CRSC User Guide
Combat-Related Special Compensation (CRSC) is a benefit allowing certain career retirees to receive both retirement pay and payments for combat-related disabilities. The statute defining this program is Title 10 U.S. Code Section 1413a. The law is implemented in accordance with Department of Defense (DOD) guidance. The CRSC Branch of the Navy Council of Review Boards (CORB) manages this program for the Secretary of the Navy.
CRSC BRANCH MISSION AND POLICY
The CRSC Branch reviews applications submitted by retired members of the Navy and Marine Corps to determine eligibility for CRSC, and approves or denies based on qualifying disabilities.
Applications are processed on a "first-in, first-out" basis. Cases are decided in the order that they are received. Sending an application via a third party may delay receipt of an application at the CRSC Branch and its subsequent final decision.
All CRSC applications are reviewed under both the 2003 and the 2004 CRSC Programs criteria. Decisional documents for approved applicants indicate if CRSC benefits will be paid effective 1 June 2003 (2003 program) or 1 January 2004 (2004 program), a combination of both, or another date due to the effective date(s) of the individual ratings determined to be combat-related.
COMMUNICATING WITH THE CRSC BRANCH
Corresponding through the mail is our primary means of communication. This allows us to focus on processing applications for retirees, ensure Privacy Act requirements are met, and document case actions.
General questions can be answered through the DoN CRSC Branch toll-free information line at 1-877-DON-CRSC (1-877-366-2772). This is an information line only and will not connect callers to CRSC Branch personnel. The CRSC Branch encourages members to visit the CRSC Branch webpage found at www.donhq.navy.mil/corb.
Applications and other correspondence should be submitted to the following address:
Secretary of the Navy Council of Review Boards
ATTN: Combat-Related Special Compensation Branch
720 Kennon Street SE, Suite 309
Washington Navy Yard, DC 20374-5023
CORRESPONDENCE FROM THE CRSC BRANCH
Applications are normally received at the CRSC Branch within 10 days if mailed from within CONUS due to security and postal considerations. One or all of the following correspondence will be sent to an applicant depending upon the status of his/her application:
1. Initial Notification of Receipt (INR). An INR notifies the applicant that initial processing has occurred, data entry completed, and a docket number assigned.
2. Return-for-Completion. A Return-for-Completion Letter notifies the applicant that he/she is missing key information or a signature. Applicants are requested to complete the missing information and return the application to the CRSC Branch.
3. Reply to Status Request. Status requests submitted by applicants are answered via the U.S. Postal System. Status requests must be submitted through the mail.
4. Decisional Document. The decisional document or letter informs the applicant whether their case has been approved or denied with a copy to DFAS. An approval or denial letter will be sent for every application or request for reconsideration once a decision is made.
Applicants should make a complete copy of their application package for their records. If an applicant does not receive an INR within 30 days after mailing their application, he/she should send a letter indicating when the application was sent. We will respond and advise whether to resend the application.
TIMELINESS of correspondence
The CRSC Branch currently conducts initial processing of applications within a week of receipt. The CRSC Branch responds to status requests and general correspondence in a prompt and timely manner.
Claiming Disabilities on the Application
Applicants should carefully review the combat-related definitions page of the application and claim only those disabilities they believe to be combat-related.
For each disability, there is one or multiple four-digit codes found on the VA rating decision code sheet or on the findings of the Navy Physical Evaluation Board (PEB). The VASRD codes should be entered in Block 13.a.(1). For Block 13.a.(2) of the application, enter the corresponding diagnosis description. disability diagnosis. For Block 13.g., applicants should describe the specific circumstances of how they obtained their disability. The CRSC Branch is interested in the specific circumstances and the origin of the injury/illness (i.e., how, when, where it was incurred). Applicants should enter the information for only one diagnosis per block and complete separate additional blocks as necessary.
Applicants should also understand that combat-related and service-connected disabilities are completely separate types of disabilities that are obtained under different circumstances.
1. Burden of Proof/Evidentiary Standards. Per DoD guidance, the CRSC Branch has significant flexibility in the types of documentation that can be considered, but very little flexibility in the fact that documentary evidence must support the CRSC claim.
Applicants must build their own case to convince the CRSC Branch analyst that what they claim is accurate and meets the spirit and intent of the CRSC program. The burden of proof is upon the applicant but is lightened by submission of strong supporting documentation.
2. What to Include. This list is not intended to be all-inclusive and does not exclude other documentation an applicant may have.
a. Basic records required to support ALL applications:
(1) VA Rating Decisions to include VASRD code sheets, other VA records that specifically address the cause of injuries/conditions claimed for CRSC including physician reports, VA medical records, clinical records or notes.
(2) DD Form 214 Certificate of Release or Discharge reflecting your retirement or transfer to the Fleet Reserve or Fleet Marine Corps Reserve, awards history, and/or combat history.
(3) Service Record entries.
(4) Service Medical Record (SMR) entries.
(5) Physical Evaluation Board and/or Medical Board Proceedings.
(6) Orders to a combat theatre.
b. Evidence that injuries/illnesses resulted in the award of a Purple Heart:
(1) PH certificate and, if available, accompanying citation.
(2) Other citations that detail the actions taken and/or circumstances of how injury was incurred.
(3) Service Medical Record (SMR) entries that indicate treatment for the PH injuries.
(4) Service Record entries, such as those that indicate period of hospitalization, award of PH, etc.
(5) DD Forms 214/215 that indicate date wounded in action (WIA) and/or injuries incurred.
c. Evidence that specific injuries were incurred in combat:
(1) Telegrams sent to family members for casualty notification.
(2) SMR entries that indicate treatment for injuries on or near the date of pertinent combat events.
(3) Service record entries that indicate hospitalization periods.
d. Evidence of presence in a combat zone:
(1) All available DD Forms 214/215 that document activity in a combat zone (i.e. Korean Service Medal, Vietnam Service Medal, Southwest Asia Service Medal, Combat Action Ribbon, etc.).
(2) Service record entries indicating assignment to combat units/place units in combat zone, participation in specific operations or campaigns.
(3) Award citations detailing specific combat-related events.
(4) TAD/TDY orders that document arrival to/departure from a combat zone.
e. Evidence of Prisoner of War/internment:
(1) Service record entries and/or POW awards.
(2) POW repatriation records such as physical exams, documentation of period as POW or internee, and/or circumstances of internment.
3. Do not send.
a. classified materials.
b. Original documents. The CRSC Branch is unable to return documents to applicants; documenta-tion sent with an application is permanently retained as part of the individual's application file.
c. Medical/historical articles of a general nature. The exception is when an applicant is the subject of the article and it provides details on when, where, and how the applicant incurred his/her injuries.
Please note: The CRSC Branch decides cases based on the information provided by the applicant. If there is insufficient documentation to make a combat-related determination, the application will be denied. We recommend applicants request records from their local or regional VA office, if necessary, as individual records retrieval requests are processed more quickly than CRSC Branch requests. Applicants should submit CRSC applications only after they have built a strong package.
RECOURSES TO CRSC BRANCH DECISIONS
Applicants found ineligible for the preliminary criteria of CRSC or denied for combat-related disabilities will be notified. Notification will include reasons for ineligibility or denial. Reconsiderations and status requests are usually processed within 5 to 10 working days.
In the event an applicant does not agree with the determination, the applicant may:
1. Request reconsideration by the CRSC Branch. The applicant must submit new information that will support his/her disability as combat-related.
2. Appeal to the Board for Correction of Naval Records (BCNR). Under 10 U.S.C. § 1552, the Secretary of the Navy (SECNAV) has designated BCNR to review CRSC decisions. If an applicant believes his or her military records are in error, thus affecting their eligibility for CRSC, then they may apply to the BCNR. Or, if an applicant wishes to appeal their CRSC decision, they must submit a request (petition) to BCNR. The BCNR website, http://www.donhq.navy.mil/bcnr/bcnr.htm, offers an overview of the application procedure, a DD Form 149 Application for Correction of Military Record, and assistance in filling out the application.
Should an applicant desire to request reconsideration to the CRSC Branch after he/she has appealed to the BCNR, their case may be delayed until BCNR completes its review/decision.
If an applicant is approved for CRSC and then receives a rating from the VA for a new diagnosis, the applicant must submit documentation for this new rating to the CRSC Branch to determine if the disability is combat-related.
SPECIAL MONTHLY COMPENSATION (SMC) / INDIVIDUAL UNEMPLOYABILITY (IU)
Special Monthly Compensation. The CRSC Branch makes combat-related SMC determinations for: anatomical loss/loss of use, regular aid and attendance, housebound status, or a combination of these circumstances. The approval letter will specify if the SMC is or is not combat-related.
Individual Unemployability. The CRSC Branch does NOT make combat-related determinations for IU but will indicate whether the applicant is receiving IU. DFAS, in conjunction with the VA, will determine the compensability of IU upon receipt of the approval letter.
ELECTION OF CRSC OR Concurrent Retirement and Disability Pay (CRDP)
Concurrent Retirement and Disability Pay (CRDP) is not the same as Combat-Related Special Compensation (CRSC). By law, retirees must elect which of the two payments they wish to receive, provided they are eligible for both. The retiree may elect to give DFAS the authority to pay the higher of the two dollar amounts. In this instance, DFAS will establish the most advantageous payment for approved applicants. The CRSC Branch manages CRSC while DFAS manages CRDP. Contact DFAS for questions pertaining to CRDP.
Sites That May Assist You in Applying
CRSC BRANCH www.donhq.navy.mil/corb
DOD CRSC SITE www.dod.mil/prhome/mppcrsc.html
DD Form 2860 Application for CRSC is available on this website
VETERANS AFFAIRS www.va.gov
CODE LINK FOR TITLE 10 http://uscode.house.gov/usc.htm