Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Army Pay vs VA Pay (Life After The Army)

I may have mentioned this earlier…but here it goes again. When you medically retire out of the army, you get army medical retirement pay depending on your disability percentage. In my case I received a percentage of 40% from the army and 50% from the VA. You cannot receive both army retirement and VA compensation, so you have to choose one or the other. Army retirement pay is taxed, but VA pay is not taxed. This was an easy choice for me because I don’t want to pay taxes and the VA pay is more. I was told the VA pay can take up to 90 days (or more) in order to get processed and to get the monthly paychecks deposited. The nice thing is that the army retirement pay will start paying you each month after your retirement kicks in and will continue until the VA pay starts. In my situation I started receiving my VA pay today, which is the first month either would have kicked in. My last official day in the army was May 28th, this put me in as a retiree on June 1st…so the first paycheck is the following month.

SPC Mac asked me which pay I received. His last day was early May, but this still put him in as a retiree in June the same as me. He received his army retirement check, which is smaller and is taxed. When he inquired about it, they said he should receive his VA pay on the first of next month. It’s strange how even though he was out before me, I still beat him in the VA system. He has since moved back to Germany where his wife and son stayed and got a civilian job at one of the military bases, which will give him and his family logistical support. (this allows them to stay in Germany as long as he has the job including use of his own car). I’d love to go visit him as a civilian, it would be a heck of a lot more fun as a civilian vs a soldier. His life has improved a 100 fold…so much less stress. He’s loving it!