Concurrent Retirement and Disability Pay (CRDP)
Receiving Both DoD Money and VA Money
Generally, veterans cannot receive monthly monetary Military Disability Benefits from both the VA and the DoD. Instead, any money a veteran receives for VA Disability is subtracted from the money he gets for DoD Disability or DoD retirement (basically from ANY money he receives from the DoD).
So, if Dilbert gets $400 each month from the DoD and then starts getting $200 each month from the VA, the DoD amount will drop to $200 (400 – 200 = 200).
While this may seem lame or unfair, the real benefit to this system is that DoD Disability is taxable (in most cases), while VA Disability is NOT! Taxable income is being replaced by non-taxable income. So if you could only receive a certain amount of money, it is far better to get it from the VA than the DoD.
There are, however, two exceptions to this rule: Concurrent Retirement and Disability Pay (CRDP) and Combat Related Special Compensation (CRSC).
CRDP is a law that was passed by Congress in 2004.
To qualify for CRDP, you must be a retiree with 20 or more years in service (Temporary Early Retirement Act retirees are also eligible), and you must have a service-connected condition that has a Military Disability Rating of 50% or higher from the VA.
The best news about CRDP is that it will happen automatically if you qualify. There is no application process, and you don’t need to do a thing to get CRDP.
The most confusing bit about CRDP is that if you qualified and were receiving it before 2014, you didn’t get it all at once. Basically, your DoD disability/retirement pay should have increased by approximately 10% each year until CRDP was completely phased-in in 2014. Then, starting in 2014, you should have been getting 100% of both the DoD and VA compensation. Confusing, but again, you don’t have to do anything to get CRDP, so don’t worry about it. Besides, CRDP is totally phased-in by now, so you should just be getting everything.
If you retired from the military a while ago, you should already be receiving CRDP. If you’re in the process of retiring now, you will receive CRDP as soon as your Integrated Disability Evaluation System process is complete. Again, CRDP happens automatically.
If you should be receiving CRDP, but for some reason are not, contact the Defense Finance and Accounting Service at 1-800-321-1080.