Many Veterans Missing Out On Special Pay

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17 January, 2019 By Rick Castro

Just because a veteran was not injured in combat does not mean he or she may not be entitled to receive Combat-Related Special Compensation (CRSC). Many veterans may be missing out on hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars every month because they have not applied for the compensation. Don't let the term combat throw you; there are many circumstances which are combat related that could justify approval of extra tax-free money for you.

CRSC is designed to restore military retirement pay that has been offset by Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) compensation when evidence exists to confirm the associated disabilities are combat related. For example, if a veteran is currently rated for disability of 10 percent with the VA, he or she receives a check from the VA for $140 each month, but his or her retired pay is reduced by the same amount. If the disability is found to be combat-related by the CRSC review board, he or she would continue to receive the monthly check from the VA for $140 along with the remainder of the retired pay, but begin to receive an additional monthly check from the CRSC for $140.

Many disabilities that resulted from conditions during peacetime may meet the criteria for CRSC. Some examples are an aircraft mechanic who works on the flight line and begins to lose his hearing while in-service; a personnel technician who dives for cover during a simulated air raid and injures her shoulder; and a special forces journeyman who makes a peacetime parachute jump and breaks his ankle upon landing.

If you’re not sure the circumstances surrounding your disability meet the combat-related criteria, it would be beneficial for you to apply for CRSC and let the board make a determination for you. There are a few prerequisites to consider before submitting a CRSC application. To meet the basic eligibility criteria to be considered for CRSC, veterans must:

  • Be retired with 20 (or more) years of active duty military service, or retired at age 60 from the Guard or Reserve and
  • Be receiving military retired pay and
  • Have a compensable VA disability rating of 10 percent or higher and
  • Receive military retired pay that is reduced by VA disability payments.

NOTE: Veterans who waived military retirement pay for Civil Service credit are not eligible to apply for CRSC.

Copies of the Claim for Combat-Related Special Compensation, DD Form 2860, and more information on the program can be obtained from the following websites:

DoD Defenselink

Air Force

HQ Air Force Personnel Center

1-800-616-3775 toll-free (Select option 5, then option 1)

or 210-565-1600


Army Human Resources Command

1-866-281-3254 toll-free

Written by

Rick Castro

Rick Castro is a Combat Related Special Compensation Program Manager, HQ Air Force Personnel Center.