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Eligibility requirements for Combat-Related Special Compensation

The advantages of Combat-Related Special Compensation are significant. Most importantly, military retirees who qualify for CRSC will not have their Veterans' Administration disability compensation subtracted from their total military retirement pay. This means that military veterans suffering from war-related injuries, who have 20-plus years of service, receive their VA disability compensation in addition to the full amount of their military retirement pay.

In order to qualify for CRSC, the following conditions must apply to the combat veteran. First, the veteran must have 20 or more years of credible military service or -- if it is less than 20 years -- then he or she must have been Chapter 61 medically retired. Second, the individual must be a current recipient of military retired pay. Third, the wounded veteran must have a 10 percent or more VA-rated injury. Fourth, the military retired pay received by the veteran is reduced by his or her VA disability payments.

Additionally, the veteran must provide documentation that his or her military injury was caused by: (1) war simulation training, (2) hazardous duty; (3) an instrument of war; or (4) armed conflict. Each of these categories is subjected to further more exacting definitions, but there is not space in this small blog post to discuss them in such detail.

CRSC monthly benefits range from a low of $117 to more than $2772. Various factors will dictate exactly how much a retired service person will receive, including the individual's number of dependents, disability rating and more. Generally, the CRSC payment schedule is close to that of the VA Disability Compensation pay rates.

Veterans benefits law is complicated to navigate, and knowledge can be power. Indeed, the more one knows, the more easily one can identify the benefits for which he or she is eligible, and the better one is capable of successfully obtaining an appropriate level of compensation.

Source: Military.com, "Combat Related Special Compensation," accessed April. 03, 2015

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