Confusion over E-Mail Adds to Problem with Pay

The Washington Times (Washington, DC), December 12, 2005 | Go to article overview

Confusion over E-Mail Adds to Problem with Pay


Byline: John Fales, THE WASHINGTON TIMES

Dear Sgt. Shaft:

Here's something your readers may need to be aware of. I am in receipt of concurrent benefits because of an 80 percent service-connected disability. Or should I say I was. It seems Veterans Affairs instructed the Defense Finance and Accounting Service (DFAS) to take my concurrent receipt and restore it as retired pay. The VA then reduced my disability compensation by $463. This should be a wake-up call to all recipients of concurrent benefits that we are not safe.

I sent e-mails to the VA regional and DFAS plus the American Legion and Disabled American Veterans, of which I am a life member. This was more than a week ago. The disappointment? Not one single entity has even acknowledged my e-mails. I am now down to waiting on the 800 numbers in the hope of talking to a human. Warn your readers that the Oakland regional office is a bunker and all those VA people are hunkered down in there.

David E.

California

Dear David:

As you know by now, I had the top echelon at VA review your concerns. They informed me that their contact with the Oakland, Calif., VA regional office determined that you had sent your e-mail to an address taken from an old letter.

Individual stations' e-mail inquiry mailboxes were replaced by a new, nationwide benefits inquiry form found at the VA Web site, www.va.gov. Unfortunately, Oakland's obsolete e-mail address had not been disabled. (This has since been corrected.)

A representative has since contacted you and provided the correct inquiry address. Your VA compensation is not being reduced. Confusion regarding a change in the concurrent receipt of disability pay (CRDP) was due to a retired pay statement from the Defense Finance and Accounting Service (DFAS). The CRDP benefit is paid by the Department of Defense and is being phased in over a 10-year period. Your VA disability benefit is not changing. The representative from DFAS has also provided further explanation of your CRDP and retired pay.

Shaft notes

A sad farewell to good friend "Mack" McKinney who died Nov. …

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