CRDP or Concurrent Retired and Disability Pay is automatic for all 20 (+) year retirees with a VA rating of 50% or greater. But for retirees rated at 40% or less, why does CRDP matter? Without CRDP, a person with a VA rating and the associated VA compensation has their Service retired pay docked dollar-for-dollar by the amount of VA compensation they receive. This subtraction is referred to as the VA Waiver. Veterans who receive retirement pay and VA compensation at the same time are typically subject to the government’s “double-dipping” laws. To comply with this law, veterans who receive both service retired pay and VA disability compensation simultaneously are required to waive part of their service retired pay. CRDP is the elimination of the VA Waiver from retired pay.
Certain veterans qualify for what is called “concurrent receipt.” Concurrent receipt is the restoration of service retired pay that has been withheld by the VA waiver. There are two forms of concurrent receipt: Concurrent Retired and Disability Pay (CRDP) and Combat-Related Special Compensation (CRSC). The two benefits serve the same function – restoring all or part of the VA waiver – but each has different eligibility requirements, application processes, and funding sources. The focus of this article is on CRDP.
The amount subtracted from retired pay is known as the VA Waiver—you ‘waive’ your retired pay to receive VA compensation. The elimination of the VA Waiver means all taxable retired pay is restored. It also means all retired pay becomes subject to the Former Spouse Protection Act and retired pay can be divided in a divorce.
Concurrent Retired and Disability Pay (CRDP)
CRDP restores your service pay simply by eliminating the VA waiver. So, unlike CRSC, you will not receive a separate check for CRDP. Instead, the monthly check you receive from the Defense Finance and Accounting Service (DFAS), the administrator of military retired pay, will be increased from the docked amount.
There is no application process for CRDP. If you meet the eligibility requirements, DFAS will automatically eliminate the VA waiver, restoring your retired pay.
NOTE: For those who had a service disability rating upon retirement
Personnel who retire from the military with a service disability rating may not receive the full amount of the VA waiver. This is because their retired pay is increased due to their in-service disability rating, but the CRDP amount is limited to the portion of their retired pay based only on years of service. So, for these veterans, DFAS will restore the amount of the VA waiver that is based on years of service, but not the amount based on your in-service disability rating.
Eligibility for CRDP
There is no combat-related factor for CRDP eligibility. To be eligible for CRDP, veterans must
- be receiving retired pay and VA compensation,
- be a 20-year (or more) retiree,
- have a service-connected disability rated 50 percent or more.
Unfortunately, medical retirees (Chapter 61 retirees) with less than 20 years of service are not eligible for CRDP. And again, if you meet the above requirements, CRDP will be applied automatically and your VA waiver will be eliminated.
Guard and Reserve Medical Retirees
Regular Guard and Reserve retirees cannot receive retired pay until age 60. So, even if these veterans are receiving VA compensation before age 60, they will not be eligible for CRDP until they turn 60 and start receiving retired pay and VA compensation simultaneously.
For Guard and Reserve members who are medically retired before reaching age 60, however, eligibility for CRDP in particular can be confusing. Even though medical retirees do receive retired pay before age 60, certain medical retirees will still not be eligible for CRDP before age 60. The reason comes down to the difference in how “years of service” are calculated for regular Guard and Reserve retirement and for medical retirement.
To be eligible for CRDP, veterans must have 20 or more years of service. For regular Guard and Reserve retirement, your total years of service are calculated by adding your years on active duty with your drilling years. For medical retirement, your “years of service” are calculated based only on your active duty years.
So, for medical retirees who have less than 20 years of active service, but 20 or more years of combined drilling and active service, eligibility can feel complicated. Unfortunately, the medical retirees in this “gray area” are not yet eligible for CRDP, but will become eligible when they turn 60. This is because, under medical retirement, the veteran is considered to have less than 20 years of service, so DFAS and VA make the same assumption for CRDP purposes. At 60, the veteran can include the total time for their Guard and Reserve retirement (active years and drilling years), and would be considered to have 20 or more years of service, thus meeting the eligibility criteria for CRDP.