CRSC and 100% VA Disability – Can You Receive Both?

Veterans who receive both VA disability compensation and military retirement pay encounter something called a “VA offset.” The offset causes a reduction from either the VA or retirement pay. For example, if you receive a $1,000 payment as VA disability benefits and another $1,000 as military retirement pay, you will only be granted $1,000. This is the VA offset at work.

Combat veterans do not have to worry about the VA offset, and they are able to receive both benefits without one affecting another. This is known as combat-related special compensation (CRSC).

This article will discuss CRSC and 100% VA disability payments and if there is any way to get both. Let’s get started.

What is CRSC?

CRSC is an entitlement program, which allows veterans to get their retirement pay without offsetting their VA disability pay. Before this program, military veterans used to not take a specific amount of their military pay, equating to their VA disability compensation, to abide by the VA offset.

For example, if a veteran received $700 as military retirement pay and $500 as VA disability benefits, they would forgo $500 from the military retirement pay. This is because retirement payments are taxable, while VA compensations are tax-free.

Now, eligible veterans can receive both military retirement pay and disability compensation at the same time, thanks to the law changed by Congress in 2004. 

CRSC Back Pay

On top of CRSC allowing veterans to get both benefits, there is also a system called CRSC back pay. Eligible veterans who used to get some of their disability payment or retirement pay cut due to VA offset before and currently get CRSC benefits can now get back pay of the amount that was withheld. 

Qualifying for CRSC and 100% VA Disability 

To qualify for both CRSC and 100% VA disability compensation, follow these steps –

Apply for CRSC Compensation 

Retired military members should file the DD Form 2860, Claim for CRSC, coupled with proof of combat-related injuries, hazardous duty, or injury from a weapon of war. Submit the application to your former military department’s authorized CRSC Office. You can apply at any time, and depending on your years of service, back pay may be retroactive.

Choose Between CRSC and CRDP

Understand the distinction: CRSC is not taxable income. However, CRDP (Concurrent Retirement and Disability Payments) is. Choose either advantage to get; you cannot obtain both at the same time. If you have a VA disability rating of 50% or greater, DFAS will pay CRDP automatically unless you choose CRSC.

Meet Preliminary CRSC Criteria

  • Have 20 years of military service or be eligible for retirement pay
  • Check that you are in “retired status” and have not been summoned for active duty

Note: Chapter 61 retirees with a VA disability rating of 30% or more may also be eligible for CRSC benefits, although eligibility varies and supporting evidence is required.


The process of getting CRSC alongside 100% disability benefits can be even more complex than getting regular VA compensation. If you are having trouble with this, you can get help from the experts at VA Disability Coach.