Disability Benefits:

Selected Data on Military and VA Recipients

HRD-92-106: Published: Aug 13, 1992. Publicly Released: Aug 13, 1992.

Additional Materials:


Office of Public Affairs
(202) 512-4800

Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO collected data on the Department of Defense's military disability retirement and the Department of Veterans Affairs' (VA) disability compensation programs, focusing on: (1) trends in military retirements; (2) the ratio of officers to enlistees receiving military retirement benefits; (3) the length of service military retirees have when they retire on disability; and (4) how many military disability retirees also receive VA disability compensation.

GAO found that: (1) military disability retirees may also qualify for VA disability compensation, but their military disability retirement benefits are reduced by the amount of any VA disability benefits they receive; (2) military disability retirements increased from 1981 to 1986, then declined from 1986 to 1990; (3) in total numbers, more enlistees retired on disability than officers, and most retired earlier in their careers than officers; (4) a higher percentage of officers retired on disability than enlistees, and their numbers were spread evenly over 25 or more years of service; and (5) most retirees on military disability also receive VA disability compensation.