DoD Disability Severance Pay
The Secretary of the Army may separate, versus retire, a Soldier who is found physically unfit to perform their duties due to a disability. Separation may occur with entitlement to disability severance pay or without entitlement to disability benefits. Separation with disability severance pay occurs when the Soldier's unfitting disabilities are determined by the Army to be service connected, the Soldier has less than 20 years of service as computed under 10 USC 1208, and the Soldier's combined disability rating assigned to the unfitting disabilities is less than 30 percent. Separation without entitlement to disability benefits occurs when the unfitting disabilities are determined to be non-service connected without permanent aggravation or incurred due to misconduct. Soldiers of the Ready Reserve with 20 qualifying years and Soldiers of the Selected Reserve with 15 qualifying years with a disability disposition of separation with or without severance pay have an additional election in lieu of being separated. This additional election is discussed further in this paper.
The return home from combat can often leave servicemembers feeling out of place with the most important people in their lives - their families.
"In deployment, Soldiers grow accustomed to a new lifestyle and a new 'family' - those buddies that bond together to defend each other," said Maj. Ken Williams, 14th Military Police Brigade chaplain. "This lifestyle change is prolonged and becomes familiar, i.e., the new normal."
The families also change while the Soldier is deployed.
"The family is a system," Williams said. "When one family member is absent, the whole system changes. All members of the family adapt to a new 'normal' way of life."
When the servicemember returns, the family may feel uncomfortable with each other, and the servicemember may withdraw from the family.