USA — March 4 Deadline Nears to Apply for Stop-Loss Pay

WASHINGTON, March 2, 2011 — Ser­vice mem­bers, vet­er­ans and legal­ly des­ig­nat­ed ben­e­fi­cia­ries held on active duty under the Stop-Loss pro­gram between Sept. 11, 2001, and Sept. 30, 2009, must apply by March 4 to receive $500 in spe­cial retroac­tive pay for each month their ser­vice was extend­ed.
Although more than 100,000 unique claims have been ini­ti­at­ed, many peo­ple eli­gi­ble for the pay have yet to apply, offi­cials said.

Army offi­cials con­duct­ed an exten­sive out­reach plan to noti­fy those eli­gi­ble for the pay. Recent­ly, cer­ti­fied let­ters were sent to more than 25,000 indi­vid­u­als still eli­gi­ble for the pay. This was the sec­ond direct mail­ing con­duct­ed by the Army, offi­cials said.

More than 75,000 let­ters were sent in 2010. Addi­tion­al­ly, a mass mail­ing reminder was sent by the Defense Man­pow­er and Data Cen­ter pri­or to the program’s orig­i­nal Oct. 21, 2010, dead­line. That ear­li­er dead­line sub­se­quent­ly was extend­ed so that more eli­gi­ble peo­ple could be noti­fied.

“We have com­plet­ed actions to direct­ly noti­fy those we believe are eli­gi­ble for the spe­cial pay,” Army Maj. Roy Whit­ley, the pro­gram man­ag­er, said. “In addi­tion, we’ve been active­ly work­ing with the Depart­ment of Vet­er­ans Affairs, vet­er­an ser­vice orga­ni­za­tions and lever­ag­ing tra­di­tion­al and social media to spread the word about Stop-Loss pay.

The March 4 dead­line marks the third time the dead­line has been extend­ed, Whit­ley not­ed. He added that the exten­sions have helped the Army use new ways to gen­er­ate claims.

“We’ve been able to com­plete a cer­ti­fied mail plan and send e-mail noti­fi­ca­tions to every­one tak­ing advan­tage of the GI Bill,” he said. Though the out­reach has been exten­sive, he added, some may need a final reminder to start the appli­ca­tion process.

“We have claims from all 50 states and every U.S. ter­ri­to­ry. We have claims from over 12 for­eign coun­tries. The word has got­ten out,” Whit­ley said. “Now, we need those eli­gi­ble to take action by the dead­line.”

The Defense Depart­ment and the Army have web­sites where peo­ple can find more infor­ma­tion or file a claim.

Source:
U.S. Depart­ment of Defense
Office of the Assis­tant Sec­re­tary of Defense (Pub­lic Affairs)

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