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Military & Veteran Lawyer > Blog > CRDP > Understanding CRSC and CRDP: Key Differences and Benefits

Understanding CRSC and CRDP: Key Differences and Benefits


As a retired military service member, you may be entitled to various benefits and compensation programs. Two common programs you might have heard of are CRSC (Combat-Related Special Compensation) and CRDP (Concurrent Retirement and Disability Pay). In this blog post, we will break down what CRSC and CRDP are, and highlight the key differences between them to help you navigate these important aspects of your retirement benefits. Contact us for questions if you have a line of duty injury, are already in a Medical or Physical Evaluation Board (MEB/PEB) or have questions regarding your Narrative Summary (NARSUM) or in general about the IDES process.

What is CRSC (Combat-Related Special Compensation)?

CRSC, or Combat-Related Special Compensation, is a program designed to provide eligible military retirees with compensation for combat-related disabilities. This compensation is aimed at bridging the gap between military retirement pay and the disability benefits you might receive from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).

Key Points About CRSC:

  1. Combat-Related Disabilities: CRSC is specifically for disabilities incurred as a direct result of combat, combat-related training, or while performing hazardous duties. These disabilities may not necessarily be combat injuries, but they must be related to your military service in combat, combat-training, hazardous duty, or through an instrumentality of war, such as aircraft, combat vehicles and other combat equipment. Behavioral health and mental health claims can be eligible for Combat-Related Special Compensation if incurred under the same conditions required for physical disabilities.
  2. Tax-Free Benefit: CRSC is tax-free, meaning you do not need to report it as income on your federal tax return.
  3. Service-Connected VA Compensation: You can receive both CRSC and VA disability compensation for service-connected disabilities, but there may be an offset depending on the circumstances. However, some retirees may receive full CRSC and VA benefits without an offset if they meet specific criteria.

What is CRDP (Concurrent Retirement and Disability Pay)?

CRDP, or Concurrent Retirement and Disability Pay, is another program that aims to provide financial support to military retirees who are eligible for both military retirement pay and VA disability compensation. It allows retirees to receive both types of payments concurrently.

Key Points About CRDP:

  1. Non-Combat-Related Disabilities: Unlike CRSC, CRDP covers both combat-related and non-combat-related disabilities. If you have a disability that is not directly related to combat or combat training, you may still be eligible for CRDP.
  2. Taxable Benefit: CRDP is taxable, meaning you must include it as income on your federal tax return. However, it is often viewed as a restoration of previously waived retirement pay, and the tax liability may be lower than for regular income.
  3. No Offset: Generally, there is no offset between CRDP and VA disability compensation. This means that you can receive both payments in full without any reduction due to overlapping benefits.

Key Differences Between CRSC and CRDP:

  1. Eligibility Criteria: CRSC is primarily for combat-related disabilities, while CRDP covers a broader range of disabilities, including non-combat-related ones.
  2. Tax Status: CRSC is tax-free, while CRDP is taxable income.
  3. Offset vs. No Offset: CRSC benefits may be offset by VA disability compensation in some cases, while CRDP benefits typically have no offset.
  4. Application Process: The application process and eligibility requirements for CRSC and CRDP may differ, so it’s essential to understand which program applies to your situation.


In summary, CRSC and CRDP are two distinct programs that provide financial support to military retirees with disabilities. CRSC is focused on combat-related disabilities and is tax-free, while CRDP covers a wider range of disabilities and is taxable. Understanding the key differences between these programs is essential for making informed decisions about your retirement benefits and ensuring you receive the compensation you are entitled to based on your service and disabilities. Contact Citizen Soldier Law for guidance on which program is most appropriate for your specific circumstances.

Disclaimer: The information in this blog post (“post”) is provided for general informational purposes only, and may not reflect the current law in your jurisdiction. No information contained in this post should be construed as legal advice from Thomas Roughneen & Associates, LLC, or the individual author, nor is it intended to be a substitute for legal counsel on any subject matter. No reader of this post should act or refrain from acting on the basis of any information included in, or accessible through, this Post without seeking the appropriate legal or other professional advice on the particular facts and circumstances at issue from a lawyer licensed in the recipient’s state, country or other appropriate licensing jurisdiction.

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