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Thread: Combat Related Special Compensation

  1. Newly Registered User george neville's Avatar
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    Combat Related Special Compensation

    This is the latest update on compat related special compensation. As of May
    14, 2003. However, keep in mind DoD has yet to publish the regulations. We
    expect they will be released May 31, 2003.
    During hearings on the FY 2003 Defense Authorization Act House and Senate
    Armed Services Committee leaders, fearful of a veto that would have killed
    the whole FY2003 Defense Authorization Act, convinced the Administration to
    accept a reduced package focused on retirees with disabilities due to
    combat, combat-oriented training or certain other hazard-related
    circumstances.

    Committee leaders believed they had little choice in taking what they saw as
    the only possible route to any progress on concurrent receipt last year. In
    essence, the deal established a new form of "special compensation" for
    certain disabled retirees who have at least 20 years of active duty or a
    combination of active duty time and reserve points comprising the equivalent
    of 20 years of full-time active duty. Unfortunately, very few Reserve
    retirees qualify under this strict criterion.

    The amount of the special compensation will be the full amount of retired
    pay forfeited due to receipt of VA compensation for a qualifying disability.
    Unlike the special compensation already in law (which provides $50 to $300
    per month for certain severely disabled retirees), the new version will not
    be capped at a specific dollar amount, and will rise each year as the offset
    rises. Unlike the current $50 to $300 special compensation, which requires
    that a qualifying disability must have occurred within 4 years after
    retirement, eligibility for the new version will not be restricted by any
    time limit. Qualifying members will be eligible to receive either the "new"
    or the "old" special compensation amount, whichever is higher. The effective
    date for the new program is May 2003, with payments being made June 1, 2003.

    Qualifying retirees will have to apply for the new special compensation.
    There will be no phase-in or ramp-up period. Qualifying payments will be
    paid as of the effective date. Veterans who are denied this benefit will
    have the right to appeal.

    There are two sets of qualifying disabilities, one more complicated than the
    other. On the simple side, any qualifying retiree with a disability rating
    of 10% or higher that is associated with award of a Purple Heart will be
    eligible for the new special compensation. Under this rule, the special
    compensation amount will be based on the disability rating awarded for the
    combat wound. For example a veteran who stepped on a mine and had to have
    the great toe amputated with removal of metatarsal head would receive 30%
    from VA and 30% from DoD, which for a single veteran would be $310 from VA
    and $310 from DoD or $620 per month and both would be tax free.

    The other, more complicated, eligibility rule covers retirees awarded
    disability ratings of 60% or higher for other illnesses/injuries
    attributable to combat situations, combat-oriented training, hazardous duty,
    or instrumentality's of war. The legislators based these categories on the
    Defense Department's current definition of "combat-related" disabilities, as
    described in DoD Instruction 1332.38, which can be downloaded at
    <http://www.dtic.mil/whs/directives/corres/ins1.html>. The following is a
    summary of the descriptions in that instruction, which presumably will be
    used to guide DOD eligibility, decisions for the new program.
    * Direct result of armed conflict: including a war,
    expedition, occupation of an area or territory, battle, skirmish, raid,
    invasion, rebellion, insurrection, guerrilla action, riot, or any other
    action in which Service members are engaged with a hostile or belligerent
    nation, faction, force, or terrorists.

    * While engaged in hazardous service: including, but not
    limited to, aerial flight duty, parachute duty, demolition duty,
    experimental stress duty, and diving duty.

    The other, more complicated, eligibility rule covers retirees awarded
    Disability ratings of 60% or higher for other illnesses/injuries
    attributable to combat situations, combat-oriented training, hazardous duty,
    or instrumentality's of war. These categories are based on the Defense
    Department's current definition of "combat-related" disabilities, as
    described in DoD Instruction 1332.38. The following is a summary of the
    descriptions in that Instruction, which presumably will be used to guide DOD
    eligibility, decisions for the new program.

    * Direct result of armed conflict: including a war,
    expedition, occupation of an area or territory, battle, skirmish, raid,
    invasion, rebellion, insurrection, guerrilla action, riot, or any other
    action in which Service members are engaged with a hostile or belligerent
    nation, faction, force, or terrorists.

    * While engaged in hazardous service: including, but not
    limited to, aerial flight duty, parachute duty, demolition duty,
    experimental stress duty, and diving duty.

    * While engaged in hazardous service: including, but not
    limited to, aerial flight duty, parachute duty, demolition duty,
    experimental stress duty, and diving duty.

    * Under conditions simulating war: resulting from military
    training, such as war games, practice alerts, tactical exercises, airborne
    operations, leadership reaction courses, grenade and live fire weapons
    practice, bayonet training, hand-to-hand combat training, rappelling, and
    negotiation of combat confidence and obstacle courses (does not include
    physical training activities, such as calisthenics and jogging or formation
    running and supervised sports).

    * Caused by instrumentality of war (incurrence during a period
    or war is not required): includes such causes as wounds caused by a military
    weapon, accidents involving a combat vehicle, injury or sickness caused by
    fumes, gases, or explosion of military ordinance, vehicles or material.
    (i.e. DoD example - an injury resulting from a fall on the deck of a ship
    while participating in sports would not normally be covered, since the sport
    activity, not the ship, caused the fall. But it would be covered if the
    operation of the ship caused the fall.)

    Clearly, these guidelines allow for some judgment, so it's uncertain how
    many people may qualify. However, it has been estimated that up to 35,000
    eligible retirees, with cost estimates ranging from $4 billion to $9 billion
    over 10 years.
    The new Defense Authorization Act specifies that the Defense Department will
    be responsible for applying the above criteria to determine which VA
    disability awards qualify for the special compensation.

    In discussing the issue on the House floor prior to passage, some
    legislators voiced concern that Agent Orange, PTSD and the Gulf War Syndrome
    would be covered. To date DoD has indicated they will include PTSD and Agent
    Orange related injuries however, Gulf War undiagnosed illness remains to be
    decided.

    The VFW and other military organizations agreed with the Armed Services
    Committees that the authority outlines above are preferable, by far, to the
    alternative of getting nothing. But it falls far short of what most believe
    is fair, and still leaves many, many thousands of disabled retirees having
    to pay for their own disability compensation
    George Neville
    "Scribe"

  2. John Allison
    Guest
    Just found this on DAV's Website.







    Action Alert

    Update on Special Compensation for Combat Disabled Veterans Enacted
    May 9, 2003






    The DAV and other veterans and military service organization representatives recently met with Department of Defense (DoD) officials regarding the final regulations and application process for Combat-Related Special Compensation (CRSC). Application forms are expected to be released by the end of May. DoD will have a web site available for the downloading of forms; the web site will also provide complete instructions on how to apply. The web site address is www.dmdc.osd.mil/crsc.




    Though nothing official has been signed into regulation, DoD did offer some insight regarding what will likely become CRSC policy:






    Each military department will establish review boards to adjudicate CRSC claims for retirees (with at least 20 years of active service) who have disabilities rated by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). Disability ratings associated with the Purple Heart Medal must be rated 10% or higher. VA disability ratings for injuries or illnesses not associated with a Purple Heart must be rated 60% or higher, and an established relationship to combat or military operations must also be shown by evidence.




    Appeals to undesirable decisions may be made to the Office of the Secretary of Defense.

    Claims may be expedited by including copies of supporting documents with the application. Original forms should not be used; copies do not need to be certified.

    DoD is asking claimants not to request supporting documents from the National Personnel Records Center or the VA. Special arrangements have been made by DoD to obtain records on an expedited basis.

    CRSC benefits will be retroactive to June 1, 2003, provided the qualifying disability was rated by teh VA on or before that date.

    CRSC will be tax free.

    CRSC will be available for conditions considered by VA to be presumptively service connected. Presumptive conditions include tropical diseases, prisoner-of-war related diseases, and disease associated with exposure to herbicide agents. PTSD will also be considered as a qualifying criteria for CRSC.




    Semper Fi



    John

  3. John Van Nortwick
    Guest

    CRSC Application

    John, Thanks for the heads up. Yesterday, I downloaded the application form, filled it out and submitted it. 10% VA for right knee (PH); 10% VA for right leg (PH); 10% VA for prostate cancer (AO). Probably won't get the AO because not 60%. I will let you know how it progresses. S/F John Van Nortwick

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