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Combat Related Special Compensation

Rep for Vets > Combat Related Special Compensation

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What Is Combat Related Special Compensation (CRSC)?

Retired veteran teaching grandson how to fish

Combat Related Special Compensation, or CRSC, is a program that lets veterans with combat-related disabilities receive more of their retirement pay. CRSC is paid out monthly and is tax-free. To qualify, you must meet the following requirements:

  • You are entitled to military retirement pay
  • You received a VA disability rating of 10% or higher
  • Your retirement payment is currently being reduced by the amount of your VA disability pay

Lots of Conditions Are Considered Combat-Related

Now, it’s worth noting that the definition of “combat-related” is quite broad. If you got blown up by an IED in Iraq and received a Purple Heart, you absolutely qualify. But many veterans could qualify for CRSC if they were exposed to toxic chemicals or got badly injured in training.


Agent Orange-related illnesses are considered combat-related under the “instrumentality of war” clause of CRSC. In plain English, that means you were exposed to instruments of war, including chemical agents. Exposure to burn pits, radiation, and Gulf War disease could also qualify you for CRSC, if they caused you to develop a chronic illness.


Broadly speaking, any disability presumed to be service-connected (think Agent Orange in Vietnam or burn pits in Iraq and Afghanistan) could be considered combat-related for CRSC purposes.


Unfortunately, medical retirees with less than 20 years of service are not eligible for CRDP as of this writing.

So how do I apply for CRSC?

CRSC is not a VA benefit, so you don’t apply for it through the VA.  Rather, you apply through your military service branch. The benefit is paid by your military branch of service.


If your CRSC claim was denied by your branch of service, you can gather new evidence and file an appeal. Contact The Rep For Vets and let us know about your situation. We may be able to help.


Note: There is a 6 year statute of limitations to apply for CRSC and get the full amount to which you are entitled, so act soon.

What's the difference between CRDP and CRSC?

Concurrent Retirement and Disability Pay (CRDP) is a program that allows a veteran with a disability rated at 50% or higher will receive their full military retirement pay without any reductions.


So what’s are the differences between CRDP and CRSC?

For starters, your service-connected disabilities don’t have to be combat-related to qualify for CRDP. However, veterans with a less than 50% rating will see their retirement pay reduced by the amount of their VA disability compensation, dollar for dollar.


CRSC does not have a disability rating requirement. You could be 10% disabled, with asthma worsened by burn pits, for example, and you would qualify for CRSC. Here is a breakdown of other differences between the programs.

Combat Related Special Compensation Concurrent Retirement Disability Program
10% minimum disability rating 50% minimum disability rating
Entitled to military retirement pay Entitled to military retirement pay
Apply through military branch of service Automatic enrollment
Reimburses VA disability offset in separate check Reverses VA disability offset
Disability must be combat related No combat related requirement
Income is tax-free Income is tax-free
 Paid by military branch of service Paid by DFAS

Need professional help with your CRSC claim?

Contact The Rep For Vets today. We’ve helped thousands of veterans in your shoes get the benefits you earned when you signed up to serve.

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