New CRSC Guidance Released
On Tuesday, the Defense Department finally issued the long-awaited new rules for processing of
Combat-Related Special Compensation (CRSC) applications.
Effective January 1, 2004, this instruction replaces the guidance introduced last year.
The major change is expansion of eligibility to include all combat-related disabilities.
Previously, only disabilities rated at 60 percent or higher or disabilities associated with a Purple Heart could qualify.
Also as a result of the new legislation, CRSC payments will include compensation for dependents, as applicable.
The new guidance addresses two previously unresolved issues-namely,
Special Monthly Compensation (SMC) and compensation for Individual Unemployability (IU).
Both issues will be assessed after the Services have determined which of the applicant's disabilities are deemed combat-related.
In the case of SMC, the Services will have to resolve whether any of the combat-related disabilities constitute
the grounds for the Special Monthly Compensation award.
To make these determinations, the CRSC processing branches will be assisted by the Department of Veterans Affairs.
The VA will provide descriptions of SMC criteria and will provide counsel in unusual situations.
THIS NEXT ONE IS A BIGGIE FOR SOME FOLKS!
Individual Unemployability determinations will be based on the retiree's overall combat-related disability percentage.
If the Services award CRSC at 60 percent or greater,
and the applicant also has been determined by the VA to be unemployable,
then CRSC will be paid at the 100 percent rate, retroactive to January 1, 2004, as applicable.
Retirees eligible under both concurrent receipt and CRSC criteria will have to choose between the two forms of compensation.
Recipients will have the option of changing their election on a yearly basis,
so as to choose the more advantageous option, as concurrent receipt payment amounts will increase each year for the next 9 years.
The Defense Finance and Accounting Service(DFAS) is in the process of developing this election system.
Applicants also have the option of authorizing DFAS to automatically pay whichever amount is higher.
The full DoD guidance on CRSC can be found on MOAA's Web site
The new application form is available
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