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CONCURRENT RECEIPT

spongebob's picture
spongebob
Posts: 2600
Joined: Apr 2003

I got a note from Sailor1988 about reduction of retirement benefits for care provided by the VA - has anyone else had issues with "concurrent receipt"? Looking to get a fact set together to start "beating this drum".

Thanks

- SpongeBob

spongebob's picture
spongebob
Posts: 2600
Joined: Apr 2003

Must not be many people with concurrent receipt issues on the CSN - or you're just keeping quiet. Here is some info regarding proposed legislation correcting some of the concurrent receipt problems that is expected to be finalized and come before the Congress this Session. I thought I would share it with you:

Concurrent Receipt FAQs

FAQs on Concurrent Receipt Proposal Take Action!

NCOA recently released information on the proposed concurrent receipt plan that is being considered in the FY 04 National Defense Authorization bill, and we have expectedly received many e-mails with specific questions about the program or complaints or concerns about the outcome. While we have continue to respond to individual e-mails, we would like to take this opportunity to provide answers to the most common questions and concerns we've received through the following Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs).

Please keep in mind that this proposal is not law yet; therefore, the details are subject to change. These answers are according to NCOA's interpretation as the proposal stands right now. If there are any changes when the actual law is passed, we will update this FAQ.

If you still have specific questions, please feel free to contact NCOA's Director of Legislative Affairs, Kimberlee Vockel at legislat@ncoadc.org. If you have questions or concerns about how to apply for compensation under the Combat-Related Special Compensation (CRSC) program, please contact NCOA's Director of State and Veterans Affairs, Richard Schneider at rschneider@ncoadc.org.

If you would like to voice your approval or opposition to this proposal, please contact your Representative and both Senators as soon as possible.

PROPOSED CONCURRENT RECEIPT PLAN

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Q: I am rated 70% disabled, but I don't believe that my injuries would be considered "combat-related." How does this program affect me?

A: The proposed plan grants full concurrent receipt phased-in over the next 10 years for disabled retirees with 20 or more years of military service with ratings between 50 and 100 percent regardless of what caused those injuries. There is NO combat-related requirement for disabled retirees with 50 to 100 percent VA disabilities.

Q: I fall within the 50 to 100 percent disability range. When will I receive my payments? Do I have to apply to get them?

A: Provided the proposal goes through as planned, the payments should begin to appear in the end of month check for January. The proposal is effective January 1, 2004, so if there are delays in actual implementation on the DoD side, the payments should be retroactive to that date. As long as you are a disabled retiree with 20 or more years of military service and have a VA disability rating between 50 and 100 percent, you do not have to take any action to apply for these payments.

Q: I am 50% disabled. Will this program only give payments to those with the highest ratings first?

A: Absolutely not! This proposal ensures that everyone will begin to have their offset reduced immediately.

The monthly payments for 2004 will be as follows:

100% = $750;
90% = $500;
80% = $350;
70% = $250;
60% = $125;
50% = $100

Each year after 2004, the amount will incrementally increase for the next 10 years until there is no longer an offset in 2014. The actual amounts that will be increased each year after 2004 are unclear at this point. Special note: If your VA disability compensation is more than your retirement pay, you will only receive the total amount you are entitled to under your military retirement pay by the end of the 10 years.

Q: Will the payments I receive starting in 2004 be taxable?

A: The purpose of concurrent receipt is to restore your retirement pay. Retirement pay is taxable. While some states do not tax military retirement pay, it is still subject to federal taxes. Your VA disability compensation will remain nontaxable.

Q: I took early retirement under TERA and was told that my retirement would carry the same benefits as those with 20 or more years. Am I included in this proposal?

A: Yes, this proposal makes TERA retirees eligible under the concurrent receipt portion; however, you would not be eligible under CRSC.

Q: I medically retired with less than 20 years. Am I included in this proposal?

A: The plan does not include Chapter 61 retirees with less than 20 years. If you medically retired under Chapter 61 with more than 20 years, you would be included.

Q: I am a reservist with 20 good years of service and a 30% VA disability. How does this affect me?

A: When the CRSC program was passed last year, the DoD interpreted the program to only include reservists with 7200 points; however, this proposal opens up the CRSC program to reservists with 20 good years of service. That means that you will be eligible to apply for the CRSC for your combat-related disabilities once this bill has passed and the Services have updated their applications.

Q: How does this affect those rated unemployable?

A: Someone rated at 100 percent total disability based on individual unemployability (TDIU) should be compensated at 100 percent for the concurrent receipt portion. DoD has yet to rule on whether they will pay those applying for CRSC at the level at which they are rated or at the TDIU rate. DoD has delayed its decision on this matter until after passage of this proposal.

Q: I currently receive money every month from the "Special Compensation" program that started several years ago. How does this affect me?

A: The Special Compensation program will be repealed once this proposal goes into effect. Because the Special Compensation program only applied to those with 60 to 100 percent ratings, you will now be eligible for the phased-in concurrent receipt.

Q: I applied and was approved for payments under the CRSC program. Is that going to go away now?

A: The CRSC program is going to continue; however, you cannot receive payments from both CRSC and concurrent receipt. The proposal allows for an annual "open season" for disabled retirees to select under which program they would like to be compensated. It may be that your current payment under CRSC would be higher than the phase-in for those rated 50 to 100 percent. In that instance, you should retain your CRSC payment until whatever year the phased-in amount under concurrent receipt exceeds the amount you receive under CRSC.

Q: I'm 20% disabled and I don't know whether or not I would qualify for CRSC or even how to apply. What should I do?

A: The criteria for applying for CRSC have not changed, only eligibility. The Services will have to update their applications for CRSC, but the basic qualifiers should remain the same. NCOA has provided the guidelines for CRSC as provided by DoD on our website at http://www.ncoausa.org/capitaloffice1/CRSC.htm. If you have specific questions or problems, please contact Richard Schneider at rschneider@ncoadc.org, and he should be able to assist you.

Q: I'm 100% disabled and unable to work. I really need this money. Is this program guaranteed to go through or will it be another of Congress' empty promises?

A: NCOA is confident that this program will go through before Congress adjourns for this year. House Majority Whip Roy Blunt stated that even if the defense bill were to get hung up he would make sure this program was attached to another legislative vehicle that would be completed this year. However, there is a growing surge of opposition to this proposal for partisan reasons and for the reason that people feel it is unfair because it excludes many people. As a result, there is a possibility that the plan could be removed altogether if enough negative reaction is apparent.

Q: I'm 20% disabled and I am confident that I will not be approved for payments under CRSC. Why did you agree to a plan that left me out? Is my service and disability any less valuable than those with higher ratings?

A: The Association recommends that you apply for CRSC regardless of what outcome you expect.

NCOA has a resolution that states that NCOA "shall support all legislation allowing military retirees to concurrently receive military retired pay and veterans' disability compensation."

NCOA is concerned with achieving concurrent receipt for all those who receive an offset of their retirement by their VA disability compensation, and the Association will continue to work with Congress to extend this program consistent with the intent of the Association's resolutions.

The Association has worked for nearly 20 years on this issue, and we will continue to look out for the well-being of all of America's veterans. It is unfortunate that Congress is not able to offer full concurrent receipt.

NCOA feels it would be irresponsible to reject the $22 billion being returned to disabled retirees under the proposed program. The Association will continue its mandate for full concurrent receipt.

Q: I am appalled that NCOA would support this plan put out by the Republicans. I never knew the Association was in bed with the Republican Party. This is nothing more than a ploy to win votes.

A: NCOA is a nonpartisan organization that is congressionally chartered. We do not support or oppose any individual candidates or party, but we do applaud the work done by individuals and parties. The Association works with members on both sides of the aisle, and we support all proposals that benefit our membership.

As you may recall, NCOA stood up and supported Representative Jim Marshall (D-GA-3rd) when he introduced his discharge petition on H.R. 303. Representative Marshall also spoke at NCOA's Annual Business Meeting in San Antonio in August 2003.

The Association continues to work with Democrats and Republicans alike to see if any improvements can be made to this proposal before it becomes law. NCOA will work with any Party offering a guaranteed $22 billion concurrent receipt program. The Association will also support any Member of Congress' efforts to further improve this program; however, the Association will not dismiss the hard work and good-faith efforts of those who have worked in support of the Association's objectives, especially Representative Michael Bilirakis (R-FL-9th) who has been the most enduring and dedicated bipartisan champion of concurrent receipt. Representative Bilirakis has repeatedly reached across the aisle to his Democratic colleagues to build support for this issue. Partnering with Representative Bilirakis from the Senate side for several years, Senator Harry Reid (D-NV) has contributed a great deal to this effort.

Q: If this program does not cover everyone, why is NCOA supporting it?

A: Throughout the history of concurrent receipt in Congress, there have been several "steps forward" that have excluded many categories of disabled retirees. Representative Bilirakis (R-FL-9th) has introduced his concurrent receipt bill, H.R. 303, every Congress since the 100th-almost 20 years ago. During those 20 years, Congress and the White House have been controlled by different parties, and no progress was made on concurrent receipt until the 106th Congress.

During the 106th Congress, Representative Bilirakis was successful in amending the defense bills to create a special compensation program that gave special payments to those with 60 to 100 percent disabilities. Obviously, this program did not cover everyone, but it was the first tiny step toward progress. During the 107th Congress, the Combat-Related Special Compensation program was created. Neither Representative Bilirakis nor NCOA were happy with that compromise versus what we believed was going to be the outcome; however, opposing it would have meant another year without putting money back in the pockets of disabled retirees.

Each year, NCOA has returned to Congress to push for another step towards concurrent receipt. The Association always advocates for full concurrent receipt for everyone; however, we must work within the political realities and the different circumstances that prevent Congress from passing full concurrent receipt at one time.

The proposal being offered right now is worth $22 billion to disabled retirees. While that does not offer much financial comfort to those who will not receive compensation under this proposal, it should comfort many that we are getting closer every year. Having a hard-line, all-or-nothing attitude does not benefit the Association and definitely does not benefit the members. Unless the NCOA membership decides to change the concurrent receipt resolution to specifically refuse anything less than concurrent receipt, the Association will continue to "support all legislation allowing military retirees to concurrently receive military retired pay and veterans' disability compensation."

JustThinking
Posts: 8
Joined: Dec 2003

I'm a little confused. What is concurrent receipt that you are talking about? My husband was previously USMC retired at 50% and now at 100% due to his prostate cancer which is recognized as Agent Orange related due to 3 tours in Vietman. He is getting VA retirement only with no offset. He has applied to the CRSC Program being told it will be 6 to 8 months before adjucating. I've read on this site that after he heals his VA most likely will go to 60%. Can you help us understand what's what. Thanks for starting this site; it's great to communicate and know you're not in the boat alone.

spongebob's picture
spongebob
Posts: 2600
Joined: Apr 2003

Ahoy, Just Thinking -

Good question. Seems to me that if he's 100% with a chronic disease he should stay there and not see a reduction to 60% - lemme do some digging and see what I can find out for you.

Thanks for asking - if one dawg is in this quandry, I'm sure many more are. Tell your husband OOO-RAH for me.

More to follow.

- SpongeBob

Sailor1988
Posts: 23
Joined: Dec 2002

Hello Just Thinking. If your husband's situation is like mine (I'm retired Navy with prostate cancer related to Agent Orange) I was at 100% disability for the first 2 months after my surgery in Nov, '02, then was dropped to 40%. That's where I am right now at 13 months post-op. Therefore, because I am rated at less than 50%, I am not eligible for concurrent receipt and the Navy reduces my retired pay by the same amount that VA pays me. {Concurrent receipt means that a retiree would get his full military retirement pay AND the cash amount from VA for his disability}

BTW, I'm not familar with the CRSC program and need to get more info. Can you tell me where/how you applied?

I hope this answers of your question about concurrent receipt.

For SpongeBob; keep up the good work!!!

Sailor

JustThinking
Posts: 8
Joined: Dec 2003

The CRSC program is for retired with 60% + disability that is combat related and went in to effect Jan '04. There are forms on line. Why did they reduce you to 40%? My husband had a 50% disability for knees and missing testicle before the prostate cancer.

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