Will Military Retirement Or Va Disability Benefits Count As Income For Ssdi
Neither military retirement nor VA disability count as earned income for the SSDI program. This means you can continue to draw these benefits without them affecting your eligibility or benefit amount for SSDI. In addition, there will not be an offset for any of your benefits. This means you will continue to draw the full amount from each program with some exceptions.
In some cases, drawing payments from another source of benefits might count as earned income for SSDI.
While SSDI is not an income-based program, you do need to have an earned income below a certain level to qualify. This is the substantial gainful activity limit. If you work a job, are self-employed, or otherwise have an earned income above this monthly limit, you will not be eligible for SSDI because it appears you can earn a living.
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Medical Retirement Pay Compensation
For permanent retirement or placement on the TDRL, your compensation is based on the higher of two computations: Disability rating × retired pay base or 2.5 × years of service × retired pay base. Veterans on the TDRL receive no less than 50 percent of their retired pay base.
The computation of your retired pay base depends on when you joined the military. If you joined prior to September 8, 1980, retired pay base is computed from your military basic pay at the time of medical retirement. For those who entered after September 7, 1980, its the average of the high 36 months of basic pay.
You May Be Eligible For Concurrent Benefits
If you served for at least 20 years by the time you are medically retired, and have been assigned a disability rating of 50 percent or higher by the Department of Veterans Affairs for a service-related injury, then you could be eligible for a program that restores a portion or all of your military disability retirement pay that would have otherwise been used to offset your VA compensation benefit. This means that if you choose to take both disability benefits, then all or a portion of your military disability retirement pay would not be deducted from your VA disability benefits.
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Eligibility Requirements For Concurrent Retirement And Disability Pay
In order to qualify for CRDP, veterans must be eligible for retired pay. If veterans were placed on a disability retirement but would be eligible for military retired pay in the absence of the disability, they may be entitled to receive CRDP. According to VA, veterans may be entitled to CRDP if:
- They are a regular retiree with a VA disability rating of 50 percent or higher
- They are a reserve retiree with 20 qualifying years of service, who have a VA disability rating of 50 percent or higher, and who have reached retirement age*
- They are retired under Temporary Early Retirement Act and have a VA disability rating of 50 percent of higher
- They are a disability retiree who earned entitlement to retired pay under any provision of law other than solely by disability, and they have a VA disability rating of 50 percent or higher
*Note: In most cases the retirement age for reservists is 60, but certain reserve retirees may be eligible before they turn 60. If a veteran is a member of the Ready Reserve, their retirement age can be reduced below age 60 by three months for each 90 days of active service they have performed during a fiscal year.
- A veterans retirement date or
- When the veteran first increased to at least a 50 percent disability rating
*Note: No CRDP is payable for any month prior to January 2004. Prior to 2004, existing laws and regulations prohibited military retirees with service-connected disabilities from receiving both payments.
Components Of Military Pay
The amount paid to each employee is determined by his or her rank and duration of employment. The basic wage is taxable, whereas allowances are not.
Basic Allowance for Housing
A housing allowance for members of the military. BAH is determined by the region of duty, pay grade, and dependency status.
Basic Allowance for Subsistence
The cost of a meal is offset by the BAS benefit. Enlisted personnel is eligible for the full BAS benefit, although they must pay for all meals regardless of whether or not they come from the government.
Duty Station Zip Code
BAH is an amount of money that the military pays to you. It is based on where you live, not where you work. Your BAH will be higher in urban areas than in rural areas.
Special Pay may be earned through specialized duties or operations. Special Pay is limited to two additional earnings per month and must be used by the end of each month.
A system of letters and digits to distinguish pay for military personnel.
- E = Enlisted Member
- W = Warrant Officer
- O = Commissioned Officer
The number reveals the level of pay for each letter, where 1 is the starting level of pay
Pay Scale Year
Military compensation typically rises each year. Choose a different pay scale year to see current, present, and future compensation.
Years of Service
The number of years a member has served in the military.
For the pay and allowance purposes, a dependent is:
- Unmarried Child
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A Very Important Caveat
Military retirees may be technically eligible to draw both regular DoD retirement pay AND VA disability payments. There are rules that dictate which kind of pay you can draw.
Did you know federal law requires a retired service member to waive part of their DoD retirement pay by the amount of their VA disability compensation? This dollar-for-dollar reduction is known as the VA offset, also called a VA Waiver.
There are two programs that can help certain eligible military retirees get back some of these waived funds. One is known as Concurrent Retirement and Disability Pay. Described as a payment meant to restore retired pay for those with service-connected disabilities who waive retired pay for VA disability pay.
This program does not require the veteran to apply those who are eligible will have their case processed and the Concurrent Retirement and Disability Pay is added to the monthly compensation amount.
The other program is known as Combat-Related Special Compensation and is offered to those with combat-related disabilities. This program does require the veteran to apply via their branch of military service. Learn more about eligibility for this program at the Defense Finance And Accounting official site.
Joe Wallace is a 13-year veteran of the United States Air Force and a former reporter for Air Force Television News
About Retirement Pay And Disability Compensation
Military retirement pay is calculated based on your military disability rating and your years of service. Disability compensation is determined by your VA disability rating and your number of dependents.
The reasoning behind this scenario is that the purpose of DOD pay is to compensate a service member for their career being ended early, while the purpose of VA compensation is to compensate for your loss of civilian earnings after service and to pay you for your functional loss resulting from your disability.
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Concurrent Retirement Disability Pay
Concurrent Receipt Laws: Until 2004, the law prevented military retirees from receiving part or all of their military pay if they also received disability compensation from the VA. Military members had to choose which payment they wanted to receive: military retirement pay or VA disability compensation. If they chose to receive both forms of payment, they had to offset, or waive, a portion of their military retirement pay equal to the amount they received from the VA. It prevented service members from double-dipping and receiving compensation from both the VA and the military.
In 2004, the law changed, and military retirees were eligible to receive both military retirement pay and VA disability compensation, but only if they had a VA service-connected disability rating of 50% or higher.
Here is how the compensation breaks down if you are eligible to receive both types of compensation:
The difference between a disability rating of 40% and 50% can mean a difference of thousands of dollars per year because the difference comes in the form of the increased disability compensation at the higher rate, along with the full military pension that is not offset by the concurrent receipt laws.
Qualifying With Your Rfc
If you do not meet the criteria under an impairment listing, you will need to qualify based on your RFC. There are three ways the SSA will determine your RFC:
- A doctor from the Office of Disability Determination Services will evaluate your RFC based on your medical records or
- Your doctor will evaluate your RFC based on your medical records and their knowledge of your condition and limitations or
- You will have to attend a consultative exam with a third-party doctor paid by the SSA.
If you cannot work your last job or any other job you might qualify for, you might get approved for disability benefits.
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What You Need To Know About Dod Disability Ratings
As indicated above, there are two general types of disability ratings-permanent and temporary. Each has a set of percentages that may apply to the level of disability. Once you get a DoD disability rating, that percentage will not change over time unlike a VA disability rating which does have the potential for change.
If you get a 30% DoD disability rating and are placed on the DoD Permanent Disability Ratings List, that rating remains for the lifetime of the veteran.
DoD Disability Ratings are determined based on time-in-service, rank, and the disability percentage. This is in contrast to VA disability ratings which are based only on the severity of the medical issue.
DoD ratings apply only to the specific medical issues being evaluated where the VA takes a more holistic approach, considering the entire medical condition of the patient overall. That means that multiple injuries or conditions arent necessarily evaluated by the DoD: only the issues directly being evaluated.
Important Differences Between Va Disability And Dod Disability
- DoD disability ratings are for life VA ratings are subject to change depending on whether the conditions get better or worse within certain VA time frames.
- VA ratings include a review of the patients entire medical condition used to inform the rating. DoD disability ratings are only awarded for specific conditions under review.
- VA disability payment may be altered if DoD Disability severance pay was awarded. If you are paid $5 thousand dollars in DoD severance for a disability and the VA awards you disability benefits, those payments will be withheld until the amount of the severance pay has been recouped by the government.
- VA disability benefits are not calculated using time-in-service, time-in-grade, or any such similar factor including rank. By contrast, DoD disability pay is calculated with those factors as an important part of the math.
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The Value Of Receiving Va Compensation And Military Retirement Pay
After 2004, veterans can receive VA compensation for their service-connected disabilities while also being retired. Yet, the value of a VA rating makes a dramatic impact on veterans monthly pay.
Taking our examples from above, receiving a tax-free part of your retirement pay of 0%-40% is a great benefit. It may not put a lot back into your wallet but having a little tax-break always helps. The more considerable monthly impact comes with least a 50% VA rating, which adds an extra monthly check for a veteran.
Lets take a quick look at how this calculates out side-by-side.
· 40% disability rating: $2,000 total
· 50% disability rating: $2,901.83 total
How Va Disability Compensation Affects Military Retired Pay
If you receive VA compensation for your VA disability, military retired pay is reduced by the VA waiver. The VA waiver is where you waive retired pay to receive VA compensation. The reason is because of double-dipping laws that state you can’t be paid twice by the government for the same event.
Technically, VA disability compensation and retired pay are not the same event, but that is how it is applied. So more VA compensation means a greater decrease in your retired pay.
Retirees with concurrent receipt might not see a decrease in retired pay, but concurrent receipt ensures retirees receive enough retired pay to compensate them for their years of service.
Concurrent receipt will not restore retired pay above the amount due to years of service. Extra retired pay can occur when someone is medically retired from the military with a high service disability rating.
Concurrent receipt comes in two forms. You are allowed one or the other but not both at the same time. The Defense Finance and Accounting Service or your service’s pay agency administers both forms, which are:
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How To Apply For Va Disability
- Discharge or separation papers such as DD214 or Guard/Reserve equivalent.
- Medical evidence including military medical records, civilian treatment records, etc.
- Vital records such as marriage and dependent birth certificates.
You can also apply via regular mail by filling out VA Form 21-526EZ, Application for Disability Compensation and Related Compensation Benefits. Call VA at 1-800-827-1000 to have the form sent to you.
Which Disability Benefit To Choose
If you do not qualify for Concurrent Retirement and Disability Pay, or CRDP, then you must decide which military disability compensation you wish to receive, and which you wish to waive. It generally makes more financial sense to waive your DoD disability and take the VA’s disability benefits. This is because disability benefits are not taxed, while medical retirement pay may be offset by however much you receive from disability. However, if the DoD has assigned you a higher disability rating than the VA, then you could receive more disability compensation from taking the DoD military retirement pay while waiving the your VA compensation.
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How The Va Calculates Compensation Rates
When you prepare to retire or separate from military service, starting your VA disability claims process is among the things many must do as you out-process. You can also apply after youve left military service.
When you apply for compensation, the VA reviews your claims and assigns disability percentage ratings in 10% increments. For example, if you have a knee injury, the VA will determine the severity of that injury .
The VA may rate your condition between 10% up to 100% based on how it affects your life. Your rating percentage determines your compensation.
Some veterans may be entitled to more disability pay if certain conditions apply such as:
- The veteran is living with severe disabilities
- The veteran has lost one or more limbs
- The veteran has a spouse, children or dependent parents
- The veteran has a spouse who is experiencing a serious disability.
Many veterans have more than one medical issue, disability or disease. Each issue is rated separately, and you may be awarded a combined VA disability.
Combined totals are not the sum of multiple percentages. In cases where the VA must rate a veteran for more than one medical issue, the VA uses a combined ratings table to determine the final percentage.
How Long Does It Take To Receive Your Disability Benefits
The VA claims process can vary in length from a few months to a year. The October 2021 claims process average was about 145 days.
Once your claim is approved and you receive at least a 10% disability rating, the VA said you should begin receiving benefits within 15 days. You may receive back pay of your disability compensation in your first few checks, depending on the effective date of disability in your VA letter.
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How To Use The Va Disability Pay Calculator
To calculate your disability rating, take a look at your VA disability compensation award letter and select your official rating.
Next, select the number of dependents in each applicable category.
Then, select the appropriate box for your marital status, and whether or not your spouse needs Aid and Attendance benefits.
Once youve filled out everything, toggle the switch for monthly or annual compensation and hit calculate. .
A 50% Va Disability Rating You Can Also Receive Full Military Retirement Pay
When the laws changed in 2004, veterans were able to receive both military retirement pay and VA disability compensation at the same time under Concurrent Retirement Disability Pay . When CRPD is reached with a 50% rating or higher, a veteran is eligible to receive full military retirement pay along with full VA disability compensation.
Here is an example of the payment breakdown. You are receiving $2,000 a month in retirement pay. With a 50% VA disability rating, your disability compensation would be $901.83 per month. Unlike the 40% rating example above, you would receive an additional check each month in VA compensation for $901.83, which is also tax-free. Your military retirement pay of $2,000 is still taxable.
At the end of each month, you would receive a retirement check for $2,000 and a VA compensation for $901.83. That brings the total monthly payment to $2,901.83 $2,000 taxed and $901.83 tax-free.
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Can I Ask My Uniformed Service To Reconsider My Request For Crsc
Yes. You can ask for a reconsideration of the decision from your uniformed service if:
- Your CRSC application gets denied, or
- You receive a new disability rating for a condition or injury thats combat-related, or
- Your disability rating thats connected to your existing CRSC changes
How to request a reconsideration
If your CRSC application gets denied, youll receive a Reconsideration Request Form in the mail when you get your decision letter. Use this form or simply send a letter, along with any new evidence, to the Air Force asking them to reopen your claim. Be sure to sign your letter. If you need help, you can call .
Note: If theres been a change to your disability rating, please also include your most recent decision notice.
Send your completed form or a letter, along with any new evidence, to this address: