A common concern of retiring veterans with service-connected disabilities is how their VA disability benefits compensation will affect their retirement pay.
Normally, veterans receiving disability pay and then reaching retirement age and the start of their retirement pay will see a reduction in retirement pay in the amount of their veterans disability benefit.
Yet some disabled veterans can qualify to retain some or all of their retirement benefits while continuing to receive their veterans disability compensation if they qualify for the Concurrent Retirement and Disability Program.
What is the Concurrent Retirement and Disability Program?
The Concurrent Retirement and Disability Program or CRDP allows qualifying military veterans with service-connected disabilities to receive veterans disability benefits plus military retirement benefits concurrently without a reduction in retirement pay.
It is designed to protect the retirement pay of disabled veterans who made the military their career prior to their disability.
How Does A Veteran Qualify for CRDP?
To qualify for CRDP, veterans must have a disability rating of 50% or higher and in addition, meet one these requirements:
- They must have retired from the military after 20 or more years of service.
- They medically retired under Chapter 61 due to a service-connected disability.
- They retired early, having served less than 20 years, under the Temporary Early Retirement Authority (TERA).
- They served for 20 or more years in the National Guard and Reserve.
For veterans meeting the above requirements, CRDP will restore some or all of their retirement benefits based on their disability rating up to 100% of the retirement benefit.
Under this program, veterans with a total disability rating are entitled to their full retirement pay concurrently with the full VA disability benefits package.
Are There Retroactive CRDP Payments?
Additionally, as this program is a newer benefit still being phased in since 2004, some qualifying disabled veterans may also be entitled to retroactive CRDP payments if the date that their disability became 50% or higher was prior to their application to the program.
Any retroactive CRDP payments due are issued by the VA in a lump sum separate from current veterans disability compensation and retirement payments.
Find Out If You Qualify For This Benefit!
Disabled veterans who have served 20 or more years before their retirement and have a disability rating of 50% or more at this time could qualify for the Concurrent Retirement and Disability Program, which allows them to keep more of their retirement benefits every month.
To learn more about this veterans disability benefits program and whether they qualify, disabled veterans should reach out to the VA or discuss it with a veterans disability compensation expert who can help them access all of their VA disability benefits entitlement.