Retired and Recently Separated

Congratulations on your recent discharge and thank you for your service to our nation.  Hopefully your transition from the military to civilian life will be smooth and successful.  It is important that you take full advantage of all benefits that you have earned based on your honorable service.  Review this checklist and if you have any questions or would like assistance in filing for benefits contact an accredited veterans benefit counselor in your area.

Checklist

Concurrent Retired Disability Payments (CRDP) – This program allows military retirees to receive both military retired pay and VA compensation.  This was prohibited until the CRDP program began on January 1, 2004.  You do not need to apply for CRDP.  If qualified, you will be enrolled automatically. 

Combat Related Special Compensation (CRSC) – is a program that was created for disability and non-disability military retirees with combat related disabilities.  It is a tax free entitlement that you will be paid each month along with any retired pay you may already be receiving. 

Retirees cannot receive both CRSC and CRDP.  If you qualify for both, DFAS will automatically apply the entitlement that is most advantageous to you.  Every year, during Open Season, you’ll have the opportunity to change your election.  Open season usually takes place during January. 

TRICARE – Retired service members and their families are eligible for TRICARE and have several options to choose from.  Additionally there is a TRICARE Retiree Dental Program available to purchase for dental coverage.  Retired service members in Michigan can contact a TRICARE representative by calling 1 (877) 874-2273.   

VA Compensation - This is a benefit paid to a veteran because of injuries or diseases that happened while on active duty, or were aggravated by active military duty.  The amount of the disability depends upon the severity of the disability and the number of dependents of the veteran. 

Additionally the VA has adopted rules that apply to veterans who have suffered though certain debilitating circumstances, such as those who have been prisoners of war for more than 30 days; those who were exposed to agent orange, herbicides, or radiation; and those who suffered chronic disabilities as the result of the Gulf War.  If you file your VA disability claim within one year of discharge the effective will be the day after discharge. 

Ingham and Clinton County veterans can schedule an appointment with an accredited Veteran Benefits Counselor at Ingham County Department of Veteran Affairs by calling (517) 887-4331.

Veterans residing in other counties can contact their local counselors.

VA Medical - Apply for your VA medical benefits immediately after discharge.  If you do not have any current medical issues it is still wise to enroll for VA Medical Care as this will save you time should an urgent situation arise later on down the line.  Application for VA Medical Care is made on VA Fm 10-10ez.

https://www.va.gov/vaforms/form_detail.asp?FormNo=1010EZ

VA Education - You may be entitled to Post 9/11 GI Bill benefits.  This benefit pays a percentage of your tuition (up to 100%) depending upon the number of months service; a monthly housing allowance; and a book stipend.  The Post 9/11 GI Bill provides up to 36 months of education benefits, generally payable for 15 years following your release from active duty.  For a contact at the school of your choice visit the Consortium of Michigan Veterans Educators website.

VA Vocational Rehabilitation - Service Disabled veterans may receive vocational rehabilitation and employment services to help with job training, employment accommodations, resume development, and job seeking skills coaching.  Veterans whose service-connected disabilities require intensive and frequent rehabilitation may not be ready and able to work.  VA’s Independent Living services can help them live independently in their homes and communities, and provide support so that eventually they may be able to return to work.

VA Life Insurance - You can convert your SGLI to Veterans Group Life Insurance if you apply within 1 year and 120 days of separation.  If you apply with 240 days of separation then you will not need to answer health questions. 

VA Home Loan Guaranty - Apply for your certificate of eligibility for a VA loan guaranty as soon as you are discharged.  Your loan is provided by a private lender.  VA guarantees a portion of the loan, enabling the lender to provide you with more favorable terms. 

Employment Services - There are numerous federal and state resources available to assist you in your quest for employment.  Additional resources are available for those veterans looking to start a business.  An excellent resource is the Michigan Veteran Affairs Employment Summary website.

Emergency Financial Assistance - If you served during a period of war and have an honorable discharge you may be eligible for emergency financial assistance.  Contact your local county veteran’s office for more information.  Ingham and Clinton county veterans can call Ingham County Department of Veteran Affairs at (517) 887-4331 for information.  

Accredited Benefits Counselors - Trained and accredited Veteran Benefit Counselors are available across the State of Michigan to assist you with your claims for benefits with the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs.  If you reside in Ingham or Clinton county contact a counselor at Ingham County Department of Veteran Affairs (517) 887-4331.  We are located at 5303 S. Cedar Street, Lansing, MI 48911 in building #2.