At least 89,836 veterans and soldiers were involuntarily held past their military separation date as part of the military’s stop-loss program between 11Sep2001 and 30Sep2009. Under the military’s Retroactive Stop Loss Pay program, the military is paying them for their time held over. On average, those payments will total $3,500.
More specifically, the military will pay $500 for every month or partial month soldiers were held on active duty past their separation date in any Department of Defense (DoD) branches of the military. The Army was the only branch of the military to stop-loss their soldiers past 2003. In fact, they’re still doing it, although that practice is rumored to end by March, 2011.
There is a caveat however, and that is the deadline. Qualifying veterans and soldiers were only given a one year to make their claim for the special pay under the Retroactive Stop Loss Special Pay program. That deadline is October 21st, 2010; a mere 6 weeks away. Surprisingly, only 38% of eligible service members have made their claim and there is still $320 million to pay those soldiers owed the payments. Further, if the soldier or veterans served in any selected Combat Zone Tax Exclusion area, the Retroactive Stop Loss pay may be tax-free. Those Tax Exclusion areas include Iraq and Afghanistan.
Even without all the required documentation, qualifying service members should still apply. Following the application, counselors will then help the soldier continue to process their application. Not all eligible veterans and soldiers know about the program, so it’s important that word gets out. Pay attention to that deadline, however, because any applications received after 21Oct2010 will not be processed.
If you are a disabled veteran who has been denied disability compensation or have not yet applied for benefits from the VA, contact Veterans Help Group. You may be entitled to certain programs and benefits so contact our veterans disability rights firm today.