Legislative changes for Concurrent Retirement and Disability Payments (CRDP) and Combat Related Special Compensation (CRSC)

In response to the numerous telephone calls to RAS in reference to the NDAA legislative changes for Concurrent Retirement and Disability Payments (CRDP) and Combat Related Special Compensation (CRSC) the following information is provided:


VA withholding disability pay versus Coast Guard withholding Concurrent Retirement & Disability Payments

We recently received the following questions from a retiree:

Why did the VA withhold part of my disability pay? Don't they owe me that difference as part of the retro CRDP project?

Answer: Retirees cannot look at the VA payments separately from the CG & CRDP payments. They must consider all of them together to determine the proper overall entitlement and payment. In some cases where it appears the VA withheld extra monies, it is because the CG had not withheld enough monies due to late notification of a change by the VA. The net result is the correct entitlements and payments were made to the retiree. If the VA had paid the full amount, the retiree would have been overpaid by the CG and we would have had to collect that money back from you. It is much more effective and efficient to adjust payments in this manner rather than have the VA make a payment just to have the CG turnaround and collect it back as an overpayment.


Combat Related Special Compensation

CRSC may be paid to Chapter 61, disability retirees with less than 20 years of service. Chapter 61 retirees who feel they are eligible for this compensation should complete
DD form 2860 and mail it to:

USCG PSC Commander (CG-PSC-PSD-de)
Mailstop 7200
4200 Wilson Blvd Arlington, VA 22203-7200

As of 15 October 2008, all approved CRSC retroactive payments have been made by PSC.


Updates on Concurrent Retirement & Disability Payments (CRDP)

CRDP - Retirees with a Department of Veterans Affairs disability of less than 100%, and more than 40% but who are rated as unemployable, are entitled to CRDP in the full amount of the VA offset or the amount of retired pay based on longevity. PSC Topeka finished a major effort to make retroactive payments to all retirees rated 50% to 90% disabled and 100% unemployable. 550 payments totaling over $12M were made on 3 Nov 08.


CRDP Progress Reports

Final Update, 13 April 2009

We have completed review of all the 3800+ records potentially eligible for Concurrent Retirement and Disability Payments (CRDP). The worksheet results have been reviewed more than once to ensure accuracy given the complexity of the legislation. We continue to review records (or review them again) where the VA may have made a change after initial review, for new eligible cases, or if members question our results. Customers that do not agree with our results can call us and we can review the results with them and provide our calculations to them if necessary.

We have transmitted over 75% of the case data to the VA for CG veterans due VA payments. We expect them to accept almost all remaining data by 17 April, with the exception of a small number of complex cases where overlapping payments are still at issue. The VA will make payments automatically for those on their "BDN" System. They are implementing a manual process to pay those on their "VetsNet" system, although they still have details to work through on this manual process. We do not know with certainty when VA will pay all our CG veterans.

We are providing notification letters to CG veterans due payments from the VA as we transmit their data to VA, and have started sending those letters. Recipients of CG payments receive notification through their Retiree and Annuitant Statement.

This completes our initial review process, and ends our routine updates, but we will continue to work all CRDP issues as part of our normal business. I want to recognize our dedicated crew for accomplishing this project in a very timely and professional manner. Thank you to all our CRDP eligible retirees for your patience during this long and complex review process

V/R,
J. D. PHILLIPS, P.E, CAPT, USCG
Commanding Officer
Pay & Personnel Center, Topeka


08 April Update (From the April 2009 issue of The Retiree Newsletter, CO's Corner on page 2)

Our project to complete review of over 3,850 records of those eligible for Concurrent Retirement and Disability Payments (CRDP) is complete! This complex legislative change was retroactive, and required tremendous effort (with no additional resources) to manually review each record and determine the status of each veteran, based on their particular disability rating and payments. Coast Guard veterans in these categories received a total of over $12M as a result of CRDP legislation. I want to recognize the incredible dedication of our crew at PPC, and sincerely thank them for completing this huge project in a timely manner, while maintaining top customer service for the full range of our customer's needs.

Although initial reviews are complete, this is a new and increased business line for us, and work will continue at a much higher volume than before the CRDP legislation. We are ahead of the other services in completing our reviews, but the Veteran's Administration (VA) is still dealing with some challenges in this area. CG Veterans on their "Benefits Data Network" (BDN) system will receive their payments quickly. Payments for veterans on their "VetsNet" system will take longer as the VA works through a manual processes to initiate those payments. We are working now on notification letters to veterans due payments from the VA.

We have been closely engaged with the VA and other partners on these and many other issues. In fact we hosted a quarterly meeting on March 11th and 12th with the VA, the Defense Finance and Accounting Service (DFAS), the Public Health Service and CG headquarters to share information and work on our similar issues. We are an integral member of this group, and that helped us resolve many of the questions regarding the CRDP legislation.

Thank you all.

V/R,
J. D. PHILLIPS, P.E, CAPT, USCG
Commanding Officer
Pay & Personnel Center, Topeka


11 March:

We have reviewed 92.0% of the over 3800 records potentially eligible for Concurrent Retirement and Disability Payments (CRDP). Of those reviewed to date, 23.0% are due payments from both the Coast Guard (CG) and Veteran's Administration (VA), 20.7% are due payments just from the VA, and 44.6% are not due additional funds. 3.7% of retirees have been overpaid due to VA changes in disability pay without notification back to the CG.

We are meeting with VA representatives today and will provide them a CD tomorrow with the data for all completed cases with VA payments due to date. The VA will reportedly make payments automatically for those on their "BDN" System. They will also begin a manual process for paying those on their "VetsNet" system, although they still have details to work through on their manual process. The data for all remaining records will be transmitted to VA by the end of March, well ahead of their April pay cut deadline.

Recipients of VA payments will be provided notification letters starting in early April, once all data has been successfully transmitted to the VA. Recipients of CG payments receive notification through their Retiree and Annuitant Statement. We still have to work out the details for handling retirees with VA overpayments.

We will complete review of the final 311 records by 20 March 09.

We are nearing completion and thank our CRDP eligible retirees for their patience during what has been a long and complex process, with a good bit of uncertainty regarding the communications and exchange of data with the VA.

Thank you all.

V/R,
J. D. PHILLIPS, P.E, CAPT, USCG
Commanding Officer
Pay & Personnel Center, Topeka


02 March:

We have reviewed 83.4% of the over 3800 records potentially eligible for Concurrent Retirement and Disability Payments (CRDP). Of those reviewed to date, 21.6% are due payments from both the Coast Guard (CG) and Veteran's Administration (VA), 19.2% are due payments just from the VA, and 39.7% are not due additional funds. 2.9% of retirees have been overpaid due to VA changes in disability pay without notification back to the CG.

Our data file transmission protocol with VA was approved and we have successfully sent 10 data files to them. The VA is only accepting transmission of one data batch per month, so we will send everything we possibly can prior to their pay cut date in March. Please be advised that we provide VA the data, but we have no direct control over when VA will be able to actually pay our personnel. They have a significant backlog of work, especially for veterans on their "VetsNet" system.

Recipients of VA payments will be provided notification once data has been successfully transmitted to the VA, so they can check their status with the VA directly. Recipients of CG payments will receive notification through a Retiree and Annuitant Statement.

We will complete review of the final ~640 records by 20 March 09.

We are still focusing maximum effort on this project through completion. Our crew with the specialized knowledge required to perform these record reviews has performed at an incredibly high level, and shown tremendous dedication. Thank you for your patience as we near the finish line of this marathon effort!

Thank you all.

V/R,
J. D. PHILLIPS, P.E, CAPT, USCG
Commanding Officer
Pay & Personnel Center, Topeka


10 February:

We have reviewed 75.2% of the over 3800 records potentially eligible for Concurrent Retirement and Disability Payments (CRDP). Of those reviewed to date, 19.7% are due payments from both the Coast Guard (CG) and Veteran's Administration (VA), 17.1% are due payments just from the VA, and 36.0% are not due additional funds. 2.4% of retirees have been overpaid due to VA changes in disability pay without notification back to the CG.

Our test data file with VA was "approved" and we will submit our first "live data" file on 2/12 with transmission of payment information to VA. Please be advised that we will provide VA the data, but we have no direct control over when VA will be able to actually pay our personnel. They have a significant backlog of work, especially for veterans on their "VetsNet" System (newer) versus their "Compensation & Pension" System (legacy).

Recipients of VA payments will be provided notification once data has been successfully transmitted to the VA, so they can check their status with the VA directly. Recipients of CG payments will receive notification through a Retiree and Annuitant Statement.

Our pace of record reviews slowed this last period due to a variety of factors including:

  1. Absence of key personnel from CRDP team. (Flu hit us)
  2. Dealing with more difficult cases like CRSC and records that actually moved back and forth between CRSC and CRDP.
  3. Regular payroll processing at end of Jan.
  4. Responding to many 1099R tax information calls, and
  5. General fatigue of the project team.

We are no longer on pace to review the final 961 records within our expected completion date of 20 Feb 09. We expect to need three more weeks to complete all record reviews, especially as we deal with complex reviews, transmit data to the VA, and account for key employee absences.

Please rest assured that we are still focusing maximum effort on this project. I have personally observed tremendous dedication from the crew members that have the specialized knowledge required to perform these record reviews. We apologize for this extra delay and ask for your patience and understanding as we continue to make our way to the finish line of what has truly been a "marathon" effort. Thank you!


27 January:

We have reviewed 70.9% of the over 3800 records potentially eligible for Concurrent Retirement and Disability Payments (CRDP). Of those reviewed to date, 19.2% are due payments from both the Coast Guard (CG) and Veteran's Administration (VA), 16.0% are due payments just from the VA, and 33.7% are not due additional funds. 2.0% of retirees have been overpaid due to VA changes in disability pay without notification back to the CG.

We transmitted another test data file to the VA just yesterday in our active process of working on secure data transmission protocol. Transmission of payment data is pending VA approval. They continue to work with us, but progress has been slower than desired. Recipients of VA payments will be provided notification once data has been successfully transmitted to the VA. Recipients of CG payments will receive notification through a Retiree/Annuitant Statement.

We are on pace to review the remaining 1125 records within the next 4 weeks to meet our completion date of 20 Feb 09. We ask for your patience and understanding as we work diligently through a complex and large volume of work while maintaining required services to our retiree and annuitant customers. Thank you!


12 January:

We have reviewed 64.5% of the over 3800 records potentially eligible for Concurrent Retirement and Disability Payments (CRDP). Of those reviewed to date,

We transmitted test data cycles to the VA, but still have not received VA approval of final secure transmission protocol procedures. Transmission of payment data to the VA will occur as soon as VA approves. Recipients of VA payments will be provided notification once data has been successfully transmitted to the VA. Recipients of CG payments will receive notification through a Retiree/Annuitant Statement.

We are on pace to review the remaining 1375 records within the next 6 weeks to meet our completion date of 20 Feb 09.We ask for your patience and understanding as we work diligently through a complex and large volume of work while maintaining required services to our retiree and annuitant customers. Thank you!


29 December:

We have reviewed 60.4% of the over 3800 records potentially eligible for Concurrent Retirement and Disability Payments (CRDP). Of those reviewed to date, 16.8% are due payments from both the Coast Guard (CG) and Veteran's Administration (VA), 13.4% are due payments just from the VA, and 28.8% are not due additional funds. 1.4% of retirees have been overpaid due to VA changes in disability pay without notification back to the CG. We transmitted two test data cycles to the VA, but have yet to finalize secure transmission protocol and procedures, due to holiday schedules. Transmission of payment data to the VA will occur as soon as the VA gives final approval, expected early in the New Year. Recipients of VA payments will be provided notification once data has been successfully transmitted to the VA. Recipients of CG payments will receive notification through a Retiree and Annuitant Statement. We are on pace to review the remaining 1531 records within the next 8 weeks to meet our completion date of 20 Feb 09. We ask for your patience and understanding as we work diligently through a complex and large volume of work while maintaining required services to our retiree and annuitant customers. Thank you!


15 December:

We have reviewed 52% of the over 3800 records potentially eligible for Concurrent Receipt of Disability Payments (CRDP). Of those reviewed to date, 14.5% are due payments from both the Coast Guard (CG) and Veteran's Administration (VA), 12.5% are due payments just from the VA, and 24% are not due additional funds. 1% of retirees have been overpaid due to VA changes in disability pay without notification back to the CG.

We have transmitted two test data cycles to the VA, and are very close to finalizing secure transmission protocol and procedures. Transmission of payment data to the VA will occur as soon as we resolve the last issue and the VA gives final approval. Recipients of VA payments will be provided notification once their data has been successfully transmitted to the VA. Recipients of CG payments will receive notification through a Retiree and Annuitant Statement.

We expect to review an average of 40-60% of the remaining 1844 records per month for the next two months depending on pay cycle workload and end of year requirements (including upcoming COLA implementation), with our completion date remaining 20 Feb 09. We ask for your patience and understanding as we work diligently through a complex and large volume of work while maintaining required services to our retiree and annuitant customers. Thank you!


1 December:

We have reviewed 42% of the over 3800 records potentially eligible for Concurrent Receipt of Disability Payments (CRDP). Of those reviewed to date, 12% are due payments from both the Coast Guard (CG) and Veteran's Administration (VA), 11.5% are due payments just from the VA, and 18.5% are not due additional funds.

We have transmitted a test data file to the VA, and are actively working to get VA feedback to finalize our secure transmission protocol and procedures. Transmission of payment data to the VA will occur as soon as the VA approves our data test file. Recipients of VA payments will be provided notification once their data has been successfully transmitted to the VA. Recipients of CG payments will receive notification through a Retiree/Annuitant Statement.

We expect to review an average of 25-40% of the remaining 2242 records per month for the next two and a half months depending on pay cycle workload and end of year requirements (including upcoming COLA implementation), with our completion date remaining 20 Feb 09. We ask for your patience and understanding as we work diligently through a complex and large volume of work while maintaining required services to our retiree and annuitant customers. Thank you!


17 November:

We have reviewed 31% of the over 3800 records potentially eligible for Concurrent Receipt of Disability Payments (CRDP). Of those reviewed to date, 10.5% are due payments from both the Coast Guard (CG) and Veteran's Administration (VA), 10.5% are due payments just from the VA, and 10% are not due additional funds.

We are transmitting test data to the VA on 18 November 2008 to finalize secure transmission protocol and procedures, and transmission of payment data to the VA will commence immediately after successful testing is complete. Recipients of VA payments will be provided notification once their data has been successfully transmitted to the VA. Recipients of CG payments will receive notification through a Retiree/Annuitant Statement.

We expect to review an average of 15-35% of the remaining 2600 records per month for the next several months depending on pay cycle workload and end of year requirements, with our completion date remaining 20 Feb 09. We ask for your patience and understanding as we work diligently through a complex and large volume of work while maintaining required services to our retiree and annuitant customers. Thank you!


04 November:

PSC Topeka just finished a major effort to make retroactive payments to all retirees rated 50% to 90% disabled and 100% unemployable. 550 payments totaling over $12M were made on 3 Nov 08. The retirees affected will receive an RAS statement (Pay Slip) providing the amount due.

PSC is now applying a "full court press" to complete reviews and payment of retroactive CRDP to all other 50% to 90% disabled retirees. This is a significant undertaking, with about 3,000 records to review. Every case requires a minimum of 2 hours, and up to 6 hours or more in some cases of manual review of Coast Guard and Veterans Administration (VA) data to determine a retiree's entitlements. Actual calculation of retroactive entitlements requires specialized knowledge of both retired pay and VA pension benefits. PSC has re-assigned personnel from other internal areas to assist in completing this project. We have established a date of 20 Feb 09 for PSC to complete review of all CRDP accounts, make payments for any CG entitlements due retirees, and to provide proper data to the VA for payment of any retroactive VA benefits due. For those who may be owed money by the VA, we will send a letter when the files are sent to the VA. For those owed money by the Coast Guard, an RAS statement will be issued by mail when the payment is processed.

Our estimate is that less than 5% of CRDP retirees will have any monies due from the CG. The vast majority of retroactive payments due our retirees will be from the VA. We are unable to provide a time frame for VA processing of these payments once we have provided our calculations to the VA. We will transmit the information to the VA as reviews are complete. For those who may be owed money by the VA, we will send a letter when the files are sent to the VA. For those owed money by the Coast Guard, an RAS statement will be issued when the payment is processed.

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