Retro Active Back Pay

#1
I was medically retired at 30% from the AF with a VA rating of 70% 27 Nov 2015. I signed a full disability waiver that went into effect 1 Jan 2016 in order to collect the VA disability pay over my retirement. I have only received 1 full retirement payment for Dec 2015 but and that was paid back from the Jan 2016 VA Payment. From that point on it has been strictly VA Disability payments.

In Apr 2016 I filed a new claim to add more disabilities that were missing after my MEB. In Oct 2016 I received a decision letter from the VA stating that I am retroactively 100% from Apr 2016 - Oct 2016 and starting 1 Nov 2016 I will be dropped down to 90% (yes they dropped my rating and I am still fighting those two issues). I received a payment of $3200 on 1 Nov 2016 for Oct 2016 but from Apr 2016 through Sep 2016 I was only paid at the 70% rate. The payment from Apr-Sep stated "Retired Pay Adjustment". When I contacted the VA they stated that I was retired so they had to adjust my pay to "Pay back the retirement pay I received". When I pushed back and stated that I only receive VA Payments. The clerk stated that in my record I am considered retired. I explained to the clerk that I am a chapter 61 retiree (Medically Retired) therefore, I can only collect one payment or the other, not both. In Nov 2016 I filed a back pay audit and it appeared on my EBenefits and in Jul 2017 it disappeared. I was told by the 1-800 number clerk that the audit was pushed to North Carolina where it sat until I filed a congressional 8 Feb 2018 (and then magically reappeared on my Ebenefits).

On 9 May 18, I received the email below from the Congressman's assistant:

A review of your case file indicates that the Audit Error Worksheets (AEW) generated by the Defense Finance and Accounting Service (DFAS) are needed to determine if he is entitled to concurrent receipt under the Concurrent Retirement and Disability Pay (CRDP) program. On May 9, 2018, we obtained the attached information from DFAS regarding your retirement and VA disability. In accordance with 38 CFR 3.750, the VA is required to withhold benefits in regards to retirement pay regardless of benefit election (retired versus VA disability). Please inform him to contact DFAS to determine his eligibility regarding retired retroactive payment and the CRDP program.
The Email also had this attached to it.

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10 May: I contact DFAS and they tell me I am not eligible for CRDP because I was medically retired with under 20 years.

15 May: My claim has changed from "Back Pay Audit Issue" to "Retired Retro Pay". Does this mean I will be paid for the 5 months I was paid only at 70%?
 

RonG

PEB Forum Veteran
Registered Member
#2
A few remarks:

1. "When I pushed back and stated that I only receive VA Payments. The clerk stated that in my record I am considered retired. I explained to the clerk that I am a chapter 61 retiree (Medically Retired) therefore, I can only collect one payment or the other, not both." This statement is partially accurate and possibility totally accurate in your case. The process involves a VA offset of retired pay (a waiver) dollar for dollar in the amount of VA comp received. Often as I explained in another thread, there is residual retired pay remaining after the offset. The retiree ends up with: residual retired pay + VA comp = total payment each month

2. The belief that one gets "only one or the other" is a common fallacy, but a de facto truth in cases where the VA comp is more than the retired pay.

3. You are not eligible for DFAS CRDP under the circumstances you posted.

4. This info, ""Retired Retro Pay" that might have been shown on eBenefits (not stated) obviously indicates a potential VA payment is being worked.

5. The DFAS audit sheet will explain the entire matter clearly (my opinion). You can obtain a copy of the audit
by submitting your signed request to:
Defense Finance and Accounting Service
U.S. Military Retired Pay
8899 E 56th Street
Indianapolis IN 46249-1200

Fax: 800-469-6559

6. I would fax the request. However, it is possible you will see the results of what is shown on eBenefits (?) before you receive the copy. I still recommend obtaining a copy of the audit.

Ron

Edited to add: There are cases involving retro VA compensation where the retiree continued to receive retired pay that included the retro period. If the retiree did not waive retired pay equal to the eventual VA comp rate determined, there would be no VA payment of VA comp when unwaived retired pay was received.
 
#3
A few remarks:

1. "When I pushed back and stated that I only receive VA Payments. The clerk stated that in my record I am considered retired. I explained to the clerk that I am a chapter 61 retiree (Medically Retired) therefore, I can only collect one payment or the other, not both." This statement is partially accurate and possibility totally accurate in your case. The process involves a VA offset of retired pay (a waiver) dollar for dollar in the amount of VA comp received. Often as I explained in another thread, there is residual retired pay remaining after the offset. The retiree ends up with: residual retired pay + VA comp = total payment each month

2. The belief that one gets "only one or the other" is a common fallacy, but a de facto truth in cases where the VA comp is more than the retired pay.

3. You are not eligible for DFAS CRDP under the circumstances you posted.

4. This info, ""Retired Retro Pay" that might have been shown on eBenefits (not stated) obviously indicates a potential VA payment is being worked.

5. The DFAS audit sheet will explain the entire matter clearly (my opinion). You can obtain a copy of the audit
by submitting your signed request to:
Defense Finance and Accounting Service
U.S. Military Retired Pay
8899 E 56th Street
Indianapolis IN 46249-1200

Fax: 800-469-6559

6. I would fax the request. However, it is possible you will see the results of what is shown on eBenefits (?) before you receive the copy. I still recommend obtaining a copy of the audit.

Ron
I really appreciate your response! This has been almost 2 years of hurry up and wait. Thank you guys for all you do.
 

RonG

PEB Forum Veteran
Registered Member
#4
I really appreciate your response! This has been almost 2 years of hurry up and wait. Thank you guys for all you do.
You are welcome and of course, there are many who have posted on this site for years; I am relatively new. However, I have worked finance issues on another site for 7-8 years.

Much of the subject matter is confusing, complex or both. I am still researching the "7200 points and you can retire with immediate retired pay regardless of age" belief. I have found no empirical evidence that supports it

I think I found the source of that belief:

DFAS shows
RESERVE
Reserve service is “converted” to active service by dividing retirement points by 360.
7200 points divided by 360 = 20 years of active duty service
2.5% x 20 years = 50%

That computation is accurate, but it does not negate the age retirement for reservists. I sincerely believe that paragraph has been taken out of context.

Ron
 
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