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Fort Bragg Retirement Services Information Brief

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1 Fort Bragg Retirement Services Information Brief
P.O. Box 70029 Fort Bragg, NC 28307 9 April 2012 Army Policy, AR , Retirement Services Program stipulates a requirement for Soldiers to attend a Preretirement Briefing. It is recommended that Soldiers attend such briefing between the time their retirement application is submitted and 120 days before retirement. We have found that it is helpful for Soldiers to attend more than one Preretirement Briefing because of the amount of technical information it contains. Spouses are highly encourage to attend the Pre-retirement Briefing.

2 Retirement Services Officers (RSO)
Pre-Retirement Support Preretirement briefing Survivor Benefit Plan (SBP)/RCSBP counseling Retirement literature Career Status Bonus counseling Post-Retirement Support Retirement Services Office (RSO) Assistance with pay, ID cards, SBP Retiree Appreciation Day (RAD) Newsletters Installation Retiree Councils See: Installation Retirement Services Officers (RSO) provide: Preretirement Briefings, to include SBP Counseling. Soldiers are required by AR to attend a preretirement briefing (containing the information you are currently reading plus other topics deemed appropriate by your RSO) and an SBP counseling session. (NOTE: SBP is such an important retirement topic that it warrants separate coverage; see The briefing must be attended between the time you submit your retirement application and 120 days before your retirement date or departure on transition leave, although earlier attendance at briefings is beneficial. Spouses are highly encouraged to attend these briefings also. By law, you and your spouse must receive SBP counseling before your last active duty day. Contact your nearest RSO (see to arrange for this counseling. Retirement literature. A variety of retirement literature is available on the Army Retirement Services homepage (http: and from your installation RSO. Retiree Appreciation Days (RADs). RADs are conducted annually at most major Army installations and in some areas away from installations. These events offer various subject matter experts to update benefits and privileges; and provide a means for retirees and their spouse/survivors to meet other retirees and spouses and network. Retiree Newsletters. RSOs are required to publish a newsletter for Retired Soldiers and spouses in their area of responsibility at least annually. This newsletter is intended to supplement the information found in Army Echoes. Administrative support to installation retiree councils. Installation and area retiree councils are composed of Retired Soldier volunteers whose goal is to keep the installation commander, major Army command, and CSA Retiree Council informed about retiree issues. Often, installation and area council members represent retiree interests on installation advisory councils such as the PX, commissary, and hospital. Installation retiree councils are responsible to forward the most critical issues for discussion by the CSA Retiree Council at their annual meeting. Military-related organizations. Although the RSO is your main source for retiree information, Military-related organizations can provide information and assistance on many areas of concern. You might want to consider membership in one or more of these organizations. Personal Affairs Checklist. You and your spouse should complete a Personal Affairs Checklist annually. A sample is at ( and is published in Army Echoes. 2

3 States That Do Not Tax Military Retired Pay
Taxes States With NO State Income Tax Alaska New Hampshire Texas Florida South Dakota Washington Nevada Tennessee Wyoming States That Do Not Tax Military Retired Pay Alabama Indiana* Mississippi Oklahoma* Arizona* Iowa* Missouri* Oregon* Arkansas* Kansas Montana* Pennsylvania* Colorado* Kentucky* North Dakota* South Carolina* Connecticut* Louisiana North Carolina* Utah* Delaware* Maryland* New Jersey Washington DC* Hawaii Massachusetts New York West Virginia* Illinois Michigan Ohio Wisconsin * Conditions or limitations apply; check state law State tax is not an automatic deduction. Instead it CAN be withheld from retired pay upon your request, provided the state has entered into an agreement with the Defense Finance & Accounting Service (DFAS). A good source to use for more information on the rules of each state is: the tax guide found on The Military Officers Association of America (MOAA) website at Don’t confuse the “home of record” that’s been following you during your active duty career with “home of residence” that is pertinent to where you will pay or not pay state tax. Home of Residence is determiner; not Home of Record! 3

4 Dividing Retired Pay as Property (Uniformed Services Former Spouses' Protection Act )
NOT AUTOMATIC Up to state courts Can award any amount Award not tied to length of marriage Direct payment requirements: Marriage overlapped 10 years with service Limited to 50% of “disposable” retired pay* * up to 65%, if other garnishments A final topic related to payment of retired pay… Despite what many people think and what many people advise, the division of Military retired pay as property between a divorcing couple is NOT AUTOMATIC. Simply, federal law states that retired pay may be divided, and leaves the decision on whether it will be divided as alimony or property up to the state courts. Division as property is restricted to disposable retired pay only. Disposable retired pay = gross retired pay less amounts which: - the Soldier owes to the U.S. for previous overpayments of retired pay - the Soldier owes for recoupments required by law resulting from entitlement to retired pay - are deducted for court martial fines - are waived to receive civil service or VA disability compensation - are based on disability (for court orders issued on or after 14 Nov 86) - are deducted because of an election under the Survivor Benefit Plan (SBP) to provide an annuity to a spouse or former spouse to whom payment of a portion of such Soldier’s retired pay is being made pursuant to a court order - are owed the U.S (for court orders issued before 3 Feb 91) - are withheld for federal and state taxes, consistent with the Soldier’s tax liability (for court orders issued before 3 Feb 91) Although retired pay may be divided with a former spouse, the finance center will not send that pay directly to the former spouse unless a federal requirement is met – that the marriage overlapped at least 10 years of the Soldier’s service creditable for retired pay. If the court awards a former spouse a portion of retired pay as property, but the 10-year overlap of marriage and service creditable for retired pay is not met, the Soldier is obligated to pay the former spouse through personal means. 4

5 Advantages to Applying to VA for Service-Connected Disability
Even 0% rating documents health ($$ begins at 10%) Tax-free VA payments (additional $$ is paid to you for family members if you’re rated 30% or more) Lifetime reevaluations and appeals available from VA VA ID card expedites future VA care Survivor annuity payable if your death is service-connected $10K (or $30K) Service Disabled Veterans Insurance (SDVI) policy available to disabled At retirement, you have easiest access to your medical records to support your claim (can apply at any time) The following VA-related slides offer a fairly general overview of VA programs applicable to Military retirees. There are MANY, MANY MORE PROGRAMS that you can learn about by visiting the VA homepage at: Let’s begin with the topic of the need for all Military retirees to apply to the VA to document service-connected disabilities. This slide lists seven reasons to follow through in making this application. 5

6 VA Compensation for Service-Connected Disability
VA rates disabilities 0% - 100% Each % has an assigned dollar amount 2012 amounts: from $127 (10%) to $2769 (100%) Unrelated to Military rank since ’93 Free VA medical care for service-connected conditions Monthly payments Begin at 10% (CAN be 0% disabled) Tax-free 30% & higher = Extra dependent allowance For retirees <50% disabled, offsets Military retired pay $ for $ This is how the VA disability compensation process works. When your combined conditions total more than 10%, you will receive a monthly tax-free compensation from the VA. (Unless you are rated 50% or more - under current law, your VA tax-free compensation amount offsets your Military retired pay $-for-$.) Each percentage of disability pays a set dollar amount which is increased by COLA each year. It is unrelated to your grade, rank, or Military retired pay amount. (It was de-linked from pay grade in 1993.) A rating from the VA of 30% disabled or higher provides additional monthly amounts to you, based on the number of dependents you have, to include your spouse. If you are rated by the VA as 50% or more disabled, the details (provided earlier in this briefing) on Concurrent Retirement & Disability Payments, apply. If you have disabilities that can be connected to COMBAT, provisions of the Combat-Related Special Compensation (CRSC) program apply (also covered in detail earlier in this briefing). 6

7 VA Service-Connected Disability Compensation Rates
This slide shows the tax-free VA compensation amounts in effect as of 1 Dec These amounts receive a COLA each 1 Dec. When a veteran is rated 30% or more disabled, an additional amount is paid for eligible dependents (e.g., spouse, child, parent). The additional amount for a child is dependent upon the child’s age and the veteran’s disability percentage rating. Different rates are paid for children under 18, and children over 18 but under 21 and in school. Special Monthly Compensation (SMC) is paid to permanently housebound veterans or those in need of the aid and attendance of another person. Consult the Web site: – see Benefits – for a more complete listing of compensation amounts/categories. 7

8 VA Info Sources Online: By Phone: In-Person:
Send inquiries Download forms Get benefits information Apply for benefits By Phone: Benefits: Education: GIBILL-1 VA Life Insurance: SGLI/VGLI: Gulf War: TDD: In-Person: County VA Director (blue pages of phone book) There are many ways to access detailed VA information. Here are the best sources. 8

9 most severely disabled
Concurrent Receipt Background Since 1890, Federal law has forbidden concurrent receipt of military retired pay & VA disability compensation Goal of New Laws Restore some or all of the pay that is offset to the most severely disabled Until a receipt law change, military retirees were the one group of federal “pensioners” not permitted, by law, to receive their full retired pay and their full VA disability compensation amount. Qualified Civil Servant retirees receive both. However, in the FY03 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), Congress did enact a “limited” concurrent receipt provision that gives an additional special compensation to those most severely disabled DUE TO COMBAT….thereby replacing some of their otherwise “offset” retired pay. Details of this new program, called Combat-Related Special Compensation, or CRSC, follow. CRSC: Enacted December 2, 2002 CRDP: Enacted January 1, 2004 9

10 Agenda What is CRSC? CRSC vs. CRDP CRSC Claim Workshop 10

11 CRSC is a tax-free monetary award,
What is CRSC? What is CRSC? CRSC is Congressionally mandated program providing compensation for eligible retired veterans with “combat-related” injuries who have a % VA disability rating. CRSC began operation 1 June 2003 under the Army Human Resources Command (AHRC), by the United States Army Physical Disability Agency. How does CRSC help retired veterans? Replaces the VA disability compensation that’s subtracted from retired pay Restores military retired pay with tax free monthly payments and is paid retroactively Recognizes veterans for their sacrifice to our country What is CRSC, and how does it benefit me? CRSC is a tax-free monetary award, which is paid in addition to what remains of your retirement pay and the VA Waiver amount. -This program was set up to compensate injured veterans who completed 20 yrs of federal service. -The goal of this program is to give back the VA offset for disabilities that are verified as combat related. 11

12 “combat-related” VA Disability
Who is Eligible? Must Have at least one “combat-related” VA Disability Must Have ALL three AND 1. Simulating War (SW) 2. Hazardous Service (HS) 3. Instrumentality of War (IN) 4. Armed Conflict (AC) Receiving military retired pay Military retired pay is reduced by VA disability payments (VA Waiver) Have a 10% or greater VA rated disability Presumptive Cases – examples: Prisoner of War (POW) Agent Orange (AO) Gulf War (GW) Radiation Exposure (RE) Mustard Gas or Lewisite (MG) What is NOT Combat-Related: Important: not all service connected injuries are considered combat-related Just having something occur while in an area of conflict or training is not enough Injuries that cannot be directly linked to one of the combat/ training scenarios above are not combat-related Include evidence with your application that clearly demonstrates “HOW” you were injured, such as: VA rating decisions for every claimed injury from State or Federal VA office DD 214 Personnel record Excerpts from medical records pertaining to injuries being claimed (not entire medical record) Line of Duty Determinations Accident, Incident Reports, or Award Write-ups Any other documentation that shows “HOW” your injuries occurred 12

13 Service-Related vs. Combat-Related
Injury directly related to military service Example: Hurt knee during Battalion run at Airborne School Combat-Related Injury Injury contributed to any of the following situations: Examples: Simulating War - hurt knee while reacting to enemy fire during FTX Hazardous Services - hurt knee on a night jump during SF school Instrumentality of War - hit knee on rotating tank turret during FTX Armed Conflict - shot in knee by enemy during Gulf War What is a Service-Related Illness or Injury? An Illness or injury which the Soldier incurred while in active military service or which existed prior to entry into active military service and was made worse by such service BASICALLY service-related is just that related to the day to day operations of being in the military service. So what is considered a combat-related illness/injury? For the purposes of CRSC, a combat-related illness/injury can be a illness or injury that results by the means of combat or training for combat. It can be caused by any of these situations: Simulations of War (SW) (i.e. FTX, Special Forces training exercises, combat confidence course or lanes training, or other training which is used to prepare for combat);  Hazardous Service (HS) (i.e. aerial flight, parachute duty, demolition duty, experimental stress duty, and diving duty) Instrumentalities of War (IN) (i.e. tanks, Agent Orange, grenade simulators, military planes, and other items unique to the military).  Or by actual combat (AC) - directly or indirectly (i.e. Purple Heart (PH) injuries or secondary conditions as a result of the injury);  Over the next few slides we will see some examples of Service-Related verse Combat-Related Injuries for each combat-related category. 13

14 CRSC In Action Below is an example of the CRSC benefit: With CRDP
A retiree receives a total of $1,521 a month for military retired pay and has been awarded VA service-connected disabilities at 100% and combat “related” disabilities at 50% With CRDP Military Retired Pay (E7) $1,521 VA Offset $1,521 VA Pay (100%) $2,600 CRDP (100%) $1,521 Total Pay = $4,121 Total $2,600 Tax-Free / $ 1,521 Taxed With CRSC Military Retired Pay $1,521 VA Offset $1,521 VA Pay (100%) $2,600 CRSC (50%) $750 Total Pay = $3,350 Tax-Free 14

15 Did I supply evidence that verifies “HOW” I got the injury?
Why Claims are Denied Top Reasons CRSC Claims are Not Approved: 1) Official documentation provided does not tell “HOW” the injury occurred to link it to a combat related event 2) The VA rating decision “narrative summary” was not provided 3) Claim was not signed by the retiree Did I supply evidence that verifies “HOW” I got the injury? Before submitting your claim determine... 15

16 CRSC Claim Pages CRSC Claim Pages: Retired veterans complete pages 1 – 3 only when submitting a claim (the cover page and the appendix should not be mailed into the CRSC office) Each page provides a step-by-step guide to what information is needed 16

17 CRSC Claim Page 1 Section I Personal Identification
Name and Social Security Number Section II Preliminary CRSC Criteria Section III Service History Must provide copies of all evidentiary documentation Have the claimants turn to page 2 and briefly mention the 2 sections on this page 17

18 CRSC Claim Page 2 When more than 1 combat-related injuries is documented: Photocopy this page, for each additional disability, complete, and attach with your claim form Ambassador Coded Forms have V3AM in the top corner Name and Social Security Number Section IV Combat-relatedness determination (Description of Injury) Have claimants turn to page 4. Briefly explain this is the page to document their combat-related disabilities. Ask if anyone is claiming more than 2 disabilities and provide them with extra sheets of page 4. Move on to the next page for further explanation of question 13. If you photocopy, be sure to fill in the “page _ of _” so we are aware that all applicable pages are present. Description of Secondary Disability (if applicable) 18

19 CRSC Claim Page 3 Name and Social Security Number
Section V Documentation Inventory Section VI – Certification and Waiver of Concurrent Retirement and Disability payments (CRDP) * Have claimants complete Section IV and go to the next slide for the most important supporting documentation. We return around 25 applications every two weeks because the claimant forgets to sign the application. Signature REQUIRED! * If you are currently receiving CRDP payments and apply for CRSC, DFAS will give you whichever payment is higher. 19

20 How to File a Claim Step 1-
Review the CRSC Information Document, Claim Guide and Claim form on the CRSC web site (can be downloaded) Step 2- Review all of your VA rating decisions to see if they state -“HOW” you got the injury (see the document “Completing a Successful CRSC Claim” on our website for assistance) Step 3- Determine if any decision states HOW the injury occurred Step 4- If YES to Step 3, complete the CRSC claim form or apply online at   If NO to Step 3, then go though your personnel and medical records to find any evidence verifying your claim (see the document “Completing a Successful CRSC Claim” on our website) Step 5- Attach required documentation and send completed claim form to: Department of the Army; ATTN: CRSC Division 200 Stovall Street; Alexandria, VA NOTE: The VA and MTF can accept documents that CRSC cannot. 20

21 Submitting a Successful CRSC Claim
DO Submit: A signed claim form Copies of ALL VA rating decisions which include the letter and the narrative summaries Copies of ALL DD214’s and DD215’s Official documentary evidence that supports “HOW” the specific disability being claimed can be linked to a combat-related event DO NOT Submit: Medical records that do not pertain to the disability being claimed Electronic media, EKGs, lab slips, or dental records Personal or “Buddy” statements 21

22 Documentation – What you need to know
CRSC needs to see a specific event that caused the disability being claimed in the medical documentation you provide Unnecessary paperwork can impede the claim process All documentation must be from a military treatment facility or VA medical center or clinic CRSC does not have access to your military records We know that there are many deserving Retirees that may never find evidence to verify their CRSC claim. However, regardless of why you do not have evidence, we will be unable to award any compensation from CRSC without something official that tells us how you got your injury or what caused your illness 22

23 Combat-Related Special Compensation
(CRSC) How To Apply complete DD Form 2860 attach supporting documents mail to address on form Army information numbers: Online info available at: To be considered for this compensation, one must apply. Here are several sources for getting the application form and more detailed information on CRSC. 23

24 Concurrent Retirement & Disability Pay
(CRDP) No application; VA & DFAS match files Retired pay restored for those VA rated 50 – 100% Based on SERVICE-connected conditions (not necessarily combat-related) 10-year phase-in, 2005 – 2014 Taxable Concurrent Retirement and Disability Payments (CRDP) are intended to compensate some retirees for the offset of retired pay resulting from receipt of VA disability payments. All eligible under CRDP will realize full concurrent receipt NLT 2014. Unlike CRSC, CRDP has no relation to combat-related conditions but is related to service-connected conditions. Also, qualification is based on a specific percentage of VA disability rating - currently 50% and above for CRDP compared to 10% and above for CRSC. Requirements are: length-of-service (LOS) retiree, or if retired for disability under Chapter 61, had completed sufficient time to qualify for a LOS retirement. RC Soldiers with at least 20 qualifying years who has a VA disability rating of 50% or greater and who has reached retirement age. If you are a member of the Ready Reserve, your retirement age can be reduced below age 60 by three months for each 90 days of active service you have performed during a fiscal year) retired under Temporary Early Retirement Act (TERA) and have a VA disability rating of 50% or greater have been rated by the VA with at least 50% service-connected disability To date, retired Soldiers with a VA-rating below 50% disabled continue to experience a dollar-for-dollar offset of their Military retired pay by VA compensation. It will remain as such unless/until the law changes. Cannot receive both CRSC and CRDP Phase in 2012  99.64% 2013 99.96% 2014  100.00% 24

25 VA Disability Payments
Retired pay is reduced dollar-for-dollar by VA Disability Pay unless the Soldier qualifies for Concurrent Retirement and Disability Pay (CRDP) This slide compares four Soldiers who retired from active duty at the same pay grade with the same number of years of service. All amounts are for example purposes only and do not reflect any particular Soldiers or ranks. All retired pay from DFAS is Federally taxable and State taxable unless you live in certain states and all is divisible in divorce. All VA disability pay and CRSC pay are nontaxable and nondivisable in divorce. Soldier A receives $2000 of retired pay from DFAS and has no service connected disabilities. Soldier B receives $2000 of retired pay, but also receives $500 of disability pay from the VA (he is rated between 10% and 40% disabled), so his retired pay is reduced dollar-for-dollar by his disability pay. He receives $1500 taxable pay from DFAS and $500 of nontaxable pay from the VA. Soldier B’s disabilities are all service-connected, but non are combat-related. Soldier C is the same as Soldier B except that some of his disabilities are combat related, so, in addition to his $1500 retired pay from DFAS and $500 disability pay from VA, he receives $250 of CRSC pay from DFAS. Soldier D receives $2000 of retired pay from DFAS, but he is rated between 50% and 100% disabled by VA, so under CRDP, he receives his full $2000 retired pay from DFAS and his full $750 disability pay from VA. Soldiers cannot receive both CRDP and CRSC; DFAS will choose whichever is better for the Soldier unless the Soldier makes his own choice. Soldiers may switch between CRDP and CRSC, if entitled to both, one time per year. Example Only NOTE: All Soldiers retired at the same pay grade and years of service 25

26 CRSC vs. CRDP Decision Matrix
A Decision Matrix CRSC Benefit CRDP Pay Full Concurrent Receipt Yes No – 10 yr phase in (except 100% ratings) VA Rating Starts At 10% 50% Federal Tax Tax Free Taxed File Claims Must Apply Automatic Retroactive Pay No Qualified Injury Combat Linked Service Connected Subject to Uniform Services Former Spouse Protection Act (USFSPA) SBP (Survivor Benefit Plan) 1 October 1972 Available to Chapter 61 Medical and TDRL retirees with less than 20 years of service Available to TERA retirees YOU CANNOT DRAW CRSC AND CRDP CONCURENTLY You elect which benefit to receive The main differences between these programs are as follows: 1.      CRSC is specifically for military retirees with combat related disabilities 2.      CRSC is NOT subject to either taxation or division with a former spouse 3.      CRSC Program is administered by HRC (or the service you retired from) 4.      CRDP does not require disabilities be combat related 5.      CRDP payments are taxed and subject to division of retired pay with a former spouse 6.      CRDP Program is handled by the Defense Finance and Accounting Service (DFAS) 26

27 Thank you for your Service!!

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