By Joshua WickNovember 20, 2009
WASHINGTON (Army News Service, Nov. 20, 2009) -- An estimated 120,000 Soldiers and veterans are now eligible for retroactive Stop-Loss Special Pay.
The Department of Defense announced on Oct. 21 that with the recent congressional authorization, Soldiers who were individually stop-lossed and on active duty between Sept. 11, 2001, and Sept. 30, 2008, now can claim a retroactive special pay of $500 for each month they served past their end-of-service date. This includes Reserve and National Guard Soldiers on active duty during this period.
Soldiers can apply for the pay through an online application process at https://www.stoplosspay.army.mil.
The Retroactive Stop-Loss Special Pay is new, said Maj. Roy Whitley, program manager, Army Retroactive Stop-Loss Special Pay. He explained that Soldiers stop-lossed since Sept. 30, 2008, have already been compensated.
The Army is gradually suspending the use of Stop Loss. The Army Reserve started phasing out stop-lossed Soldier in August 2009, the Army National Guard followed shortly after beginning in September 2009 and the active Army will begin in January 2010.
"The interim goal is to reduce by half the number of Soldiers affected by Stop Loss,Aca,!A? said Lt. Col. Ann Finley, chief, Distribution and Readiness Branch, Army G-1 (Personnel Directorate), she added that, Aca,!A"we expect to achieve this sometime in 2010; the long-term goal, when operationally feasible, is to suspend the use of Stop-Loss altogether.Aca,!A?
To qualify for Retroactive Stop-Loss Special Pay, a Soldier must have served under Stop Loss for at least one day of each month they are applying for, and those periods must be in accordance with All Army Activities Message (ALARACT 277/2009).
Retroactive Stop Loss Special Pay Program requirements:
- Apply by Oct. 21, 2010.
- For more information and to apply, go to: https://www.stoplosspay.army.mil.
- If no longer in the military, a Soldier must be honorably discharged.
- Those claiming the special pay must document they were individually, not unit stop-lossed.
- Reserve members retained under Stop Loss will receive retroactive pay only for the period served on active duty, according to ArmyAca,!a,,cs Stop-Loss Web site. And Reserve Soldiers may have periods before mobilization and after demobilization where Retroactive pay cannot be paid.
- If case managers identify a problem with a claim or documentation, they will contact the ArmyAca,!a,,cs Human Resource Command for record verification. Claimants should not be alarmed if they receive a note indicating that their submitted records do not match the ArmyAca,!a,,cs records; the Army will work to resolve the issue. An individual claim tracking system is under development.
- Former servicemembers without a Common Access Card or Army Knowledge Online account can obtain their records at http://www.archives.gov/st-louis/military-personnel.
Whitley added that, Aca,!A"the ArmyAca,!a,,cs Web e-file system went live Oct. 21, a few months after Congress signed the Supplemental Appropriation Bill which contained legislation to compensate stop-loss Soldiers ... The amount in the bill is in excess of $500 million,Aca,!A? said Whitley.
Aca,!A"Because of the heavy volume of responses associated with this program,Aca,!A? Whitley said , "we ask that applicants be patient as we work through the backlog of applications."
Whitley also said, Aca,!A"As soon as there is enough data to develop a payment timeline we will post Aca,!Eoeaverage time to paymentAca,!a,,c on our Web site.Aca,!A?
In Aug. 22, 1990, Presidential Executive Order 12728, authorized the secretary of Defense to suspend any provision of law relating to retirement or separation applicable to any member of the armed forces determined to be essential to the national security.
Additionally, the Army has used Stop Loss periodically throughout its history. Prior to Sept. 11, 2001, the last time the Army used it was in the 1990s during Operation Desert Storm.
Soldiers that have trained and deployed together are vital to maximize and sustain unit cohesiveness and safety, according to Army officials. They said Stop Loss has enabled the Army to field a well-trained, combat experienced force to successfully carry out all its missions, including war fight, stability operations and disaster relief.
The progress in Iraq, the ArmyAca,!a,,cs growth in manpower and the move to a new unit rotation model will give units more time to get their personnel trained up, is all having effects on the ability to cut back on Stop Loss, according to Army officials.