(Update – December 6, 2010, 12:25 PM Eastern: The Department of Defense has once again extended the Retroactive Stop Loss Special Pay deadline. If you missed the deadline twice before, hurry to get your claim filed before December 18.)
For the past several months, the Departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs have been working to get the word out on Retroactive Stop Loss Special Pay. Many Veterans and service members have been hesitant to submit their claim, thinking there has to be a catch to what is essentially free money. There is no catch. If you were stop-lossed to augment a deploying force between September 11, 2001 and September 30, 2009, you qualify for $500 for each full and partial month you were kept in the service involuntarily. The average payout is about $3,700, but only a fraction of those eligible have submitted their claim. Unfortunately, the window to make a claim is fast approaching. The deadline is now December 18, 2010.
Each branch of service has its own contact information and submission guidelines. Here are the links for each, along with contact information:
Email (Active): firstname.lastname@example.org
Email (Guard/Reserve): email@example.com
Please have at least one of these ready when you begin your claim:
- DD 214 (8-09), Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty and/or DD 215 (8-09), Correction to DD 214, Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty.
- Personnel record or enlistment or reenlistment document recording original expiration of service date.
- Approved retirement/transfer to the Fleet Reserve memorandum or orders establishing retirement prior to actual date of retirement as stipulated in DD 214 or DD 215.
- Approved resignation memorandum or transition orders establishing a separation date prior to actual date of separation as stipulated on DD 214 or DD 215.
- Signed documentation or affidavit from knowledgeable officials from the individual’s chain of command acknowledging separation/deployment, etc.
- Revocation of retirement or separation orders
I know it’s a lot to do, but a payment for stop-loss is a benefit you have earned through service if you were held involuntarily. I received my payment with no issues, and so have many of my Army buddies. Do yourself a favor and get it done quickly.
Update – December 1, 2010, 3:50 PM Eastern:
I just spoke with the Department of Defense press office about the claim deadline. If you are struggling to get your DD214 together along with supporting documents, just go ahead and get your claim in the system. Once you have it in, it will be handled past the deadline if necessary, so you will be able to provide additional material later. Last minute filers are crushing the system right now, so be patient if you need to call or email.