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      The following is on my About page, but some have been asking how this all happened. So here is my little story. Tbird US Navy 1983 – 1990 E-6 HadIt.com the website domain registered Jan 20, 1997 the domain is registered and paid for through Jan 21, 2023 at which time I plan to register it for another 15 years Lord willing and the creek don't rise. I guess the best place to start is Jan 1991; I had gotten out of the navy Dec 1990. At my separation seminar, there was a DAV rep Jim Milton he told us to bring our medical records in and he would look through them for us and let us know if we should file a claim with the VA. Well, bless his heart, he opened my medical file, reads the first insert, looks me straight in the eye, and says you will be 50% for the rest of your life and he would file the claim for me. 50% was for surgery I had in the service. True to his word he met with me and talked with me for a long time filled out my paper work and urged me to file for PTSD. 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      VA Training and Fast Letter Forum Index The following is the index with links to the various Training and Fast Letters plus a few miscellaneous. These letters are not necessarily in the original formatting. I have tried to present them in an easy-to-read form instead of some forms as originally presented. Some of the paragraphs were WAAAAYYY too long. lol - HadIt.com Member fanaticbooks Something to be aware.... Some of these letters may be rescinded, outdated, or otherwise no longer viable. I have still included them because sometimes they provide additional insight or just plain more information than the newest version. Use them wisely. The oldest letters will display at the bottom with the latest letters displayed at the top, all in sequential numbers. Coding of the letters... 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Recouping Separation Pay

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I was wondering if anyone could tell me if the VA will finally recoup my separation pay. I was separated from the Army for severe knee pain and instabilty rated at 0%. The VA also rated my knee condition at 0%. I was awarded 70% for sleep apnea and major depression. I assumed that because both the Army and the VA rated me at 0% that they would not recoup my sep pay and they have not. I never really agreed with either the Army or the VA wih their 0% because my knee was messed up and has been ever since the very first sugery...but I went with it anyway...now my back is messed up and my knee has gotten worse. If I file for an increase for my knee and try to connect my back to my knee will the VA then recoup for my knee...I am also thinking about filing with the PDBR and try to get the Army to award a medical retirement instead of the 0%....I truly feel that I was low balled and that they rated my knee wrong...... (Two complete ACL Replacement surgery's and removal of my meniscus rated at 0%???)

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29 answers to this question

Posted · Report post

The way I look at it is if you get an earlier effective date they will catch it and deduct the severance pay.

Perhaps someone has been through this one and can chime in.

Basser

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Posted · Report post

When were you awarded 70% service connection?

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Posted · Report post

As far as I know it is still the law for VA to recoup Severance Pay:

Separation pay and special separation benefits.

(i) Where entitlement to disability compensation was established on or after September 15, 1981, a veteran who has received separation pay may receive disability compensation for disability incurred in or aggravated by service prior to the date of receipt of separation pay subject to recoupment of the separation pay. Where payment of separation pay was made on or before September 30, 1996, VA will recoup from disability compensation an amount equal to the total amount of separation pay. Where payment of separation pay was made after September 30, 1996, VA will recoup from disability compensation an amount equal to the total amount of separation pay less the amount of Federal income tax withheld from such pay. The Federal income tax withholding amount is the flat withholding rate for Federal income tax withholding.

(ii) The receipt of separation pay does not affect the payment of disability compensation based on a subsequent period of service. Compensation payable for service-connected disability incurred or aggravated in a subsequent period of service will not be reduced for the purpose of offsetting separation pay based on a prior period of service.

(iii) Where payment of special separation benefits under 10 U.S.C. 1174a was made on or after December 5, 1991, VA will recoup from disability compensation an amount equal to the total amount of special separation benefits less the amount of Federal income tax withheld from such pay. The Federal income tax withholding amount is the flat withholding rate for Federal income tax withholding.

http://ecfr.gpoacces....73.219&idno=38

If you are receiving compensation payments, you should contact VA and set up some type of payment plan.

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Posted · Report post

I was discharged in Aug 06 and filed with the VA then.....SEP 06 was my award date.

When were you awarded 70% service connection?

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Posted · Report post

I am not receiving any compensation for my Knee which was the unfit finding...my compensation is a combination of two other disabilities...My question really should have been a little morre specific...my knee has gotten worse and if I file a new claim with my knee will the VA then come back and start recouping my separation pay?

Thanks

David

As far as I know it is still the law for VA to recoup Severance Pay:

Separation pay and special separation benefits.

(i) Where entitlement to disability compensation was established on or after September 15, 1981, a veteran who has received separation pay may receive disability compensation for disability incurred in or aggravated by service prior to the date of receipt of separation pay subject to recoupment of the separation pay. Where payment of separation pay was made on or before September 30, 1996, VA will recoup from disability compensation an amount equal to the total amount of separation pay. Where payment of separation pay was made after September 30, 1996, VA will recoup from disability compensation an amount equal to the total amount of separation pay less the amount of Federal income tax withheld from such pay. The Federal income tax withholding amount is the flat withholding rate for Federal income tax withholding.

(ii) The receipt of separation pay does not affect the payment of disability compensation based on a subsequent period of service. Compensation payable for service-connected disability incurred or aggravated in a subsequent period of service will not be reduced for the purpose of offsetting separation pay based on a prior period of service.

(iii) Where payment of special separation benefits under 10 U.S.C. 1174a was made on or after December 5, 1991, VA will recoup from disability compensation an amount equal to the total amount of special separation benefits less the amount of Federal income tax withheld from such pay. The Federal income tax withholding amount is the flat withholding rate for Federal income tax withholding.

http://ecfr.gpoacces....73.219&idno=38

If you are receiving compensation payments, you should contact VA and set up some type of payment plan.

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Posted · Report post

I am not looking for an earlier effective date. I have always thought that the Army or the VA did not rate my knee correctly. I had two complete ACL Reconstructions and my meniscus removed. My MEB/PEB was based on my knee. The Army used code 5003 Arthritis Degenerative due to trauma. Then said instability was not an unfitting disability...therefore rating me at 0%. The VA rated me at 0% as well but also found that I was 70% with sleep apnea WCPAP and major depression....the army said both Sleep apnea and Major depression were not unfitting and did not rate them. I have been on the fence about requesting the PDBR review my case because I feel the Army used an incorrect code of (5003). I feel they should have used 5257 (20%)for ROM because that is where all of my pain comes from and also code 5259 removal of Cartilage (10% added not combined) giving me the magic 30% for a retirement verses the separtation that I received. But I am afraid if I do that and the PDBR only cops to 10 or 20%% then the VA will do the same and recoup my severance pay.

quote name='jbasser' timestamp='1307455783' post='247194']

The way I look at it is if you get an earlier effective date they will catch it and deduct the severance pay.

Perhaps someone has been through this one and can chime in.

Basser

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Posted · Report post

my knee has gotten worse and if I file a new claim with my knee will the VA then come back and start recouping my separation pay?

They might - as that would be the correct action for them to take.

JMHO

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Posted · Report post

Separation pay and special separation benefits.

(i) Where entitlement to disability compensation was established on or after September 15, 1981, a veteran who has received separation pay may receive disability compensation for disability incurred in or aggravated by service prior to the date of receipt of separation pay subject to recoupment of the separation pay. Where payment of separation pay was made on or before September 30, 1996, VA will recoup from disability compensation an amount equal to the total amount of separation pay. Where payment of separation pay was made after September 30, 1996, VA will recoup from disability compensation an amount equal to the total amount of separation pay less the amount of Federal income tax withheld from such pay. The Federal income tax withholding amount is the flat withholding rate for Federal income tax withholding.

(iii) Where payment of special separation benefits under 10 U.S.C. 1174a was made on or after December 5, 1991, VA will recoup from disability compensation an amount equal to the total amount of special separation benefits less the amount of Federal income tax withheld from such pay. The Federal income tax withholding amount is the flat withholding rate for Federal income tax withholding.

my compensation is a combination of two other disabilities...

The bottom line is you received a separation payment and you are now receiving VA disability compensation. My understanding is that VA messed up and did not start recouping your severance pay and when they figure this out, VA may try to take all of it back at once.

CFR 38 Part 3, 3700 General

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Posted · Report post

Even if I file a completly new claim...so when I have my knee replaced...and its just a matter of time..because both the Army and the VA said that is all that is left for them to do that is when the VA will recoup my separation pay? It kind of confuses me because I get rated one way and when my knee gets worse then recoupment begins...so many years later.....the problem I am having is that my knee is broke....was broke from the begining and when i am old enough to have it replaced then now they recoup.....initial claim was based on Degenerative Arthritis.....there is not much arthritis in my knee.....its just completly unstable and full of junk from last surgery....so my new claim has nothing to do with Arthritis.....if that alone is what the Army separated me for and not the Insatability...then how can they recoup.....sorry didnt mean to rant about it...I am very thankful for your advice...I just really believe the Army should have rated my knee at 30%...but that is hind site because I should have argued then instead of now.......

Thank you so much

David

They might - as that would be the correct action for them to take.

JMHO

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Posted · Report post

It kind of confuses me because I get rated one way and when my knee gets worse then recoupment begins...so many years later....

They SHOULD have recouped severance pay from the very first VA comp check you

started receiving.

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Posted · Report post

ok, finally found a link and here is how I understand it....please correct me if I am wrong :smile:

I understand this to say that yes the VA will recoup, but only based on the UNFIT Disability or the disability that caused the separation from service (my knee). That they can only withold the entire amount (monthly) from the disabilty that caused the severance. I received a 0% disablity rating for my knee and it was only my knee that caused the separation...so the other disabilities are not able to be recouped from.....once the percentage rate for my knee goes up then recoupment will begin at that percentage only....it will not go up if my disability goes up for my knee thereafter.....

REF: M21-1MR, Part III, Subpart v, Chapter 4, Section B

For information about severance pay withholding, see 38 CFR 3.700(a)(3)

(3) Severance pay. Where the disability or disabilities found to be service-connected are the same as those upon which disability severance pay is granted, or where entitlement to disability compensation was established on or after September 15, 1981, an award of compensation will be made subject to recoupment of the disability severance pay. Prior to the initial determination of the degree of disability recoupment will be at the full monthly compensation rate payable for the disability or disabilities for which severance pay was granted. Following initial determination of the degree of disability recoupment shall not be at a monthly rate in excess of the monthly compensation payable for that degree of disability. For this purpose the term “initial determination of the degree of disability” means the first regular schedular compensable rating in accordance with the provisions of Subpart B, Part 4 of this chapter and does not mean a rating based in whole or in part on a need for hospitalization or a period of convalescence. Where entitlement to disability compensation was established prior to September 15, 1981, compensation payable for service-connected disability other than the disability for which disability severance pay was granted will not be reduced for the purpose of recouping disability severance pay. Where entitlement to disability compensation was established on or after September 15, 1981, a veteran may receive disability compensation for disability incurred or aggravated by service prior to the date of receipt of the severance pay, but VA must recoup from that disability compensation an amount equal to the severance pay. Where payment of severance pay was made on or before September 30, 1996, VA will recoup from disability compensation an amount equal to the total amount of the severance pay. Where payment of severance pay was made after September 30, 1996, VA will recoup from disability compensation an amount equal to the total amount of the severance pay less the amount of Federal income tax withheld from such pay. For members of the Armed Forces who separated under Chapter 61 of title 10, United States Code, on or after January 28, 2008, no recoupment of severance pay will be made for disabilities incurred in line of duty in a combat zone or incurred during performance of duty in combat-related operations as designated by the Department of Defense. (Authority: 10 U.S.C. 1174(h)(2) and 1212(d))

David

They SHOULD have recouped severance pay from the very first VA comp check you

started receiving.

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Yes they will if I get a retirement or an increase from 0%...

David

The way I look at it is if you get an earlier effective date they will catch it and deduct the severance pay.

Perhaps someone has been through this one and can chime in.

Basser

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For my understanding, sometimes I need to keep things

real simple in my mind.

As far as I know and understand, if a service member get discharged

due to a disability and receives severance pay, then later down the road

collects VA disability compensation for that same disability - sooner or later

the VA should realize this and either offset/delay comp at some type of formulated

percentage,until the severance amount is repaid.

The only reason for the repayment is so the person isn't collecting twice for

the same thing.

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I am the same way....everything has to be one way or the other for me....My ADD doesnt allow for much wiggle room..LOL...so I think I am atleast in the ballpark and the VA wont be barking for a complete payback all at once because of a mistake.....I am glad I found this forum because it led me to find answers and get a better grasp...I am not there yet but I am getting there.....

Thak you so much

For my understanding, sometimes I need to keep things

real simple in my mind.

As far as I know and understand, if a service member get discharged

due to a disability and receives severance pay, then later down the road

collects VA disability compensation for that same disability - sooner or later

the VA should realize this and either offset/delay comp at some type of formulated

percentage,until the severance amount is repaid.

The only reason for the repayment is so the person isn't collecting twice for

the same thing.

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I fell under the category of getting severance pay and then I was awarded service connected disability. VA collected my entire service connected disability payments until my entire severance pay was recouped. I have never heard of an "UNFIT" clause. If you received severance pay and then VA awarded you service connected compensation for depression and sleep apnea than VA should have began the process of recouping your severance based on the fact that you had already received a severance pay. I have heard of veterans were awarded 10% to 40% and then filed for an increase and was awarded the increase and VA only collected the initial service connected compensation but the veteran still Had to repay the payment. In my case VA recouped all my monthly payments until my severance was repaid.

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The catch is that the recoupment should begin once you start receiving compensation for the disability that caused the severance. Once that has happened 10, 20 , 30 or whatever percentage that was awarded for that specific disability has been determined recoupment begins monthly at no more than that. It can not be in excess of the total amount that you would get for the disability that caused the severance. Lets say in my case.....I was separated from the Army for Chronic Left Knee pain. Rated at 0%.....filed for VA Compensation and received 0% for my knee same as the Army, VA awarde 50% sleep Apnea, 30% Major Depression..combined rating 70%....Since the Army did not rate the other disabilities then they were not the reason for my separation and not included when determining recoupment of disability severance pay...now if I file a claim and my 0% for my knee in increased to lets say 20%...then they would begin recouping my severance pay at the amount I would receive for 20% compensation and no more than that....I think that it is confusing because most people would think that if something is bad enough to cause separation from the service that it would in itself ratre higher than 0%....noted in my PEB proceedings that DOD PDES may only rate an illness or injury that is service incurred or permanently aggravated by the service and, by ITSLEF, would cause the Soldier to be separated or retired. Although, the PDES cannot compensate you for these conditions...ie Sleep Apnea, Major Depression you may still apply for a disability rating for them through the Department of Veteran Affairs since they operate under different regulations and guidlines and may compensate any service-connected condition even if not unfitting at the time of separation). That is how I understand it now....I was confused as hell but I hope I am right.......Lastly....since determining recoupment of Disability Severance pay is based on the percentage of the disability that caused the severance and I was awarded 0%...then they can not very well recoup at this time because it is 0%...no compensation for 0%.....

I fell under the category of getting severance pay and then I was awarded service connected disability. VA collected my entire service connected disability payments until my entire severance pay was recouped. I have never heard of an "UNFIT" clause. If you received severance pay and then VA awarded you service connected compensation for depression and sleep apnea than VA should have began the process of recouping your severance based on the fact that you had already received a severance pay. I have heard of veterans were awarded 10% to 40% and then filed for an increase and was awarded the increase and VA only collected the initial service connected compensation but the veteran still Had to repay the payment. In my case VA recouped all my monthly payments until my severance was repaid.

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Maybe this will help......

f. Example 3: Withholding For 0 Percent Disability

Situation: A service-connected severance disability is evaluated at 0 percent.

Result: Pay full VA compensation for any non-severance pay disabilities. Do not withhold anything for the non-compensable severance pay disability.

The catch is that the recoupment should begin once you start receiving compensation for the disability that caused the severance. Once that has happened 10, 20 , 30 or whatever percentage that was awarded for that specific disability has been determined recoupment begins monthly at no more than that. It can not be in excess of the total amount that you would get for the disability that caused the severance. Lets say in my case.....I was separated from the Army for Chronic Left Knee pain. Rated at 0%.....filed for VA Compensation and received 0% for my knee same as the Army, VA awarde 50% sleep Apnea, 30% Major Depression..combined rating 70%....Since the Army did not rate the other disabilities then they were not the reason for my separation and not included when determining recoupment of disability severance pay...now if I file a claim and my 0% for my knee in increased to lets say 20%...then they would begin recouping my severance pay at the amount I would receive for 20% compensation and no more than that....I think that it is confusing because most people would think that if something is bad enough to cause separation from the service that it would in itself ratre higher than 0%....noted in my PEB proceedings that DOD PDES may only rate an illness or injury that is service incurred or permanently aggravated by the service and, by ITSLEF, would cause the Soldier to be separated or retired. Although, the PDES cannot compensate you for these conditions...ie Sleep Apnea, Major Depression you may still apply for a disability rating for them through the Department of Veteran Affairs since they operate under different regulations and guidlines and may compensate any service-connected condition even if not unfitting at the time of separation). That is how I understand it now....I was confused as hell but I hope I am right.......Lastly....since determining recoupment of Disability Severance pay is based on the percentage of the disability that caused the severance and I was awarded 0%...then they can not very well recoup at this time because it is 0%...no compensation for 0%.....

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Brother where you at in Missouri?

J

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Springfield....you?

Brother where you at in Missouri?

J

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Dtomlinson,

I could be wrong, but I hate to say it, your checks/deposits may stop. As I understand it and also in my case, you can not receive VA compensation or retirement moneys until your separation/severance/readjustment pay has been repaid.

The only exception is a hardship DFAS letter that came out last year where you can request exception and they will only recoup up to 40% of you monthly compensation until it is satisfied. However, I am not eligible.

Also, if you had multiple periods of service, i.e., you where in the service and you got out and "lets say" you claim and received 40% disability. Then later you returned to service for a period of time and then again separated and received an additional 20% disability for that time and also received separation pay the that later period, you would still receive your 40%, however you would not receive the 20% until you satisfied your separation pay for that second time in the service.

That said, they may have overlooked your debt.

You could call the 800 number and ask them if you have a dept. They will tell you. And you could hear a "Oh oh".

I really hope you are correct, but I don't see it. My comp start date was 8/2008. Don't see my first check/deposit until 1/2012.

Hamslice

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Hamslice,

I know it is weird and I realy wondered about myself, until I found the information. In order for the VA to recoup severance pay then you must be receiving compensation for the disability that caused the severance. The Army specifically did not rate my other conditions because if they did then I wold have rated more than 30% and would have received a retirement vs separation. Then the Army not the VA would be paying me. The Army and the VA both rated my disability at 0%(the disabiity that caused the severance). I can not be compensated at 0% so there is nothing for them to recoup from at this time. Again when the VA determins the amount to recoup they can only recoup up to a max of no more than the total compensation for the disabilty being compensated for. The Army did not separate me for Sleap Apnea, major Depression , Hypertension, Shoulder Condition etc...Now, If I file for an increase from 0 to whatever for my knee then the VA will begin recoupment at that amount...but I will still receive Compensation for all of my other compensable disabilities...

Did you receive a rating for the disabilty that caused your severance? Do you have other disabilities that are or were rated?

David

Dtomlinson,

I could be wrong, but I hate to say it, your checks/deposits may stop. As I understand it and also in my case, you can not receive VA compensation or retirement moneys until your separation/severance/readjustment pay has been repaid.

The only exception is a hardship DFAS letter that came out last year where you can request exception and they will only recoup up to 40% of you monthly compensation until it is satisfied. However, I am not eligible.

Also, if you had multiple periods of service, i.e., you where in the service and you got out and "lets say" you claim and received 40% disability. Then later you returned to service for a period of time and then again separated and received an additional 20% disability for that time and also received separation pay the that later period, you would still receive your 40%, however you would not receive the 20% until you satisfied your separation pay for that second time in the service.

That said, they may have overlooked your debt.

You could call the 800 number and ask them if you have a dept. They will tell you. And you could hear a "Oh oh".

I really hope you are correct, but I don't see it. My comp start date was 8/2008. Don't see my first check/deposit until 1/2012.

Hamslice

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Hamslice,

Did you have additional disabilities rated by the VA...other than the disability that caused your severance from service? If you did then the VA may have made a mistake when they determined your (monthly) recoupment amount. For Example:

Condition A (condition that caused the severance) = 20%

Condition B (not rated by your service)= 50%

Condition C(not rated by your service)=30%

Total Combined Compensation would equal 70%

The VA would then determine the compensation for your situation rate at 70% Lets say $1461

Then the VA would determine the compensation for your situation at 20% Lets say $300

1461-300 = $1161 this would be the amount you should receive monthly until your severance pay has been satisfied.

Note: The above amounts are not accurate from the compensatin table. Also, the recoupment amount will never exceed 20% even if the disability that caused your severance from service were to increase......

This is my understanding of how they determine the monthly recoupment amount...I will add that I did ask when my original award was granted about paying back the severance and I did not get an answer.....

David

Dtomlinson,

I could be wrong, but I hate to say it, your checks/deposits may stop. As I understand it and also in my case, you can not receive VA compensation or retirement moneys until your separation/severance/readjustment pay has been repaid.

The only exception is a hardship DFAS letter that came out last year where you can request exception and they will only recoup up to 40% of you monthly compensation until it is satisfied. However, I am not eligible.

Also, if you had multiple periods of service, i.e., you where in the service and you got out and "lets say" you claim and received 40% disability. Then later you returned to service for a period of time and then again separated and received an additional 20% disability for that time and also received separation pay the that later period, you would still receive your 40%, however you would not receive the 20% until you satisfied your separation pay for that second time in the service.

That said, they may have overlooked your debt.

You could call the 800 number and ask them if you have a dept. They will tell you. And you could hear a "Oh oh".

I really hope you are correct, but I don't see it. My comp start date was 8/2008. Don't see my first check/deposit until 1/2012.

Hamslice

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I believe I would try to get every bit of compensation I could get, and just keep my mouth shut about the severance pay unless the VA is tacking on interest. Let the VA discover their own error unless there is an interest penalty. If you have to pay it back then you have to pay it back, but don't let that stop you from trying for 100% if you can get it. You get compensation until you die. Your severance pay will be payed off pretty quick even though it hurts for a while. Sooner or later from what you say you will not be able to work. 70% is not even half of what you get if you get TDIU or 100%.

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M21-1MR.

http://www.benefits.va.gov/warms/M21_1MR3.asp

Scroll down to : Chapter 4 - Elections, Waivers, and Recoupments

Click on:

Section B - Recoupment of Readjustment, Separation, and Severance Pay

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Dtomlinson,

Thanks to Carlie, it makes sense to me, your situation that is. I on the other hand, was not separated by a service connected disability. I believe you are fine. However, I may be a little confused on the rationale of this.. But that is nothing new.

Situation: A service-connected severance disability is evaluated at 0 percent.

Result: Pay full VA compensation for any non-severance pay disabilities. Do not withhold anything for the non-compensable severance pay disability.

Hamslice

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