WASHINGTON - The deadline for eligible service members, veterans and their beneficiaries to apply for special retroactive pay as compensation for involuntary extensions of their military service contracts has been extended to April 8, Defense Department officials announced today.
The deadline extension is included in the continuing resolution President Barack Obama signed March 18 that provided funding for government operations through April 8.
The Retroactive Stop Loss Special 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. Eligible members or their beneficiaries may submit a claim to their respective military services to receive the benefit of $500 for each full or partial month served in a Stop Loss status.
When the special pay program 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, the services have engaged in extensive and persistent outreach efforts to reach them and remind them to apply, officials said.
Outreach efforts -- such as using direct mail, social networks and media outlets and engaging military and veteran service organizations -- will continue through April 8, officials added.
To apply for Stop Loss pay or for more information, including submission requirements and service-specific links, go to http://www.defense.gov/stoploss.