The military Stop-loss Program allows the military to extend servicemembers beyond their end-of-term service dates. In kind, Congress extended the deadline to December 3, 2010 for some military service members and veterans.
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Stop-Loss Pay Eligibility and Deadlines

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The military Stop-loss Program allows the military to extend servicemembers beyond their end-of-term service dates. In kind, Congress extended the deadline to Dec. 3, 2010 for military service members and veterans eligible to apply for extra pay owed for their involuntarily extended active stop-loss service between the dates of Sept. 11, 2001 and Sept. 30, 2009.

The extension of the deadline for Stop Loss Pay is a part of HR 3081, the Continuing Appropriations Act for 2011.

Another stop-loss pay extension could be approved when Congress returns from its standard six-week break for the November elections.

Military service members and veterans are urged not to take the chance of losing stop-loss pay while counting on another possible stop-loss pay deadline extension. It's important that all eligible veterans to apply for the stop-loss pay benefit they've earned as soon as possible, to avoid the last-minute rush, which can increase processing time.

WHAT IS A STOP-LOSS PAY?

The stop-loss allowance for military service members is a $500 payment for every month in which a military service member was ordered into active duty beyond the separation or retirement date.

Retroactive stop-loss payments to cover the period between Sept. 11, 2001 through Sept. 30, 2008, were authorized by Congress with a one-year eligibility period.

The previous eligibility period for military stop loss pay was expected to run out on Oct. 21, 2010. At that time, only 59,000 of 145,000 military servicemembers believed to be owed stop loss pay by Defense Department, had their stop loss payments approved, making some 80,000 veterans still eligible for the stop loss benefit. The deadline was extended to reach out to veterans and make them aware of this valuable benefit.

STEP UP AND APPLY FOR STOP LOSS PAY

In order to prove eligibility, the military service member applying for stop-loss pay must provide documentation showing them to have been held on active duty for the eligible time period.

The Stop-Loss Program has been used extensively since 9-11 to maintain military strength in deploying units.

Stop-loss also allows the military to extend service members whose end-of-term of service, retirement or end-of-service obligation date falls during a deployment. They may be involuntarily extended until the end of their unit's deployment. The Army and Marine Corps used the policy the most.

The special pay is meant to remunerate the service members for their sacrifices. When the program began, the services estimated 145,000 service members, veterans and beneficiaries were eligible. Most had already separated from the services.

The services have sent direct mail to those eligible under the program. The military has engaged with military and veteran service organizations, and through social networks and media outlets. President Obama posted a video to the White House Web site encouraging those who are eligible to apply for their stop loss pay benefit.

Retroactive stop-loss payments may be owed to the military families of deceased service members. Military family members can also apply, following the same guidelines.



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