from the inbox:
[update: I am told the deadline to apply has been extended to Dec. 3rd and there is a headline to that effect on the website referenced at the end of this post, but I cannot absolutely guarantee this is true. Veterans are encouraged to meet the original October 21 deadline where possible, and to check with someone about the extension.]
Today, Congressman Paul E. Kanjorski (PA-11) announced that about 145,000 service members who were forced to extend their tours of duty, known as stop loss, in Iraq and Afghanistan, are eligible to receive payments that they deserve for their service to protect the United States. Congressman Kanjorski strongly supported legislation which ensures that that those eligible for the special pay will receive $500 for each month or partial month served in stop loss status. At the Dupont VFW, Congressman Kanjorski discussed that our troops deserve these payments and pointed out that many service members and veterans who are applicable still have not applied to receive these payments. The deadline to file paperwork to receive the stop loss payments closes on October 21, 2010. The payments apply to service members affected by the stop loss between September 11, 2001 and September 30, 2009.
“Our troops and service members have put their lives in jeopardy and fought to protect our country – one of the most noble and selfless acts possible,” said Congressman Kanjorski. “For many of these troops, their tours in Iraq or Afghanistan were extended involuntarily, and I have worked in Congress to ensure that at the very least, they are fully compensated for their hard fought efforts. I strongly encourage eligible veterans to apply to receive the payments they deserve before the deadline in just over a month. I also encourage Northeastern Pennsylvanians to help spread the word to local service members and veterans about these payments. We must work to continue to support our troops and their families, and provide needed services to our troops and veterans who put their country above all else.”
“I would like to thank Congressman Kanjorski for supporting legislation that ensures that eligible Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans, such as myself, are recognized and compensated for our involuntary extensions,” said Jeff Demko, an Iraq war veteran from Luzerne County. “I hope that all eligible service members apply for the payments in advance of the deadline next month. I signed up to serve and defend my country, and like many other service members, my tour in the Army was involuntarily extended at the request of the military. Because of the legislation that Congressman Kanjorski supported, I, and many others are able to receive compensation for the sacrifice we made to protect the country that we love.”
Mr. Demko served in the Army from January 8, 2003 until April 30, 2006. His enlistment terms stated that he should have completed his service on January 7, 2006, but it was involuntarily extended for almost four months.
As of July 29, 2010, the Pentagon had paid out $111 million to 25,000 service members and veterans affected by the stop loss. The average payout is $3,000 to $4,000 per claim. The Pentagon has approximately $423 million left in the program’s fund.
The 2009 War Supplemental Appropriations Act, which Congressman Kanjorski supported, states that those eligible for the special pay will receive $500 for each month or partial month served in stop loss status.
Who is Eligible for Retroactive Stop Loss Special Pay?
Service members, veterans, and beneficiaries of service members whose service was involuntarily extended under Stop Loss between Sept. 11, 2001 and Sept. 30, 2009 may be eligible for Retroactive Stop Loss Special Pay. This includes members of the Reserve Components, former, and retired members who served on Active Duty while their enlistment or period of obligated service was extended, or whose eligibility for retirement was suspended from one of the following:
* Contractual Expiration of Term of Service (ETS), Expiration of Active Service (EAS), or Reserve End of Current Contract (RECC)
* An approved separation date based on an unqualified resignation request or Release From Active Duty (REFRAD) order
* An approved retirement based on length of service
Who is Not Eligible for Retroactive Stop Loss Special Pay?
Service members who received a bonus for voluntarily re-enlisting or extending their service after being involuntarily extended no longer qualify for retroactive stop loss pay.
How to Apply for the Retroactive Stop Loss Special Pay Program
Service members can apply for the Retroactive Stop Loss Special Pay Program online at www.defense.gov/stoploss.
Service members can also download and print the form by clicking here.
In order to apply, service members will need their DD 214 or DD 215.