WASHINGTON (Army News Service, March 4, 2011) - The deadline to apply for Retroactive Stop Loss Special Pay has been extended to March 18.

The deadline, which had been set for March 4, was extended as part of Congressional action that passed a Continuing Resolution keeping the government funded for two more weeks in the absence of official appropriations acts.

Soldiers, veterans and legally-designated beneficiaries of those held under Stop-Loss between Sept. 11, 2001 and Sept. 30, 2009, still have time to apply for $500 for each month held in a Stop-Loss status.

The Army's Retroactive Stop Loss Special Pay Office began accepting claims on Oct. 21, 2009. Since the program's inception, more than 100,000 unique claims have been initiated. However, many eligible for the pay have yet to apply, officials said.

The Army has conducted an extensive outreach plan to notify those eligible for the pay. Recently, certified letters were sent to more than 25,000 individuals still eligible for the pay. This was the second direct mailing conducted by the Army.

More than 75,000 letters were sent in 2010. Additionally, a mass mailing reminder was sent by the Defense Manpower and Data Center prior to the program's original Oct. 21, 2010 deadline. That earlier deadline was subsequently extended so that more eligible Soldiers could be notified.

"We have completed actions to directly notify those we believe are eligible for the special pay," Program Manager Maj. Roy Whitley said. "In addition, we've been actively working with the Department of Veterans Affairs, veterans service organizations and leveraging traditional and social media to spread the word about Stop-Loss pay."

This is actually the fourth time the Stop-Loss Special Pay application deadline has been extended, officials said.

Whitley said the extensions have helped the Army use new ways to generate claims.

"We've been able to complete a certified mail plan and send e-mail notifications to everyone taking advantage of the G.I. Bill," he said.

Though the outreach has been extensive, some may need a final reminder to start the application process, Whitley said.

"We have claims from all 50 states and every U.S. territory. We have claims from over 12 foreign countries. The word has gotten out, now we need those eligible to take action by the deadline," he said.

For more information or to file a claim, visit http://www.defense.gov/stoploss or https://www.stoplosspay.army.mil

Page last updated Fri March 4th, 2011 at 09:32