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Reduction In Force Do I Have To Pay It Back

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Hi All,

I got out of the military in 1993. I served almost 15 years in. I decided to take a reduction in force buyout at the time. I received ( 45,000.00). I got out on an honorable. If I am awarded VA disability do I have to pay this back before I see any Va cash benefits? I heard two different stories, but I believe one of them asumed it was some kind of disability buyout. It wasn't. As always any advise...thank you

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That is a good question and the only current reference I found in M21-1MR (Change date March 2013)

is here:


(M21-1MR is the Handbook the VA uses to implement the regulations in 38 USC, 38 CFR and in other VA case law regulations such as Title 10, to determine disability compensation.The links they cite should open via the M21-1MR link I gave you.

Do you know the exact citation from 10 USC,that the Military used regarding your RIF bonus?

I think this question will come up here more often now then it usually does as I foresee the Mil using RIF more as the War peals down.

Others will chime in here too..

GRADUATE ! Nov 2nd 2007 American Military University !

When thousands of Americans faced annihilation in the 1800s Chief

Osceola's response to his people, the Seminoles, was

simply "They(the US Army)have guns, but so do we."

Sameo to us -They (VA) have 38 CFR ,38 USC, and M21-1- but so do we.

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Berta - Thank you for the link. My box 26 code was kcb for voluntary discharge for early release program. It appears that I would have to pay it back. Since I am looking at maybe 20% to 30% for some gulf war issues. I'm probably looking at 10 to 20 years worth of recoupment. Long wait.

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I typed a responce and then found this. Basically your TERA, early retirement, is the same as a retirement. You will need to be 50% or better to get both the VA disability and what the gov gave you for early retirement. This will be interesting to see how this plays out because if the give you 30 and than later you get 60, are they going to repay you what they held back??

My first message was to be that I did have to pay back $37000.00. I was first rated at 30, than 40, than 60 and ultimatly 70%. So my 10+ years became less than 4. Keep plugging away at your ratings when you get them. The VA will lowball you out the gate.

Concurrent Retirement and Disability Pay (CRDP)

Concurrent Retirement and Disability Pay (CRDP) is a program that provides certain military retirees a monthly restoration of some or all of their VA disability offset. Qualified military retirees are those with 20 or more years of service who have a service-connected disability of 50% or more. When the CRDP program is fully implemented such members will no longer have their military retirement pay reduced by the amount of their VA disability compensation.

Unlike the Combat Related Special Compensation (CRSC), CRDP is being phased-in (except for those retirees that have a VA rated, service-connected disability rating of 100%). The program began in 2004 and the phase-in will be complete in 2014. The phase-in is progressive. In 2007, the restoration of the offset pay was approximately 50%, by 2009 it will be nearly 85% complete.

You are eligible for CRDP if you meet the following criteria:

  • You must be a Military Retiree with 20 or more years of service, including:
    • Chapter 61 Medical Retirees with 20 years or more.
    • National Guard and Reserve with 20 or more - good years. (After drawing a retirement check at age 60)
    • Temporary Early Retirement Authority (TERA) Retirees with less than 20 years of service are also eligible.
  • Have a Service Related VA disability rating of 50% or higher.

Hope this helps,


“There is no hook my friend. There's only what we do.”  Doc Holiday 

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Can you get SC for the conditions, but waive the VA payments? Then stop waiving the payments at a later date (if you are over 50% SC)? Not sure. Just wondering..


Think Outside the Box!
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My situation very similar to the fella whose question appears above. Having nearly 15 years active duty USN, I was basically given a choice to take the money (SSB) or face the possibility of simply not being able to reenlist when my contract expired in about 6 months. I took the SSB and 'retired' not really knowing whether my decision was the right one - very little information was given about the implications of participating in this program other than knowing if you decided to re-enter the service and they accepted you, all the money would have to be progressively paid back.

I think the gentleman needs to know that really SSB can be recouped but it is not a debt owed, though the VA will tell you that it is a debt that somehow you must pay back in the way of withholding if you will. If SSB was truly a debt there could be an avenue to getting the debt waived much like an overpayment status with the Debt Management Center.

Since SSB is not a debt, in some way the recoupment must be satisfied. In my case when I was approved for 60% SC in 2010, they told me by letter that the recoupment would be satisfied by 8-1-2013 which meant a 4-year wait for me at least to actually get to the point of receiving my approved benefit, which lead to a confusing scenario I can hardly begin to explain.


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