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When I was discharged from the Navy for medical reasons they…

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When I was discharged from...
When I was discharged from the Navy for medical reasons they said that I would get severance pay. That the amount of severance pay I would get would be for ALL my active duty time in. I was on medication because of the number of surgeries I had to go through but that I would take the severance pay for my time in. I was given a total of 12 years. Recently while going through my paperwork I found that my total active service was for 16 years not 12. I want to get my severance pay for the four (4) years they left off. I don't know how to do this and was told I should get a lawyer that was familiar with the military and that it should be a lawyer who will bill the military for their services. How do I do this?
Submitted: 8 years ago.Category: Military Law
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Answered in 33 minutes by:
6/16/2010
Military Lawyer: JAG Defense, Military Lawyer replied 8 years ago
JAG Defense
JAG Defense, Military Lawyer
Category: Military Law
Satisfied Customers: 124
Experience: CAPT, JAGC, USN (Retired); Former Military Judge; Specializing in Security Clearance Adjudications
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Severance pay is calculated at (2 x base pay) x (years of service...not to exceed 12 years of service) so that the MAXIMUM severance pay is calculated to 12 years of service...so 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19 years of service all gets the exact same thing. Not fair, but the way it is.

Consequently, there is nothing you can do to get severance pay for the remaining 4 years...you already got it (through the cap that is put on the calculation).

THEN, to make matters worse, when you go to the VA for benefits/monthly benefit check, they will say..."OH! You received severance pay from the military, so we are going to collect back that severance pay each month from your VA benefits until we have gotten it all back!" Now, they won't take it all at once, nor will they take 100% of your VA checks every month, but they will deduct a percentage every month until all of it has been collected back.

"Thank you for your service and interest in national defense."

I really do not mean to make light of your situation; but am mocking the "justness" (or lack thereof) of the system.

Unfortunately, that is the way it works. If you are rated by the military at less than 30% disability and get a severance, rather than being rated at 30% or higher and getting a retirement you have been totally screwed over by the system. It really does make it worse when the military rates you at 0% - 20% (severance calculation is all the same), you get a severance, then the VA collects it back) and you go to the VA and they rate you at...50%, 60%...

No way to justify it; I don't write the rules; but that is the way it is.

I would save my money (i.e., an attorney won't help you get the additional 4 years severance pay) and focus on getting all you can from the VA.
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