Looking down the rabbit hole to see if it is worth it, changing retirement type and DoD disability

Scooby

PEB Forum Regular Member
Registered Member
Well it has been a while since I posted but things in the health department are at least "steady."

I was a reservist and an unknown to me genetic condition sent me to the hospital. I was not receiving any drill pay or points at the time of admission to the hospital. After my hospital visit my reserve unit put me on a MEB and I was processed out 8 months later (now part of the retired reserves had 20 "good years"). My LOD was denied at the time. After a lengthy time of trying to figure out the root cause I was sent to John Hopkins for my genetic condition to be a part of a study. The documentation says "more likely than not" my service contributed/exacerbated my medical issue. This got my claim for my genetic condition/medical issue at the VA to be accepted as service connected. I was also deployed in the sandbox for two years and have a service connected VA condition for a digestive issue that occurred while I was there (this is a separate issue from my genetic condition that got me on the MEB). I currently receive at least 50% VA disability and wonder about trying to claim DoD disability and the hurdles it would take. Under the CRCD program I think if you have at least 50% or higher VA rating you can receive pay from the VA and the military (aka your military pay is not reduced by receiving VA disability). Maybe there is more to it than I have found. I have over 13 years of qualifying years of service. I do not qualify for CSRC.

I honestly don't know if it will be impossible or might not be worth it in the long run. I say it "might not be worth it in the long run" because it appears for reserve retirement on disability they can use the highest 36 months pay. This was based of this statement from disabilitymadeeasy:

To determine your Pay Base:

If you entered the military before September 8, 1980, your pay base is equal to your salary during your final full month in the service.
If you entered the military on or after September 8, 1980, your pay base is equal to your average monthly salary for the last three years of your military career. Reservists, take the average of your 36 highest-paying months. -------(Bold section seems to apply to me I believe, besides my 25 month tour of sand, I have to go back 10 more years to get a full month of pay. I have several years of 21 days but they limited me to that until I got orders to the penalty box)
To determine your Disability or Retirement %:

You get to choose one of the following (preferably the one that will give you the higher monthly payment):
Your Total Combined Military Disability Rating
Your retirement percentage. This is equal to your total number of years in the military multiplied by 2.5%. So, if you were in the military for 18 years, your retirement percentage would be 45% (18 x 2.5 = 45).
I have several years of active duty but usually the DoD gets a significantly better pay raise per year than just the cost of living increase when you actually start drawing retirement as a reservist. I last got active duty pay 6 years ago. I still have more than 10 years until I can draw my military retirement. This year the COLA increase was 1.6% but the military pay raise was 3.1%. Say this continued for at least 10 more years (I did not research anything but this past year but normally this is the case) I would get 15% more in retirement in 10 years than I would starting to draw some unknown amount disability pay today (I wouldn't know the percentage until after I attempted to get it). I also don't know if they would back pay me for the years but figure its more like the VA, unless I appealed the decision would have to refile and would only get pay from the refile date. Doing the math for my normal retirement pay based on years of service and "high 3" 13 years from now (I have more than that to go) or my "36 highest paying months" I would get 150% more to wait to draw it. I don't know what DoD disability would add (if any) to my normal retirement and of course I start getting paid now vs years from now. This also would depend on the DoD disability rating I would receive, at 40% it would be negligible, at 50% it would be advantageous to get DoD disability (that is a crap shoot though).

At this point if I did try for DoD disability I think I have to go submit something to the PE Board for my branch of service. I would have to get my retired reserve retirement changed to a medical retirement. At this point the LOD would have to be accepted and percentage of DoD disability could then be assigned. I would assume anything 10% and above I would receive the calculated amount of DoD disability per month along with my VA pay (think CRCD is automatically done by DFAS, probably need to submit my VA benefits paperwork but maybe not).

Is there something I am overlooking or missing, what is the best course of action at this point?
 

RonG

PEB Forum Regular Member
PEB Forum Veteran
Lifetime Supporter
Registered Member
Hello,

I can address a couple of your issues.

1. CRSC requires a 10% or more approved combat related disability. One does not have to complete 20 years to receive it, but one must be retired from the military. Many disability retirees receive CRSC.
See this link for more: A Supplement to CRSC Information <---LINK

2. CRDP: See this link Defense Finance and Accounting Service > RetiredMilitary > disability > crdp <--LINK

3. If you have 20 good years and attained the required age for reserve retirement you could be eligible for CRDP not to exceed the longevity portion of your retired pay.

4. The "High Three" is the total of the highest 36 months of pay divided by 36.

5. DoD Retirement (types and other info) see this link Retirement <--LINK
At that location, you can select from:
Select one of the following topic areas:
6. I have no information pertaining to the other issues you mentioned.

Ron
 
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