retired w/ 30% from the USAF in 1963 after 4.5 years. The VA kicked in w/ 40% in 1964 and I lost my AF pension (E-3). I signed waivers and joined the fire dept. in my town. I retired after 31 years. At age 62 I decided to get Social Security and fell under the windfall tax – that is because I earned a civil pension. I was only entitled to 50% of what I was told I would get all the years I paid in. I guess it’s double dipping in reverse. Earned bennies are not received. Thanks.

  44. Dale says


    If am 20yrs retired military and receiving $1919 (gross) per month retired pay. What is the amount I will receive if I become 100% disabled from the VA, is it approx. $2900 or would they only match my gross retired pay of $1919? If so what happens to the balance of the $2900 ? Who gets the approx. $1000 left?

  45. April says

    Hello Ryan,
    First off, thank you for simplifying (as much as possible) and incredibly, ambiguously confusing subject. (though, I partially feel it is intentionally confusing, to keep service members from actually knowing what they should be receiving.)
    My husband retired in November 2015, with just shy of 22yrs. His retirement pay began in December, and he just received his VA disability rating at 70%. According to the paperwork from the VA, they claim he is not eligible for CRDP. But according to everything we have read, since he is over 50%, has retired with more than 20yrs regular, uninterrupted service, he is, in fact, eligible to receive CRDP.
    I have done tons of research and reading, and I feel like the more I read, the more confused I become. But I believe I have a very basic understanding that my husband should be receiving 2 check, one from DFAS for his retirement pay, and a second from the VA for his disability pay. Is this correct??? Or have we completely misunderstood?
    Any insight you could provide would be very helpful. It seems like everyone we’ve spoken to has a different answer…. Including DFAS who claims he’s receiving his disability compensation monthly, from them, and it has been deducted from his retired pay, and yet, his DFAS pay is still the same…. as you can see, the ore information we get, the less it all makes sense.

    • P Deny says

      Hi –
      Our number near match with your husband. I retired with 21yrs 30 Nov recipe ingredients my last active duty check on 1 Dec. I filed my Va compensation and received my 1st check of $1995 1 May for being 90% disabled. I am getting two checks. DFAS and VA. I have not received my back pay of roughly $10K but I’ve seen a dewar ticked that state it takes 30-60 days.
      I had the same statement on my VA paperwork that I could not receive full benefits from both parties. I’m assuming that’s 100% VA and my retirement. However, reading this article it proves I ca, I should and I nearly am. I have been short changed on a few claims that were rated at zero percent that I may rebut.

    • ROGER says


      I just recently retired 32 years in service and having the same problem, according to the CRDP this is the wording said,
      (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), and my status DFAS is deducting all my VA compensation to my retirement pay.

    • Mr. Farinacci says

      Check to see if your husbands combine rating for compensation is 50% if is not he is not elegible! Remuerdes VA goes by combine rating, not total percentage. Retired VA VSR

    • Nina says

      I medically retired with 20 years in service I have 100% VA and my retirement, but I don’t see anything about CRDP I called DFAS and they just confused me more about it’s just a program for me to get both VA and retirement at the same time. Please explain!!

  46. Ron says

    How can you call disability pay a benefit when I get $400.00 a month and they take $400.00 out of my check every month? Same as SS benefits but I have paid that money in already. These are not benefits they are entitlements.

  47. Cynthia Lopez says

    Ryan, per the example for 20 AD YOS and then 100% VA rated, the servicemember would receive both their full retirement and their full VA…now are both incomes taxable or does VA compensation continue to be tax free?

  48. James L. Duncan says

    I have a question. I’m in the same boat as some of my fellow brothers and sisters. I was a reservist and took some active duty orders. While on those orders, I was injured pretty bad that I was place on a medical board and was medically retired. I started receiving my retirement and my VA compensation. However, the VA left one of my dependents off my claim for over 3 years. Now that this has been corrected, will I be receiving a retroactive check for the dependent that they left off? Or will they say I have already been paid for him since I was a reservist and started collecting my retirement when I was medically retired? I think that I am on the Concurrent Receipt and Disability Pay list. Can you shed some insight on this for me? Thanks.

    • Ryan Guina says

      James, Thank you for contacting me. The VA will typically pay back pay from the day you initially filed for benefits. If you made a mistake and neglected to add the dependent, then the back pay would usually be from the day you noticed the mistake and corrected it (or possibly up to one year before that). If the information was complete when you filed your benefits claim and the VA made a mistake, they will typically award back pay to the initial award date (again, usually the date you filed from benefits). If the VA got all their information from DEERS, then they should have had the complete information at the time of your award and it is likely you would receive back pay for the entire time.

      All that said, this is based on my understanding, and I don’t have the specific regs in front of me. It is worth contacting the VA and asking a customer service rep walk you through the situation and explain your benefits in full. The VA should send you an award letter once you receive the back pay. The award letter will explain the back pay you are receiving, the effective dates, and why you are receiving the back pay. I hope this helps!

  49. Gabe Peterson says

    I saw one similar question to mine but no response.

    I have 15 active duty years (currently on AD) and 6 years reserve time previously. I’m being medically retired with a lung disease and documented as burn pit related (I have also completed the burn pit registry).

    I have over 20 years combined, will I be eligible for CRDP?


  50. Paul says

    I was receiving 50% VA service connected disability from 2006 until 2009 when they reevaluated glaucoma from 30% to 10%, 10% for knee, 10% for back. The service connected disability is glaucoma downgraded from 30%
    down to 10%, since April 2009.
    I did not receive payment of 50 % during that time.
    April 2009 knee was increased to 20%, back remained at 10% and the downgrade of glaucoma to 10%.
    Is it Possible to get retroactive pay for that time period and or my glaucoma reinstated to 30%?

    Thank You.

  51. Jim says

    In August, 2015, I applied for reevaluation to the VA and in doing the paper work blocked #20 asked you want retired pay or VA compensation.. I marked retired pay. Previously, I was evaluated at 40% disability (July, 2012). In August, 2015, I was awarded 70% disability. But VA admitted they made a mistake in July, 2012 and I should have been awarded 50% disability as stated in my award letter I would receive retroactive back pay 2012. Situation: because I marked box 20 wrong, I am getting nothing from the VA so beware when you file your paper work. Ask question dealing with block 20. I am having to resubmit my papers to receive my VA compensation.

  52. Don says

    Sir, your article is not entirely correct.

    I was recently elevated in disability from 60% to 100%. I received my letter from the VA explaining compensation. What your article fails to mention is your monthly VA disability payment (CRDP) cannot exceed you military retirement. Example is VA disability at 100% is $3,068 monthly (dependent), my military retirement is $1,602, total VA disability under CRDP payment rules each month equals military retirement of $1,602.

    So, your 100% example above of $2,186 + $2,858 = $5,044 is not correct.

    • aaron says

      Don, please provide references. It would be helpful for those of us wanting to take a look at what your referring to.

      • Don says


        I am referencing the article directly above and related to my reply.

        My statement is also validated by my DFAS LES which tells me my VA compensation amount is the same as my military retirement (before taxes) of $1,602.00

        I called DFAS and was told that the total entitlement of $3,068 would be if I had no military retirement as an offset (still confused) and that it is the law. I like, OK, whatever. The best I can tell is the reference to this is in CFR 3750 series, but as I read it, it appears to be explaining the phased-in requirement. DFAS tells me it is also referencing CRDP in general.

  53. 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%?


    • Ryan Guina 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.

  54. 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?

    • Ryan Guina 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).

  55. 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.


  56. 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?

  57. 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?

    • Ryan Guina 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.

  58. 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

  59. 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?


    • Ryan Guina 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!

  60. 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?


    • Ryan Guina 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!

  61. 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

  62. 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

    • Ryan Guina 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.

  63. 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,

  64. 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!

    • Ryan Guina 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!

  65. 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!

  66. robert says

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

  67. 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!

  68. 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

    • Ryan Guina 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.

      • David A Bastiansen says

        Hi there, I have a question on this. If i place 100% of my drill pay into the military TSP do I still have to waive any amounts?

        Thank you,

      • Ryan Guina says

        David, Thank you for contacting me. Concurrent Retirement Disability Pay is for military retirees only. Are you referring to waiving your VA disability compensation when you receive military compensation for the same period?

        If this is the case, you still have to choose to waive either your VA disability compensation of your military compensation. Federal law prohibits receiving VA disability compensation during the same period you receive compensation for military service. Contributing your Drill pay into the TSP is still receiving compensation for military service at the same time as receiving VA disability compensation.

        Also, I’m not certain you can contribute 100% of your Drill pay to the TSP. There are certain payroll taxes and Social Security taxes that need to be accounted for. (I am not certain). Either way, you must elect which compensation to receive for the period served. I hope this helps. Best of luck, and thank you for your service!

  69. 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?

    • Ryan Guina 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???

      • charles says

        I am a current trdl 100 percent va rated service combat related disability with over 15 years. I just received a letter from the army stating I am given 50 percent permanently disability retired. am I going to loose my va disability?

  70. 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

    • Ryan Guina 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.

  71. 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%?

  72. 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.

  73. 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.

    • Ryan Guina 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.

  74. Alex says

    Thank you for all the useful information you give us. It’s 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 6-30 April. (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.

  75. 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.

  76. 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.

  77. 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.

  78. Reba says

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

  79. 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

  80. 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

  81. 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?

    • Ryan Guina 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!

  82. 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,


  83. Kevin J. says

    Hi Ryan, Good article, thank you. I am curious however about one thing you wrote. In your simplified example, you said “All VA Disability Compensation Benefits are non-taxable income at all levels.” This is opposite what DFAS says on the issue of CRDP.
    “Concurrent Retirement Disability Payments (CRDP): CRDP is a restoration of your retired pay, not a separate entitlement. Therefore, if your retired pay is taxable so is any CRDP payments you receive. If your retired pay is non-taxable, your CRDP is also non-taxable.”
    Since tax time is approaching, which shall we believe? Very few tax preparers have any clue about this specific question, and the overwhelming preponderance of information out there including IRS rules, agrees with your statement.
    “VA Disability Benefits: Do not include disability benefits you receive from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) in your gross income.”

  84. 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.

    • Ryan Guina 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!

  85. 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

  86. 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?


  87. 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?

  88. 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

  89. 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

    • Ryan Guina 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!

  90. 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?

    • Ryan Guina 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!

  91. 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.

  92. 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.

    • Ryan Guina 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.

  93. 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

    • Ryan Guina 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!

  94. 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 ?

    • Ryan Guina 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!

  95. 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.

    • Ryan Guina 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.

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