WASHINGTON -- Current and former Airmen who were involuntarily held on active duty beyond an approved separation or retirement date as a direct result of stop loss between Sept. 11, 2001, and Sept. 30, 2009, may be eligible for a Retroactive Stop Loss Special Pay compensation of $500 for each month they were affected. Affected Airmen may start applying for compensation effective now.
The 2009 War Supplemental Appropriation Act set aside $534.4 million for the Retroactive Stop Loss Special Pay compensation authority. The Air Force used stop loss for Operation Enduring Freedom in 2001 and 2002, and Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2003. The Stop Loss Program may have affected approximately 39,000 current and former Airmen.
The Retroactive Stop Loss Special Pay Authority compensates servicemembers and members of the Reserve components who served on active duty while his or her enlistment or period of obligated service was involuntarily extended, or whose eligibility for retirement was suspended, according to William J. Carr, deputy undersecretary of defense for personnel and readiness, in a memorandum dated Sept. 23.
"The Air Force will use all available means to ensure eligible applicants have the opportunity to receive stop loss payment if they are eligible," said Lt. Col. John Giles, the retirements and separations branch chief for Air Force Manpower, Personnel and Services.
The payment is also payable to legally designated beneficiaries of deceased or incapacitated Airmen.
Eligible individuals have until Oct. 21, 2010, to file their claim. Air Force officials will evaluate all claims based upon historical records as well as all supporting documentation the applicant may submit, Giles said.
To make a claim, eligible active, retired and former Airmen, or legally designated beneficiaries, may download a stop loss claim application from the Air Force Personnel Center Web site at www.afpc.randolph.af.mil/stoploss, or call the Total Force Service Center at 1 (800) 525-0102 for assistance.
"Caring for Airmen touches every aspect of an Air Force member's career, from accession to separation," Giles said. "And in the case of many Airmen, it continues after leaving active service."