By Karen Parrish, American Forces Press ServiceNovember 1, 2010
WASHINGTON, Oct. 29, 2010 -- Defense Department officials are working to remind veterans and current servicemembers who were involuntarily retained in the military under the so-called "Stop Loss" program to apply for special pay before the Dec. 3 deadline.
Military members whose service was involuntarily extended or whose retirement was suspended between Sept. 11, 2001, and Sept. 30, 2009, are entitled to a retroactive payment of $500 for each month of extension.
By law, servicemembers who received a bonus for voluntarily re-enlisting or extending their service are not eligible for the special pay, officials said, but they added that they strongly urge people who even think they may be eligible to submit an application before the deadline.
Information on the special pay and links to the application are available at http://www.defense.gov/stoploss.
About 65,000 of 145,000 eligible claims have been paid, and $243 million has been disbursed of the $534 million appropriated, officials said.
President Barack Obama released a video message Sept. 15 urging eligible servicemembers and veterans to apply.
"You served with honor. You did your duty. And when your country called on you again, you did your duty again," he said in the message. "Now, it's time to collect the special pay that you deserve."
The services are promoting the retroactive pay through national and regional media, direct mail, veteran and service organizations, websites and phone lines. Information about the special pay also has been included on civilian and retiree pay stubs.