[T]he government’s interest in veterans cases is not that it shall win, but rather that justice shall be done, that all veterans so entitled receive the benefits due to them.” Barrett v. Nicholson, 466 F.3d 1038, 1044 (Fed.Cir.2006)
01 April 2011
Agent Orange & AF Retirement - they are linked: "Instrumentality of War"
From the Air Force Directorate of Personnel Programs
COMBAT-RELATED SPECIAL COMPENSATION
The Combat-Related Special Compensation program was authorized by Congress beginning in 2003. What's the value of this program? The compensation is tax-free and ranges from $108 to $2,500+ depending on the percentages approved for eligible retirees. In a nutshell, the basic program eligibility is: 1. Having served 20+ years Active Duty - OR - Reservist age 60+ with 20+ creditable years (per 10 USC 12731); 2. Are in a retired status; 3. Are receiving retired pay that is offset by VA disability payments (VA Waiver); and 4. Have at least a 10% VA disability rating. The next step is to look at the retiree's "combat-related" disabilities. Combat-related disabilities include those incurred (with supporting documentation): 1. While engaged in hazardous service (e.g. flight, diving, parachute duty); 2. In the performance of duty under conditions simulating war (e.g. exercises, field training); 3. Through an instrumentality of war (e.g. combat vehicles, weapons, Agent Orange); or, 4. As a direct result of armed conflict (e.g. Purple Heart).
Most veteran service organizations haven't listed anything on their web site for CRSC and I'm working to bring this to the attention of their national headquarters' staff. Although we can only process applications for Air Force retirees, my staff is available to provide counseling for any retiree with questions. Our objective, with the assistance of veteran service organizations, is to provide visibility of the program similar to what's out there on Agent Orange. In fact, if a retiree has cancer or diabetes II presumptive to Agent Orange (by the VA), those disabilities fall under the instrumentality of war cause listed above.I am offering several links to documents you may be able to post on your site to benefit your members:
We're available to counsel any interested retirees (toll free at 1-800.616.3775 into the AF Personnel Center Contact Center or direct at 210.565.1600) and will expeditiously process all Air Force applications. Let me know if we can be of further service!
Barry W. Craigen BARRY W. CRAIGEN Chief, Combat Related Special Compensation Branch USAF Physical Disability Division Directorate of Personnel Programs Commercial (fax) 210.565.1101