VA pay vs Battle Assembly Pay, Which should you take?


I posted on the r/armyreserve page regarding when to collect VA Pay and when to turn it down. The TL;DR is that you should probably not turn down the VA pay. Unless you are a private with a bunch of dependents and very disabled, the math supports taking both. USARC recently made a calculator to help soldiers make their determination:


I recently posted an example on a different post that I will copy and paste below as an example:

There's a common misconception that VA pay and Reserve pay is either or. That's not really the case. Let's say you have no dependants so your VA rating gets you $1679.35 per month and you are an E-5 with 6 years in ($3273.30). Since a MUTA 4 represents 4 days of active duty pay, each month you collect $436.44. At first glance the VA pay sounds like it would wipe out your BA pay. However, you can't collect BA pay and VA pay AT THE SAME TIME. since the Army calculates a month to be 30 days for pay purposes, there's 26 other days in a month that you can collect the VA pay for. The VA would take the VA pay divided by 30 times the number of duty days in that month and still pay you that. Or $1679.35÷30×4=223.9. In other words, in this example you can collect $1455.44 from the VA and your $436.44 from BA. Since the amount you have to return from the VA is less than the drill amount, it makes fiscal sense to stay in. The way it works out since there are 48 UTAs and 14 days of AT, you essentially have to return 2 full months of VA pay every year. You get to keep the other 10 months.

Unles you are a private with a whole slew of dependents, you make more by double dipping. This only applies to Reserve Soldiers. Active duty because of the fact that you are in a duty status 24/7 Retirees also have their own set of rules and MAY not be eligible for VA and retiree pay.

submitted by /u/offhandbuscuit
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