WASHINGTON (March 23, 2012) -- Service members and veterans whose military service was involuntarily extended under the "Stop Loss" program between the 9/11 terrorist attacks and Sept. 30, 2009, are eligible for special retroactive pay, and they now have more time to apply for it.

Eligible service members, veterans and their beneficiaries now have until Oct. 21 to apply for Retroactive Stop Loss Special Pay, Pentagon officials announced today.

"Even with extensive outreach efforts and tremendous support from the president, Congress, the [Veterans Affairs Department], veteran and military service organizations, and friends and family around the world, some qualified individuals have not yet applied," said Juliet Beyler, the Defense Department's acting director of officer and enlisted personnel management. "We highly encourage anyone who may be eligible to apply for this pay. You have earned it."

The special pay is compensation for the hardships the involuntary extensions caused, officials said. Eligible members or their beneficiaries may submit a claim to their respective military service to receive $500 for each full or partial month served in a Stop Loss status.

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

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

Page last updated Fri March 23rd, 2012 at 07:26