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    You’ve just been rated 100% disabled by the Veterans Affairs. After the excitement of finally having the rating you deserve wears off, you start asking questions. One of the first questions that you might ask is this: It’s a legitimate question – rare is the Veteran that finds themselves sitting on the couch eating bon-bons … Continue reading

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severance pay vs disability compensation


Hello Ladies and Gentleman, 

I am new to the forum but I find it full of useful information. For that, thank you. Now, on to my question. Hopefully, I'm in the right category. I was involuntarily separated honorably due to force reduction 6 months prior to my ETS from Active Duty Army. I was given an option of Full or Half separation pay. To receive full, I had to sign a 3 year contract with the Army Reserves. Of course, I signed and received a nice lump sum even after taxes. 

I filed for disability and was awarded 80%. I was not allowed to receive payment until the separation pay was recouped. I was very well aware of that. I began attending drill and receiving drill pay for about 6 months. I was later informed that I would eventually be penalized for "double dipping". I informed my Reserve leadership that I would no longer be attending drill, partially because of the pay, but primarily because my side business was growing and taking up all of my weekends. I informed them I was willing to accept whatever consequences came with not attending. They understood. 

Fast forward one year. I have been notified that I will be administratively separated for unsatisfactory attendance. I was called by a Chief Warrant Officer who said that if I am discharged Under other than honorable conditions, I could lose my disability benefits. I did my research and found that I would only be barred from disability benefits that would occur from the Reserves and my Active Duty disability benefits would not be affected. My question is: What penalty will I face for having accepted Full Pay for a 3 year obligation and not completing it? I mean, I went 18 months without compensation due to recoupment. 

Looking forward to your replies.


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I think you are good as far as your 80% comp as that is for a good period of service, etc.  My only concern would be for VA healthcare now and in the future.

I am 80% with an Honorable Discharge and can get free care through the VA system for anything, except dental.

You, however, may not from what I read.  You need to call someone at the VA and get a good answer.

For other things, your last discharge may be the only one that counts.  So there is that.

As far as the double dipping, what would have happened, is you would have drilled for free as your comp was probably higher than your drill pay.  They deduct your comp pay from your drill pay, but do it at either the start of the year or the end of the year.  Not sure.  But, your comp is tax free so that is payed first.

What you should have done was to have kept drilling and to ask for a medical discharge from the reserves.  You already had the evidence because of your VA disabilities.

If I were you, I would contact your reserve unit's higher headquarters or better yet, your State HQ and beg to get this fixed.  Your unit might be pissed at you, but thier HQ and your State HQ don't like bad discharges.  It reflects badly on your State.  In the reserves, its a competition between States.

Just sayin,



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I spent 13 years active and 16 in the Reserves. The Reserves is not State it is Federal and not the same as National Guard (funded by the state) therefore; if you receiving the discharge they are stating, you won't be able to get that fixed unless you go through the Army Board Of Corrections and prove to them you were not an UNSAT. You should have tried to get a med board because the reason's you gave for not attending drill really was not a good reason. I understand that you had a business but you also had an obligation to serve so really what the consequences are is what it is.

You might want to call and see if you can RST with another unit for a while to try and get back into a good standing and then proceed with a med board if that is possible. I am not trying to be harsh here but the reality is that you have an obligation to the Federal Government to Serve as well as your own business so the fate of your benefits is in your hands alone.


I wish you luck though.

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