By Cheryl PellerinAmerican Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, Oct. 5, 2010 Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates urged servicemembers whose military service was involuntarily extended between 2001 and 2009 under the so-called “Stop Loss” program to claim the special pay to which they’re entitled before the Dec. 3 deadline.
“As secretary of defense, one of my responsibilities is to make sure members of the armed forces receive the benefits they have earned,” Gates said in a message aired on the Pentagon Channel.
More than 145,000 people are eligible for the special pay, but fewer than half have submitted claims, defense officials said. Servicemembers and veterans are entitled to $500 for each month or partial month they served in Stop Loss status.
Gates’ message is the department’s latest attempt to reach eligible servicemembers, veterans and beneficiaries. Since October 2009 -- when the War Supplemental Appropriations Act established the retroactive special pay -- the services have used direct mail, veteran service organizations, the media and the Internet to reach those who are eligible.
On Sept. 15, President Barack Obama recorded a video message that is posted on the White House blog page, and Navy Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, posted a blog entry on the topic on the Defense Department’s website.
“If you were affected by Stop Loss, … I would encourage you to go to www.defense.gov/stoploss to learn more,” Gates said. “The average payment has been about $3,800. But don’t wait too long. The deadline to submit a claim is Dec. 3, 2010.”
Related Articles:Legislation Extends Special Stop Loss Pay Deadline Obama Reaches Out to Veterans: 'You Earned It'
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The opinions expressed in the following comments do not necessarily reflect those of the U.S. Department of Defense.
12/15/2010 3:52:45 PM
It is very frustrating trying to receive assistance on STOP LOSS from the Air Force Reserve Personnel Center. It seems to me that their SPAM guard is designed to keep one from contacting them. I had to mail the Contact Form to them. I'm sure I won't receive any information by the deadline - if then - from them.
- Russ Hauser, Scott AFB IL
12/9/2010 7:30:08 PM
I have experienced headaches and difficulties trying to get through to the stop-loss representative. This is very poor services and unprofessional at it worst. For all the soldiers like me who have served this nation and now, our call can't be answer nor can we email or mail our package for process. This is a nightmire. I can never get a live person on the line and all of my correspondence have been returned. Can anyone offer me a solution. The time is running out.....
- Williams, Robert, SC
12/3/2010 3:15:58 PM
I was just wondering if anyone found a contact number for the Army locaiton. I submitted mine as well I am coming up on my 90 days. Just wondering. I have called to only get a full voice mail, I have also emailed not reply. I am sure they are bogged down but they were the ones wanting us to submit they could as least provide some form of feeback.
- Dee Anderson, Atlanta, GA
12/3/2010 11:01:03 AM
Great job getting the information out on the extended filing time line, but TERRIBLE service in all the other parts. My AFSC (MOS) was in a Stop Loss catefory for 4 1/2 years but was told I could only claim 1 year. Like others, my ETS came up and I had to "voluntarily" extend to keep pay and benefits going and to stop having to get a new temporary ID every 90 days, by doing this action stops the clock for Stop Loss purposes, even though you were still in the same category.
I don't understand why we have to apply for this benefit. The DoD (all branches) know who was and who was not in a Stop Loss status. We had to send reports to HHQ showing this information for years after 09112001. Why can't they send us the completed form to sign to receive this benefit?
- Pat Bergeron, Phoenix, AZ
11/30/2010 11:53:54 AM
I'm the Casualty Assistance Officer for a widow of an Army officer. I have been trying to reach any source (toll free number or email) that can answer some questions regarding this Stop Loss calim, but have been unsuccessful. Her issue is that the veteran has 306 Stop Loss days annotated in his DD-214, but no specific dates. If we can't find any documents that can provide the specific dates, what dates do we include in the Stop Loss form? The online version will not allow to complete this action without the specific dates.
I applaud the efforts of the leadership to get the word out to qualified veterans, but we loose credibility when we encounter full Stop Loss email boxes and non responsive/ineffective toll free assistance numbers. Appreciate it, if you can fix this issue to allow the veterans and their dependents the opportunity to file properly the documents required in this process.
- Ed Mercado, Texas
11/22/2010 11:37:07 AM
I have sent e-mails to firstname.lastname@example.org, with what documentation I thought was needed, but still no response. My next step is to contact my Congressman, it's sad that I must take this route when the Commander in Chief, Defense Sec., and Joint Chief of Staff have stated that this is your money you earned it, however, when we try to pursue this all we get are deadends. The deadline is fast approaching and what I don't wnat to hear is "sorry your to late". I would like an e-mail back from above stating " we have rec'd and have fwd your request to a case manager or at least a case ID number. And yes the 877 number is wothless!
- Brian Copen, Huntsville Al
11/18/2010 4:08:54 PM
I put in claim for the retroactive stoploss pay. they denied my claim, they said I voluntarity extended.that not true,My ETS came up while on duty at that time. they told us that we will have to extend, if not our pay will stop, until they can get it back on schedule. but we are still not geting out.
- johnnie randall, macon,ga.
11/11/2010 10:30:36 AM
I filled my stop loss claim on 28 August 2010 and have not heard from anyone. I e-mailed and called the 877 number but mail box is allways fulll, it's abious that no one bothers to check it. When I did make contact all the operator could say was that I was withing the ninety day window and she would take my phone number and have a case manager return my call, well that has been the middle of September and have yet to get a call. The mailbox is still full and now I don't even get a voice when the phone is picked up, just silence and a hang up. Can someone please give me call or send me an e-mail, my stop loss date is from 09,2007 to 08 2008. Thank You
- fredy aragon, gaithersburg, md
11/10/2010 9:49:24 AM
I also have put a claim in months ago and no one emails my sister back to inform her of at least receiving the claim. I have no computer so I have to rely on Wanda Mata, for my email's. The deadline is getting closer but like i said no one answers their phones or sends any reply to previous emails. Can someone help me??
- Eduardo A. Vega, Allentown, PA
11/6/2010 1:10:33 PM
I recently submitted a claim for retroactive stop loss pay back in August. I have a case number and documentation that my claim has been submitted. The documentation that was recommended to print states that I will be notified of the progress of my claim. I have yet to receive a status update and I am just curious to know where I am at in the process. Any assistance in this matter would be helpful. Thank you!
- Dennis Willis, California
10/29/2010 1:41:25 PM
American Forces Press Service will try to answer posters' queries when possible.
AFPS forwarded Mr. Copen's request for information to the U.S. Army, which provided this response:
Those who served under stop loss starting Sept. 11, 2001 are eligible for stop loss pay. However, those held under stop loss after Sept. 30, 2008 must claim their pay by contacting the following:
Active Enlisted: email@example.com
Active Officers: firstname.lastname@example.org
The above are contacts for the current stop loss program. The current program began operations spring 2009 with the intent of paying those held under stop loss from Oct. 1, 2008 onward.
Carol Bowers for AFPS
- Carol Bowers, Alexandria, VA
10/28/2010 9:55:30 AM
Someone needs to look into the end date of Stop Loss. I went to the RSLP site and tried to fill a claim(again) and they have 30 Sept 08 as the end date, however, on this web site the end date is 30 Sept 09 which/who is correct, and time is running out to submit. I was stop loss until Apr 09, I did receive payment for the period of Jan 08-Sept 08, I'm just trying to see if I can get paid for the period of Oct 08-Apr 09. Please advise. Thank you.
- Brian Copen, Huntsville Al
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