CRSC - United States Marine Corps Wounded Warrior Regiment

Report
2013
Combat Related Special Compensation
PEB Liaison
Mr. Dean Trio
Prevent Delays ♦ Reduce Frustration ♦ Achieve the Best Possible Outcome
Terminal Learning Objectives
2
As an RCC help Marines and
families…
Prevent
Delays

Assess Marines for eligibility and provide assistance in completing
the application and gathering the relevant supporting
documentation
Reduce
Frustration

Provide basic factual information about the program and help the
Marine identify the appropriate supporting documentation

Identify cases where a combat related code was not identified by the
PEB but other supporting documents can be used to apply
successfully for CRSC
Achieve the
Best
Possible
Outcome
Prevent Delays ♦ Reduce Frustration ♦ Achieve the Best Possible Outcome
Enabling Learning Objectives
3
 Identify the eligibility criteria for CRSC
 Describe how the offset between Military Retired Pay and VA Disability






Compensation works
Identify the various combat codes used by CRSC
Describe how CRSC payments are calculated
Identify the supporting documents that can be used in applying for
CRSC and which eligibility criteria each supports
Identify the strongest supporting document for establishing combat
relatedness
Identify the factors that weigh in favor of CRSC and the factor that
weighs in favor of CRDP for Marines eligible for both programs
Describe the CRSC application process
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CRSC Benefit Profile
4
Frequency
About half of the Marines in the Recovery Care Program will become eligible for
CRSC
Drawbacks
Applying for CRSC requires waiving any entitlement to Concurrent Retired and
Disability Pay (CRDP) although this applies only to a small percentage of Marines
eligible for CRSC
Importance
to Marines
The CRSC benefit can be more than a thousand dollars a month, for life
Challenges
The Marines can not apply for CRSC while on active duty and must do so
immediately after transition when there are competing demands for their attention
It can be difficult to document that an injury or disability was incurred in a combat
situation
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Rules of the Road
5
Provide basic factual information about CRSC
 Assess Marines for apparent eligibility during the Comprehensive
Needs Assessment
 Provide assistance completing the application and / or gathering the
appropriate supporting documents


Provide guidance to Marines eligible for both CRSC and CRDP

Agree or disagree with a Marine’s stated sentiment that the
restrictions in the CRSC program are not fair
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Combat Related Special Compensation
Definition
6
 Combat Related Special Compensation (CRSC) is a
program that was created for disability and non-disability
military retirees with combat-related disabilities. It is a tax
free entitlement that is paid each month along with any
retired pay a Marine may already be receiving.
DISCLAIMER
CRSC eligibility criteria were last updated on January 1, 2008. This training presents
only the eligibility criteria currently in effect. When assisting Marines who incurred
disabilities before this date reach out to program management for guidance.
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Eligibility for CRSC
7
DISCLAIMER
CRSC eligibility criteria were last updated on January 1, 2008. This training presents only the eligibility criteria currently in effect. When assisting
Marines who incurred disabilities before this date reach out to program management for guidance.
Eligible for Retired Pay
• TDRL, or
• PDRL, or
• Non-disability retirement including reservists at least 60 years old retired under TERA
Rated at Least 10% by the VA
• Through the IDES, or
• Through the legacy rating system
Subject to Offset of Military Retired Pay
• Full offset (i.e., waiver of military retired pay), or
• Partial offset
Combat-Wounded
• Purple Heart, or
• Armed Conflict, or
• Hazardous Service, or
• Simulating War, or
•
•
•
•
Instrument of War, or
Agent Orange, or
Radiation, or
Gulf War or Mustard Gas
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A Marine may be eligible
even if he is not
receiving military retired
pay because it is fully
offset
If a Marine is rated by the
VA for more than one
service connected
condition and some, but
not all, are combat
related, he is eligible for
CRSC but will receive a
reduced amount
Subject to Offset
8
 Under current law, a retired Marine who is eligible to receive BOTH
Military Retired Pay and VA Disability Compensation will have his
Military Retired Pay subject to a dollar for dollar offset
Full Offset
• Occurs when the VA Disability Compensation
is higher than the Military Retired Pay
• Results in Marine receiving no Military
Retired Pay
Partial Offset
• Occurs when the VA Disability Compensation
is lower than the Military Retired Pay
• Results in the Military Retired Pay being
reduced by the amount of VA Disability
Compensation
Because VA Disability
Compensation is tax
exempt, the Marine still
comes out ahead of a
non-disabled veteran
with the same Military
Retirement Pay
entitlement
Example
SSgt Jones is entitled to Military Retired Pay of $1500;
he is entitled to VA Disability Compensation of $1293.
He will receive $1293 (tax exempt) from the VA and
$207 (taxable in most cases) from the DoD
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CRSC was created
by Congress with
the intent of
“making up” for a
portion of the
offset for combat
wounded veterans
Combat Codes
9
Every PH incident also
qualifies under Armed
Conflict. For injuries
incurred after 1 JAN 2014
there is no advantage to
establishing PH in addition
to AC
Purple Heart
Commonly used by Marines
in RCC Program
Requires a definite,
documented, causal
relationship between the
hazardous service and the
resulting disability
Primarily used for WWII
veterans exposed to
Nagasaki or Hiroshima
explosions. Unlikely to be
used for Marines in RCC
Program
Requires a definite,
documented, causal
relationship between the
armed conflict and the
resulting disability
Armed
Conflict
Hazardous
Service
Radiation
Exposure
There must be a definite,
documented, causal
relationship between the
instrument of war and the
resulting disability
Agent Orange
Simulating
War
Instrument
of War
Primarily used by Vietnam
Veterans. Unlikely to be
used by Marines in the RCC
Program
There must be a definite,
documented, causal
relationship between the
simulated armed conflict
and the resulting disability
Gulf War,
Mustard Gas,
or Lewisite
Primarily used by Gulf War
Veterans. Unlikely to be
used by Marines in the RCC
Program
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Not required to establish
for Marines injured after 1
JAN 2004
Use by personnel on active
duty currently is extremely
rare
Examples and
guidance for each
combat code is
found in
Appendix A (page
5) of the CRSC
application
Calculating the CRSC Amount
10
Determine the “CRSC %”
1.
•
•
If ALL VA rated conditions are combat related then the “CRSC
%” is the same as the VA %.
If only some of the VA rated conditions are combat related
then the “CRSC %” is what the VA % would have been if only
the combat related conditions were considered
Determine the “Gross CRSC”
2.
•
•
Apply the “CRSC %” and the Marine’s family structure (spouse
and / or children) to the VA compensation tables
Now multiply this amount by .025 – or 2.5% and then by the
Marine’s Years in Service (at discharge)
Determine Final CRSC
3.
•
Take whichever is less: the Gross CRSC calculated above, or
the amount by which the Military Retired Pay has been offset
When approved Marines will receive a CRSC letter. If they
have questions they should contact their DISC or the
Sergeant Merlin German Wounded Warrior Call Center
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RCCs should be
familiar with this
process but should
not quote
particular dollar
amounts to
Marines and
families
Supporting Documents
11
Document
Establishes…
Eligible for Military
Retired Pay
VA Rated
Subject to
Offset
DD 214 or DD 215
X
By Inference
Retirement orders
X
By Inference
Reserve Retirement Computation / 15 or 20 year
letter
X
By Inference
VA Rating Decisions, Letters, and Code Sheets
X
By Inference
Medical Records or notes verifying how
injury/disability occurred
Physical Evaluation Board Results or Summaries
Combat
Related
X
X
X
By Inference
Any other evidence to verify the events or
circumstances
Providing documentation to establish eligibility for
both military retired pay and VA Disability
Compensation establishes the offset by inference.
X
X
Typically, establishing
combat relatedness is the
most difficult part of the
application process
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Establishing Combat Relatedness
12
PEB Findings
GOLD STANDARD
Stronger
evidence is
on the
outside
•If the PEB determined that a disability was
combat related, the application should be
routinely approved
VA Decision
Letters
•A VA code sheet indicating that a condition was
combat related is very strong evidence
Medical Records
or Notes
•The records or notes must verify how the injury
or disability occurred.
•Unfortunately, medical personnel are not
maintaining documentation in theater with a
subsequent CRSC application in mind, so this
can be challenging
Other Evidence
•May include award citations, after action
reports, or affidavits.
•As with the medical records, the onus is on the
Marine to establish sufficient evidence to
establish combat relatedness
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No Combat Code from PEB or VA
13

In 2013 the PEB has become much more cognizant of the importance of establishing
combat relatedness during the Informal Board. However, there are still combat wounded
Marines whose PEB Findings do not reflect that the injuries are combat related. These
Marines have two approaches to applying for CRSC:
Provide other Evidence
• Apply for CRSC and provide
medical records or notes and
other supporting evidence

• Appeal to OJAG (CODE 13)
to have the PEB Findings
amended to include a
determination of combat
relatedness
The best strategy is to apply for CRSC with other evidence first, then appeal to OJAG
(CODE 13) if CRSC is denied. The advantages to this approach are:
•
•
•

Appeal to OJAG
Approval may come more quickly
“Two bites at the apple”
In PTSD cases the Marine may end up with the best of both worlds – PEB considers the PTSD to be non-combat
and places Marine on PDRL vice TDRL while simultaneously CRSC is approved because the PTSD is combat related
However, if the Marine believes he meets the criteria for Combat Code-Armed Conflict
appealing to OJAG is necessary to secure other benefits
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Concurrent Retirement and Disability Pay
14
 Concurrent Retirement and Disability Pay (CRDP) is another program that
“makes-up” for the offset for eligible retirees.
 Enrollment in CRDP is automatic if a Marine meets the eligibility criteria
 A Marine can not receive both CRDP and CRSC at the same time
CRDP Eligibility
Eligible for Retired Pay by Reason Other than Disability
•Marine may be on PDRL or TDRL; however, he must be eligible for a “normal” retirement
Rated at Least 50% by the VA
•Through the IDES, or
•Through the legacy rating system
Subject to Offset of Military Retired Pay
•Full offset (i.e., waiver of military retired pay), or
•Partial offset
Requirement is more
restrictive than the
corresponding
requirement for CRSC
Requirement is the same
as for CRSC
There is NO combat related
requirement for CRDP
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Major Differences Between CRDP and CRSC
15
In most cases, Marines eligible
for both programs will be
better served by participating
in CRSC.
CRDP
CRSC
However, if the Marine has
multiple VA Rated conditions
only some of which are combat
related, the Marine should
consult with a benefits expert
Marines can switch from one
program to the other during
an open period each year –
because the best program
depends on their current
family structure and their
effective tax rate, the best
program today may not be the
best one in the future
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CRSC Application Process
16
If only some of the Marine’s VA Rated
conditions are combat related, it is
best to refer the Marine to a benefits
expert
Start
See slide 14
See slide 7
Assess the
Marine for
CRSC
eligibility
Appears
Eligible?
No
Yes
Eligible
for CRDP?
Yes
Counsel on
benefits of
each
program
CRDP
Better?
No
No
Application can not be
processed before VA
compensation starts
Document in
CNA note in
MCWIITS
Provide
CRSC
Application
Yes
Document in
MCWIITS–
CRDP
enrollment is
automatic
Gather
Supporting
Documents
CRSC should be
addressed in final
MCWIITS note and
handoff to DISC or NMCM
Wait until
initial VA
check
received
RCCs should help Marine complete application and gather appropriate
documents – ideally application is complete and in the envelope
waiting to be mailed before the Marine transitions
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Submit
application per
instructions on
form
Common Pitfalls
CRSC
Discussion: How can an RCC help avoid these pitfalls?
• Marine fills out a CRSC application, but then never submits it once his
VA compensation begins
• Marine’s PTSD is not found to be combat related, although the Marine
believes that it is the direct result of IED blasts
• Marine files for CRSC but does not provide the appropriate supporting
documentation and is denied
17
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Resources
18
Basic Resources
IDES Consultation Class
&
Seps/TAPS class
CRSC is covered
WWR External Fact Sheet – CRSC
https://ehqmc.usmc.mil/sites/wwr/wrc/External%20F
act%20Slick%20Sheets/CombatRelated%20Special%20Compensation%20Slick%20She
et.pdf
Advanced Resources
DoD Military Pay Website
http://militarypay.defense.gov/retirement/concur
rent_dod_va.html
Wounded Warrior Regiment
PEB Liaison
Dean Trio
703-432-1856
WWR External Fact Sheet – CRSC/CRDP
https://ehqmc.usmc.mil/sites/wwr/wrc/External%20Fact
%20Slick%20Sheets/CRDP%20and%20COMBATRELATED%20SPECIAL%20COMPENSATION%20Slick%
20Sheet.pdf
WWR Internal Fact Sheet – CRSC/CRDP
https://ehqmc.usmc.mil/sites/wwr/wrc/Internal%
20Slick%20Fact%20Sheets/CRSCCRDP%20Fact%20Sheet.pdf
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Knowledge Check
19
Which of the following combat-codes is used frequently by Marines in
the Recovery Care Program applying for CRSC?
Armed Conflict
Agent Orange
Radiation Exposure
Gulf War or Mustard Gas
A only
A and D only
B and C only
B, C, and D only
All of the above
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Knowledge Check
20
What is the minimum VA Rating needed to apply for
CRSC?
10%
50%
100%
No VA Rating is needed
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Knowledge Check
21
Which of the following are eligibility requirements for CRSC?
Eligible for Military Retired Pay
Rated by the VA
ALL VA Rated conditions are combat related
Able to pass the PFT
A and B only
A and C only
A, B, and C only
B and C only
All of the above
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Knowledge Check
22
MSgt Carlson is transferred to the PDRL after 21 years of active service; he is
rated at 30% by the DoD and 40% by the VA. All of the VA Rated conditions were
incurred in combat as determined by the PEB. His Military Retired Pay is
partially offset. Which program could he apply for?
CRSC but not CRDP
CRDP but not CRSC
CRSC or CRDP but he will have to choose one
He can apply for and receive both CRSC and CRDP
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Knowledge Check
23
Which of the following are documents that can be used in some cases to
support a finding of combat relatedness when applying for CRSC?
Findings of the Physical Evaluation Board Proceedings
VA Decision Letters and code sheets
Medical records and notes
Other evidence such as after action reports and award citations
A only
A and B only
B and C only
C and D only
All of the above
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Questions
24
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