8 years and counting... Help & Guidance Needed ASAP

Should I be angry?

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greatghost503rd

New Member
Registered Member
Hi All,

I need some guidance & help and I am at the end of my sanity in writing this post. There is A LOT of detail so please be patient with me because I don't know what is relevant and what is not.

My husband was in the Army, Active Duty, then transferred to the National Guard to go to school. He was injured on AD in an IED blast in Iraq. He was infantry, air assault, airborne, LRS, anything else you need to know, just ask. The IED explosion caused permanent nerve damage in his back & knees, TBI, and the swelling left him paralyzed for 3 days.

In 2009 his PTSD presented starting his PEB process. About 4 years later after countless appointments, tons of back and forth, and finally a chance conversation with then SecDef Chuck Hagel, his board got done. The VA awarded him 80% and the Army 70% in his PEB. We have been participating in the Caregiver program through the VA as well. All was going ok, I was a full time caregiver for him and our 2 kids who both have autism.

In Jul 2015, without any notice or warning the pay he was getting through DFAS as eRas (which I now know was an error) stopped. It took 6 months to figure out why the stop and the issues surrounding that income. During that time we spoke with the State Transition Assistance Office, DFAS, the VA, and even a State Senator's aid. We were told nto to worry and it would all get sorted and we would get back-paid accordingly. We used our savings, pulled money from my 401K based on this information which ended-up just putting us in a debt hole we have yet to even being to see the light from. (My fault for trusting what I was told but I didn't know better at the time) DFAS apparently never got a CRSC (Special Compensation) packet after the PEB was compelted. Went through the Transition Assistance Officer and submitted it by mail twice, the Senator's aid twice, and then in Sep 2018 to our State Congressman for help.

Found out that CRSC could be submitted online through the Army HRC website since 2008 which no one we had helping us knew about. Got my husband's CRSC done and sent to DFAS end of Nov 2018. Backing up to that pay stoppage 7/2015, we were being paid as if he had retired w/ 20 years of service not 10 years and a PEB. We got a debt notice, which we were told not to pay, for ~$52K. The exact phrasing used was that there was clearly an error in this and we don't want to pay on something we should be getting via the CRSC anyway becasue then there is a next to impossible chance of getting that money back.

Back to the present working with our Congressman, we had been "ball-parked" the amount of CRSC pay as $1500-$1800 a month. The CRSC was dated for 8/1/2013 so that is roughly 63-65 months of total back pay we would owe. We also submitted a Form 2789 for the $52K debt that is now with a collection agency requesting $76K. The reason outlined on the form was it was an error that was not made by us nor was the error known to us and the money taken and not reported. The debt is a huge amount for a small family with a Medically retired Vet let alone adding in 2 kids with special needs. Still waiting on the word of that decision.

On 1/23/2019 a CRSC stub finally showed in DFAS... I was thrilled for about 30 sec. Here is what it showed:
(Left Side) Payment Information:
CSRC Amount: 272.00
CRSC Debt Deduction: 0.00
CRSC Garnishment Deduction: 126.89

CRSC Net Pay: 145.11

(Right Side) Entitlement Information:
Retired Pay Before Deductions: 1918.00
Retired Pay Offset by DVA Compensation: 1934.69
Branch of Military Service: ARMY
Garnishment Withheld: YES

THE DVA OR YOUR BRANCH OF SERVICE PROVIDED THE FOLLOWING
CRSC Monthly Compensation Code: 00
Unemployable: NO
DVA Disability %: 80
Combat Related Disability %: 70
Purple Hear %: 40
CRSC Start Date: AUG, 01, 2013
Special Monthly Compensation Start Date: BLANK

REMARKS
Garnishment amount fo $126.89 is for monthly SBP premium.
SBP premium deduction does not include any past due SBP premium/interest. As of 01/23/2019, your past due SBP balance is: $8747.38. Please see DFAS.mil for: how to make payments on your past due balance; information on CRSC and this statement.

I did try call DFAS to try to get answers on the Waiver, the CRSC calculation, the garnishment, anything. Their phones no matter what path I went down said due unusually high call volumes and longer than normal wait times we cannot take your call at this time. I was then disconnected.

I don't know the math or the calculation for CRSC and reached out to anyone and everyone I could but I have been doing this for years now and I don't know how much more I can fight. We wanted to Survivor benefit in the event something happened to my husband due to the needs of our kids so I am not disputing that but how can there be a past due if we were not getting paid? Isn't that supposed to be a percentage not a flat amount? We both feel powerless, our credit has been trashed, things still aren't resolved, and any back pay we had been owed feels like it has evaporated. This was supposed to be coming to an end not starting a whole new set of unknowns. I work full time for the Department of Health and Human Services in our State so it's a good job but by no means a high paying job. If a company did this to an employee they would be facing damages. Do we have any recourse? Does this CRSC amount look right? Is there a chance this is yet another error?

If you got this far, you are a saint. I appreciate any comments, opinions, advice, I am at the end of my rope here.
 

RonG

Super Moderator
Staff Member
PEB Forum Veteran
Registered Member
Hello,

A few comments:

1. This causes a complete waiver of retired pay and it is the correct application of a certain law
Retired Pay Before Deductions: 1918.00
Retired Pay Offset by DVA Compensation: 1934.69

2. Re: “...to the present working with our Congressman, we had been "ball-parked" the amount of CRSC pay as $1500-$1800 a month.”
I suspect that the “ballpark” figure was the rate for 70% CRSC approval and did not take into consideration the ceiling for CH 61 retirees.

3. His CRSC should be the lesser of
—dollar amount of the longevity portion of retirement pay
OR
—the amount associated with the CRSC approved rate (70% in this case and the VA compensation tables are used to determine the amount)

Note: Most CH 61 retirees receive the former (i.e., longevity portion of retirement pay)

4. The longevity portion of retired pay is
The average of the highest 36 months of active duty pay x the multiplier determined.
The multiplier is ACTIVE DUTY years and months x 2.5%
EXAMPLE:
—A 36 month average of base pay might be 3000
—The example retiree has 8 years and 3 months active duty = 8.25 yrs
—8.25 yrs x 2.5% = 20.6%
—High-3 $3000 x 0.206 = $618 longevity portion of retired pay

Of importance is the use of active duty time in the formula.

5. SBP
Ref: LINK to SBP Payments

There are four methods of paying for your SBP coverage if you elect it:

**Deductions from your retired pay
**Deductions from your CRSC Pay - Beginning April 2018
**Deductions from your VA pay
**Direct remittance

It had been somewhat common in years past that those who did not receive retired pay due to the VA offset had the premium deducted from their VA compensation. The use of CRSC to pay the premium is relatively new.

Ron
 
Last edited:

greatghost503rd

New Member
Registered Member
Hi Ron,

Thank you for your reply. I am not certain on the terminology or formulas but it appears to fall in line with this information I found on his PEB. He was an E-5 at the time of PEB.

7. Estimated retired pay (PDR or TDRL): Retired pay is the higher fo formula "a" or "b."

a. Years-of-service computation
2.5% x Yrs 6 Mnths 0 x $2707.50 = $406.12

b. Disability rating percentage computation
70 x $2707.50 = $1895.25

Is that what you are referencing for the calculation? If so, does that mean the CRSC is being calculated using the $406.12?

I've got a pretty good handle on my mathematics skills through Calculus it's just the unknown/behind the scenes portions of the CRSC computation that I am not understanding.
 

RonG

Super Moderator
Staff Member
PEB Forum Veteran
Registered Member
The following (based was on your figures) is the dollar amount of the longevity portion of retirement pay:

You said: “a. Years-of-service computation
2.5% x Yrs 6 Mnths 0 x $2707.50 = $406.12”

Special Rules for Chapter 61 Disability Retirees: According to law, members retired for disability under Chapter 61 of title 10 United States Code must have the CRSC entitlement limited to an amount that when combined with any military retired pay remaining after offset for VA disability compensation will not exceed the retired pay they would otherwise be entitled to for retirement computed for years of service (i.e., 2 1/2 percent x years of service x pay base).

Evidently, the DFAS has a different high three and or active duty years for him.

In any case, the two most recent posts explained the concept. It appears the lesser in his case is the longevity portion of retired pay. CRSC does not replace the waived disability portion of retired pay.


LINK to CRSC Information <——

Ron
 

gsfowler

Super Moderator
Staff Member
PEB Forum Veteran
REMARKS
Garnishment amount fo $126.89 is for monthly SBP premium.
SBP premium deduction does not include any past due SBP premium/interest. As of 01/23/2019, your past due SBP balance is: $8747.38. Please see DFAS.mil for: how to make payments on your past due balance; information on CRSC and this statement.
Quick question. Why would you fail to pay the Survivor Benefit Plan premium the entire time your spouse was medically retired? DFAS sends a bill each and every month.
 

Mike2686

PEB Forum Regular Member
Registered Member
Quick question. Why would you fail to pay the Survivor Benefit Plan premium the entire time your spouse was medically retired? DFAS sends a bill each and every month.
Maybe they didn't get the bill? I just have my SBP taken from my pay each month, but I don't know how long that's been an option. I was retired in 2017.
 

greatghost503rd

New Member
Registered Member
We didn’t get a bill. All that happened was when he stopped being paid in 7/2015, we got a bill for the back pay error. The person at DFAS said, “Until that is resolved we have nothing further to discuss.” I was actually told he never should have been granted SBP in the first place. Until the CRSC paystatement, I didn’t even know we still had anything related to SBP.
 

My_View

PEB Forum Regular Member
PEB Forum Veteran
Registered Member
greatghost503rd, quick question, since you are his caregiver I am assuming he can't work. If this is the case why isn't he getting paid at the VA unemployability rate of 100%? Did he apply for unemployability with the VA and get denied? Just curious because from what I read he should be considered unemployable by the VA. Maybe I am assuming too much.
 

MS _female

PEB Forum Regular Member
Registered Member
Hi, Did you get your SBP corrected? I also didn't elect for this program and now is trying to cancel it.
 

oddpedestrian

Super Moderator
Staff Member
PEB Forum Veteran
Lifetime Supporter
Registered Member
Hi, Did you get your SBP corrected? I also didn't elect for this program and now is trying to cancel it.
It's automatic you have to have your spouse come in and waive it or send a notarized form waiving it immediately at retirement or otherwise wait for certain authorized open periods to stop it.
 
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