By J.D. LeipoldOctober 9, 2012
WASHINGTON (Army News Service, Oct. 9, 2012) -- The final deadline for Soldiers, veterans and beneficiaries to file for retroactive Stop Loss special pay has been set at Oct. 21, after which they will no longer be able to apply for the benefit which averages $3,600 per claim.
Established by the 2009 War Supplemental Appropriations Act, military personnel whose service was involuntarily extended under Stop Loss between Sept. 11, 2001 and Sept. 30, 2009 may be eligible for the payments.
"It's $500 per month or for part of a month that a Soldier was held beyond their contractual obligation," said Maj. Roy Whitley, Army G-1 Compensation and Entitlements. He noted that over the last three years the Army has received 120,000 claims, some from every state and territory as well as a dozen foreign countries.
"We have paid out in excess of $311 million to the veterans and this is good news because this money goes right into their pockets, it's spent locally and makes a dramatic difference for many of these folks," he said.
The best method for any Soldier, regardless of component, whether active duty, veteran or beneficiary to get the ball rolling remains by obtaining an instant claim number through the online site at https://www.stoplosspay.army.mil/. Claimants can also call 1-877-736-5554.
For those without Internet access, a DD2944 form can be mailed or faxed to the following address and number. Whitley pointed out that an online claim number is all the proof the Stop Loss Management Office needs to track a claim, but his office cannot track mail that was not delivered or misdirected.
U.S. Army Stop Loss Management Office
2530 Crystal Drive, Suite 1220
Arlington, VA 22202
Whitley said filing electronically for a claim number makes the process to adjudicate much easier for the Soldier and because it expedites communication with the processing counselor.
"This also applies to beneficiaries who we treat somewhat differently because of their lack of knowledge of forms and records," he said. "We take care of those things for them once we know it's a beneficiary claim because a Soldier was killed on active duty or passed for another reason."
Of the $534 million total, more than $400 million was allocated to the Army's program and beneficiaries.