Medically retired military buyback


Q. I was medically retired from the military after about 15 years of service. I was receiving a pension from the Army until I was awarded compensation from the Veterans Affairs Department. The VA compensation was more than the Army pension that is taxable; therefore, I receive a VA compensation that is nontaxable (80 percent). Within the past three or four years, I was awarded combat-related special compensation because the injuries were considered to be combat-related during my military career. My time of service was Sept. 21, 1981, to June 19, 1996. Does the military buyback option apply to me without giving up my military pension?

A. Yes, it does.


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Reg Jones was head of retirement and insurance policy at the Office of Personnel Management. Email your retirement-related questions to


  1. Jessica Jackson on

    I have almost the same scenario (11 years active duty), medically retired, 80% disability (not combat related) and have been in Civil Service for a little over 10 years. I paid back my deposit, sent in my Paid in Full Letter which has been uploaded to my eOPF. Does my SCD not get rolled back for leave purposes? Only for retirement?

    • Full credit for uniformed service (including active duty and active duty for training) performed under honorable conditions is given for annual leave accrual purposes. However, most military retirees cannot receive leave accrual credit unless certain conditions are met as follows:
      • Actual service during a war declared by Congress or while participating in a campaign or expedition for which a campaign badge is authorized; or
      • All active duty when retirement was based on a disability received as a direct result of armed conflict or caused by an instrumentality of war and incurred in the line of duty during a period of war.

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