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Evacuated Soldiers Now Get Immediate Combat Injury Pay

By C. Todd Lopez

WASHINGTON (Dec. 17, 2007) -- When Soldiers are evacuated from a combat zone due to a combat-related injury, they no longer need to wait 30 days to begin receiving their Combat-Related Injury Rehabilitation Pay.

Now, CIP kicks in immediately, ensuring troops continue to receive an additional $430 dollars a month, even while they are recovering in a military hospital. The change is more in line with what Congress envisioned when the program was created, said Craig Taylor, Combat Injury Pay program coordinator.

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"This will alleviate the hardship of the stopping of the hostile combat pay when a Soldier is medically evacuated from the theater of operation," Mr. Taylor said. "Soldiers medically evacuated out of theater up until now had to wait one to two months to see the CIP in their pay, and that is counter to what the Congress intended for the program."

Military members may be entitled to receive special benefits such as hostile fire pay, hazardous duty pay and imminent danger pay while deployed to places such as Iraq or Afghanistan. That pay can add up to $430 dollars a month.

Military Families often plan their finances around that special pay continuing for the duration of a deployment. But when a military member is forced to leave the combat zone for medical reasons, that pay stops. The CIP is meant to alleviate the hardship caused by that unexpected loss of income.

Active-duty Soldiers who receive CIP will see this benefit annotated on their Leave and Earnings Statement as "Fly Deck Pay." National Guard and Reserve personnel will see it annotated as, "Other Credits," with an explanation in the remarks section.

Soldiers who believe they may be eligible to receive CIP should contact their Warrior Transition Unit chain of command, local Wounded in Action DFAS representative, or call 1-800-237-1336.

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