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Tax Refund for Veterans Injured in Combat

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Veterans, you might have an extra tax refund coming to you.

Do I qualify?

Did you get separated from service because you were injured in combat or war exercises?
And did you get a disability severance payment when you got out? Was it between 1991 and 2016?
If so, you are probably due a refund from the IRS.

If you do qualify, you should have gotten a letter from the Department of Defense. But some veterans who qualify never got a letter.

How much is the refund?

The refund could be anywhere from $1,750 to $3,200 or more.

How can I claim this refund?

Follow the instructions in the letter you got from the Department of Defense (DoD) to claim this refund. You can learn more about that process on the IRS website.

If you did not get a letter from the Department of Defense, but believe you qualify, you can still file a claim. The IRS  has information about how to file a claim if you did not get a letter from the DoD. 


There is a time limit for claiming this refund. From the IRS:

You must mail the claim generally by the later of:

  • 1 year from the date of the Department of Defense notice, or
  • 3 years after the due date for filing the original return for the year the disability severance payment was made, or
  • 2 years after tax was paid for the year the disability severance payment was made.

Find Help

Most states have Low Income Taxpayer clinics. They may be able to help you with

  • understanding if you are covered by this law 
  • claiming this new credit, if you qualify

The IRS maintains a listing of Low Income Taxpayer Clinics by state - go here to find a clinic in your area!

In New Hampshire, call 800639-5290 to apply for help from 603 Legal Aid's tax clinic.

Learn more

To read more about this law from the IRS, visit their page: Combat-Injured Veterans Tax Fairness Act Claim Information Available

Read the pamphlet "How to file refund claims for overpayments attributable to Disability Severance Payments."



Jim's Mailbag is a regular column where veterans, servicemembers, and family members can ask Jim Strickland their questions about VA and Social Security disability benefits. You can browse all of these Q&As here, and search the Jim's Mailbag archives for helpful answers.

October 2018
Stateside Legal/NHBA

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