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Frequently Asked Questions
It is possible to be eligible for both Concurrent Retirement and Disability Pay (CRDP) and Combat-Related Special Compensation (CRSC). However, you cannot receive both of them at the same time. If you’re eligible for both, CRDP/CRSC Open Season is when DFAS will send you a letter with instructions about how to change your election from one program to the other, if you choose.
2023 Open Season is January 1-31, 2023. Election change requests must be postmarked by January 31, 2023.
Q: Why did I receive an Open Season letter?
A: Retirees who are eligible for both CRDP and CRSC will receive an annual Open Season letter with the amount of both entitlements. Since retirees cannot receive both entitlements, you have the opportunity to make an election during each Open Season.
Q: Do I need to return my election letter if I want to remain under the same program?
A: No, you are not required to respond if you want to keep your election the same. If an Open Season election form is not returned by the deadline, we will treat this as a passive election and continue to pay you under the same program until the next annual Open Season.
Q: What happens if I forgot to check the box on the form?
A: Returning the form with a signature and an unchecked “change my entitlement” box will result in an unclear election and may delay any changes you do wish to make. Please return the form and check the box only if you wish to CHANGE programs. No action is required if you wish keep your election the same.
Q: What if I made a mistake and want to switch back to the program I was previously receiving?
A: As long as you notify us by phone or written correspondence by the deadline of your chosen election, we can make the change for you. Requests to switch programs made or postmarked after the deadline cannot be processed.
Q: What if I am tax exempt?
A: If your Federal Tax status is E (or Exempt), you will receive the same amount of pay under either program, because neither entitlement would be taxed.
Q: What if my address has changed or I will be out of the state/country during Open Season?
A: We suggest verifying the mailing address on your retired pay account is correct in early December of each year. If you know you will have a different, temporary address during the Open Season period, please be sure to update this information as early as possible. The Open Season letter is time sensitive. Address changes can be made in myPay, by phone or by sending your request in writing by mail or fax. If you forgot to change your address in time, please contact us directly at 800-321-1080 so we can update your information and send a new letter. Your election change request must be postmarked by the deadline.
Q: What happens to my Retired Pay if I switch to CRSC?
A: If you elect to receive CRSC, your retired pay will be offset by the full amount of your VA disability pay. You may still receive some retired pay if your retired pay exceeds your VA disability pay. Or you may not receive any retired pay at all if your VA award exceeds your retired pay. You will also begin to see an amount under “VA Waiver” on your electronic Retiree Account Statement (eRAS). Please keep in mind if you switch to CRSC any allotments, Former Spouse deductions or garnishments may be suspended if there are not enough funds left to pay out of your retired pay. CRSC payments are subject to deductions for monthly Survivor Benefit Plan (SBP) premiums or garnishments. Also, CRSC is non-taxable, so it is issued separately from your retired pay. You may begin to receive two separate payments from DFAS each month, one for retired pay (taxable) and one for CRSC (non-taxable).
Example: $1000.00 (Gross Retired Pay) Minus VA Pay ($450.00) = $550.00 (Net Retired Pay - taxable)
Plus $250.00 CRSC pay (non-taxable) = Total of $800.00 from DFAS
Q: What happens to my Retired Pay if I switch to CRDP?
A: If you elect to receive CRDP, your VA Waiver will be reduced by the amount of your CRDP pay. As a result, your taxable/disposable income will increase. Former Spouse deductions or garnishments will also increase, if your disposable income increases. SBP monthly premiums (if applicable) will be deducted from your retired pay. In addition, if you want to start or resume any allotments, you will need to make a request through myPay to start these deductions. Since you will no longer receive a separate payment for CRSC, you will only receive one payment for your Retired Pay/CRDP.
Q: Will I lose my VA pay if I switch to either CRDP or CRSC?
A: No, your VA disability pay is separate from CRDP and CRSC. Regardless of your election, you will continue to receive your monthly disability payment from the VA, which is non-taxable.
Q: What if I have a Former Spouse who receives a portion of my retired pay?
A: It is important to understand CRSC is not subject to the provisions of the Uniformed Services Former Spouse Protection Act. This means if you switch to CRSC, your former spouse’s payments may decrease, or stop altogether. This is because the amount of your disposable income may change, depending on the amount of your VA Waiver. CRSC payments are subject to garnishments for alimony and child support.
Q: What happens if I switch to CRSC and my allotments stop?
A: Allotments cannot be deducted from your monthly CRSC payment. If there is no retired pay (or not enough retired pay) to deduct allotments from, some allotments, such as those for Delta Dental or TRICARE, will require you to begin making payments out of pocket directly to the agencies to maintain your benefits.
Q: What happens to my Survivor Benefit Plan (SBP) if I switch to CRSC?
A: If there is not enough retired pay to cover your monthly recurring SBP premiums, they will automatically be deducted from your CRSC payments. If your beneficiaries are covered by the Survivor Benefit Plan, your spouse/child(ren) are still eligible to receive SBP even if you switch to CRSC.
Q: What happens if my CRDP or CRSC entitlement changes mid-year?
A: All Open Season election forms must be received or postmarked by the deadline. It is important to understand you will not be able to switch programs after this date until the following annual Open Season, even if there is an increase or decrease to one or both of your entitlements. When determining which program is best for you, keep in mind any pending VA claims/awards as well as any pending CRSC reconsideration claims, because these may affect your entitlements. Your entitlements are calculated using the most current information we receive from
the VA and your Branch of Service at the time the letters are mailed.
Q: My VA disability award increased, why is my CRSC entitlement still the same?
A: Increases to your CRSC award are not always automatic. If the VA awards new service-connected disabilities, you must submit a reconsideration claim to your respective Branch of Service. They determine which disabilities are combat-related, not DFAS. If they approve any additional combat-related disabilities, then a copy of the new CRSC award letter will be forwarded to our office to update your account and entitlement accordingly.
Visit https://www.dfas.mil/RetiredMilitary/disability/applyforcrsc for more information on filing a reconsideration request.
Page updated December 23, 2022