WASHINGTON, Sept. 21, 2011 -- Only a month remains for eligible service members, veterans and their beneficiaries to apply for Retroactive Stop Loss Special Pay.

Officials extended a previous deadline to Oct. 21 to allow more time for eligible people to apply.

"The nation has rallied behind this effort -- the military services have been joined by the White House, Congress, the [Veterans Affairs Department], veteran and military service organizations, and friends and family members around the world," said Lernes Hebert, the Defense Department's director of officer and enlisted personnel management. "Despite these remarkable outreach efforts, some people may still not yet have applied. If you think you are eligible, and have not yet applied, now is the time to do so."

The special retroactive pay was established to compensate for the hardships military members encountered when their service was involuntarily extended under Stop Loss authority between Sept. 11, 2001, and Sept. 30, 2009, officials said. Eligible members or their beneficiaries may submit a claim to their respective military service to receive the benefit of $500 for each full or partial month served in a Stop Loss status.

When the special pay began Oct. 21, 2009, the services estimated 145,000 service members, veterans and beneficiaries were eligible for the benefit. Because the majority of those eligible had separated from the military, officials said, the services have engaged in extensive and persistent outreach efforts, including multiple direct mailings, public service announcements, and continuous engagements with military and veteran service organizations, social networks and media outlets.

To apply, or for more information -- including submission requirements and service-specific links -- go to http://www.defense.gov/stoploss.

Page last updated Sun September 25th, 2011 at 00:00