Combat related SPecial Compensation (CRSC)

Combat Related Special Compensation isn’t Just for Combat Veterans

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Jpl Gray

What We Do

CRSC Timeline

Create a Detailed Chronology to Assess and Present Your Case: Establishing that an injury was incurred under one of the combat-related categories is not an easy task. The Who, What, When, Where, and How are key to any CRSC claim. A detailed timeline makes it blatantly clear which events are being relied upon to establish your claim. Because the best evidence is usually camouflaged by hundreds, if not thousands, of pages of irrelevant documents, a timeline is the perfect way to guide the CRSC Board to the best, most impactful evidence.

Strategically Compile Supporting Evidence: Once an outline for a CRSC claim is established, any gaps in the story are glaringly apparent. If time is a factor, this is where strategically choosing the highest value evidence can have massive consequences. Understanding not only the value of a certain piece of evidence, but also the likelihood of obtaining that evidence will help inform the strategy that fits your specific circumstances. 

Compiling CRSC Documents
Crsc Page Drafting Brief

Draft a Brief for Your Unique Case: DD form 2860, the official application for CRSC, asks several open-ended questions, requiring a narrative answer. If a Service member’s answer is too long to fit into the space provided, they can submit attachments. This is precisely what Joel Pettit Law does for our clients. Because there are no CRSC hearings, we ensure that your story is presented authentically and clearly, referencing the key supporting evidence. We want to make it as easy as possible for the CRSC Board to rule in your favor; effectively helping them help our clients.

CRSC Application Submission: Joel Pettit Law is committed to serving our clients from cradle to grave. What’s the point of analyzing your case, gathering evidence, and drafting a brief if we don’t also plan to combine all these products into a well-crafted, organized, easily understandable CRSC application? After all, the ultimate purpose of this process is to have the CRSC Board consider your claim! Joel Pettit Law doesn’t fumble on the one-yard line.

PEB Attorney Submitting CRSC Application

CRSC Overview

Combat Related Special Compensation (crsc) Overview


     Joel Pettit Law has been drafting, reviewing, and submitting CRSC applications on behalf of clients for over 7 years. Although CRSC applications were initially submitted to the PEB, they are now submitted directly to the individual CRSC boards under each military department.

     All retirees with a combat-related disability are eligible to apply for a CRSC determination provided they meet the following three basic eligibility criteria:

  • be in retired status;
  • be receiving military retired pay; and
  • have a combined Department of Veterans Affairs disability rating of at least 10 percent and have waived some or all military retired pay to receive VA disability compensation.

     If you have been rated by the VA and have not agreed to have your retirement pay offset by the VA disability compensation, you must contact the VA to complete a VA Form 21-651, “Election of Compensation in Lieu of Retired Pay or Waiver of Retired Pay to Secure Compensation from Department of Veterans Affairs.”

     For CRSC to be approved, you must meet the above four basic eligibility criteria, and there must be sufficient evidence to confirm your VA disability meets at least one of the combat-related criteria established by law:

  • directly attributed to armed conflict;
  • hazardous service;
  • simulating war;
  • instrumentality of war; or
  • conditions considered presumptive to exposure to Agent Orange, internment as a prisoner of war, and so forth.

     As mentioned above, you must have a Veterans Affairs disability rating to qualify for CRSC. While you may be eligible for CRSC because you have a combat-related disability, to be paid the compensation, you must be receiving VA disability compensation. This means, you must have your disabilities rated by the VA, and have waived your military retirement pay to receive the VA compensation (except for those retirees who qualify for CRDP), before you can apply for CRSC.

     Except for certain presumptions made by the VA, neither the location nor the timeframe of an injury or illness automatically qualifies it as combat-related. The specific circumstances of the event causing the injury or illness determine if it is combat-related. For instance, if you trip over a box during the normal performance of duty in a war zone, the injury from that fall would not be considered combat-related. However, if you trip over a box diving forcover during an enemy attack the injury from the fall would be considered combat-related. All circumstances are unique.

     Active-duty personnel who believe their medical conditions may qualify them for CRSC may become eligible once they retire and have their medical conditions evaluated by the VA. Remember, the purpose of the program is to restore military retirement pay that has been offset by VA compensation when medical conditions are found to be combat-related. If you are not receiving military retirement pay and do not meet the basic eligibility criteria, you may not apply for CRSC. Joel Pettit Law recommends reviewing service medical record to ensure all potential conditions are thoroughly documented prior to retirement. After you retire, contact your local or regional VA office to apply for service-connected disability compensation. Once the VA determines your conditions are service-connected and you are receiving VA compensation, you may apply for CRSC using DD Form 2860.

     If you have questions about your eligibility for CRSC, contact Joel Pettit Law to review your case and consider your options.